The Herald’s ad campaign to promote the rugby league league team in New Zealand will focus on what it’s like to be a fan in a country with a rich history.
The ad, dubbed “We’re Not Just New Zealanders”, is set to launch next week and will feature former rugby league stars like Benji Marshall, Johnathan Thurston and Nathan Friend, as well as New Zealand Rugby League chief executive, David Gallop, in a series of interviews with the newspaper’s editorial team.
It’s a bid to counter the perception that New Zealand is a country of people who just want to have fun and enjoy the game, said executive editor, Matt Stokes, who said the campaign was “part of a concerted effort to build a wider network of fans in the country”.
“We wanted to make sure that our audiences had a bit more of an idea of what we’re all about, which is a passion for the game of rugby league, and what we want to bring to New Zealand,” he said.
“We were going to give them a taste of that passion and experience, and we wanted to take that to the next level.”
New Zealand is already one of the top rugby league nations in the world.
In the coming years, the league will be looking to grow its fan base, which could be boosted by the introduction of a home-and-away season, which will see the team play a series at the Eden Park stadium, where the team has won the last two seasons.
The new ad will also feature footage of the current and former players, who are also featured in the campaign, and highlights the history of rugby in New York and the fact that New York City is the biggest sporting market in the United States.
It will also include interviews with current and retired players, along with a selection of past and present New Zealand players and their family members.
New Zealand Rugby Union president Michael Maguire said the advertisement was part of the league’s strategy to expand its brand and create a “sense of community” in New England.
“Our goal is to build the best possible relationship with our New Zealand fans and to make that relationship a stronger one,” Maguires said.
The campaign, which has been in the works for months, will launch in New South Wales, Victoria and the Gold Coast, as part of a wider push to reach out to the country’s growing rugby fan base.
The Herald says it will spend $25,000 on advertising and sponsorship for the campaign.