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What killed Rugby?

We all know the saying about killing geese that lay eggs made of precious metals… But the the lesson seems to have firmly evaded those who organise rugby in this country, and indeed, worldwide.

It seems that huge truckloads of cash has severely blinded the IRB and NZRU to what this game should be about;  enjoying rugby.

Instead, it has became an exercise in marketing, ticket sales, squashing anyone who wants to sell pizza, and branding. It’s all about money, money, and more money.

Firstly, common sense has eluded the mind of Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully, who okayed the use of cans at all rugby venues.

Up till now, beer had been served in featureless, light, disposable plastic cups. This was to prevent cans and bottles being used as unguided missiles by intoxicated rugby fans.

But Heineken is a major sponsor, and they want their brand prominent at all 13 games. That means selling cans, with the brand-name ‘Heineken’ clearly visible, instead of the safer, unbranded, plastic cups.

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So what Heineken wants, Heineken gets: cans.

Never mind if  someone is injured by drunken hoons tossing cans. That evidently doesn’t matter. Evidently what matters is branding. Heineken wants you to know that the can that flew across the bleachers and concussed you was a Heineken – and not one of their competitors. This is important – so please remember to tell the medics when they arrive to treat you.

Money speaks with a very loud voice.

Then, in April, we heard the unbelievable situation that RWC fans will only be able to use cash, or mastercard (another sponsor) eftpos terminals at the games’ stadia.

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Evidently a third form of payment will be available; “Tap & Go” cards. But these are not re-chargeable and fans will have to pay $5 to $10 for each new card.

So expect your method of payment to be controlled.

Though I’m surprised the WRC organisors haven’t tapped John Key on the shoulder and asked for a law change. At present, cash is the legal tender of this country. Imagine if the IRD/NZRU could deny fans the right to use cash.

Though I guess the government could always re-print our currency, with an WRC sponsor’s name on each bill. Why not? They’ve already shown a willingness to change our laws for other corporations.

Perhaps the worst example of greed is local bodies charging extortionate amounts for local businesses to amend their hours to cater for the influx of rugby fans.

For example, “to open later on game days, Papa’s Pizza and nearby businesses will have to pay between $7500 and $12,800 to a special Rugby World Cup “enabling” authority to hurry up the usual resource consent process.”

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“Enabling Authority”? More like a local protection racket! But all quite legal according to the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act 2010, Part 3.

What a money-extorting piece of legislative bureacracy this is!!

And all enacted by a National Government that constantly harps on about how bureacratic “red tape” is strangling entrepreneurial business in this country.

So what gives with the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Act?!

If this isn’t political interference in little business – then someone tell me what is?!?!

Auckland Council licensing and compliance manager Carole Todd admitted that costs to applicants for Part 3 approvals were “fairly high”, and said that,

“However these charges are set down in regulations and cannot be modified.”

The Ministry of Economic Development administers the Act.  Ministry senior solicitor Robert Rendle said,

“There are going to be a lot more people in Auckland who are going to be frequenting bars so it might be financially beneficial to pay the cost.”

In other words – pay up, schmuck! Or Luigi over there will put the heat on ya, reallll good.

Perhaps that is not as cheeky as Heineken/DB Breweries secretly reducing the size of their beer  glasses from 425ml to 400ml – whilst keeping the price of each pour the same. So 25ml less beer – for the same price. DB has also increased keg, Heineken, Export, Tui, Monteiths and DB Draught tap prices.

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It seems that milk drinkers aren’t the only ones being milked in this country. Although the irony here also hasn’t escaped me; we were expecting to “swindle” overseas visitors with high accomodation charges – not be rorted ourselves.

In answer to media questioning, DB Breweries’ hospitality general manager Andrew Campbell said,

“In light of events in Christchurch, and in recognition of the challenges many operators are facing in this recessionary environment, we decided to delay our price increase [from April 1] until June.”

They’re blaming price rises and furtive reduction in glass sizes on the earthquakes in Christchuurch???

WTF???

Well, I guess that makes a change from blaming sunspots, I guess.

And of course, there will be special “Sponsor Police” roaming the country, looking for anyone daring to “cash in” on the WRC without “authorisation”, or to prevent “ambush marketting”.

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Economic Development Ministry solicitor Rob Rendle said there were no plans to set up special courts in New Zealand, to catch and prosecute unauthorised business activity although it could be appropriate to have judges on call to consider urgent matters that came up. “It’s just a possibility at this stage.”

Special courts? Oh, perish the though, Rob. Just summary execution out the back of the Stadium.

There.

Sorted.

Are we having fun yet, peeps?

In case not, even those offering free, humanitarian assistance are being targetted by the vengeful alien fiends that currently pose as human beings running the WRC.

I refer to the St Johns ambulance service (the humanitarian assistance – not the vengeful aliens).

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Yes, my fellow kiwis, the WRC organisors have “leaned” hard on St Johns – forcing them to cover up the sponsors of their ambulances, equipment, and clothing that may have been sponsored by community groups or business organisations in this country.

St Johns is a charity that relies on the generosity of businesses (such as the ASB) so they can go out and save lives.

St Johns is not a business itself.

St Johns has not charged a blimmin cent (that I know of) to the WRC for their services.

In return, to show their gratitude, the WRC have demanded that St Johns cover up the ASB logos of their sponsor. That’s pretty damned low.

If I’d been St Johns, I would have politely told the WRC to go take a flying leap into White Island, and hire their own medics and ambulances. Let the NZRU pay for emergency services if they’re going to be so miserly.  At the very least, I expect NZRU to make a very generous donation to St Johns for all this carry-on.

And when I say “generous”, I’m talking six figures, minimum.

What are the chances? Well, judging by the common sense and generosity of spirit shown by the WRC and sponsors… Nil.

Contemptible.

Perhaps the most bizarre of all this naked greed; shameless price gouging; and merciless strong-arm tactics is this,

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To quote the NZ Herald, to show I’m not making up this farce;

“Heineken is keeping a close watch on Lion Nathan after its Steinlager “white can” advertising campaign inched near to breaching its Rugby World Cup rights.

And the brewer – represented by DB Breweries in this country – is confident World Cup rights managers IMG will blow the whistle if its future ads go too far.

Heineken is an official sponsor of the tournament at a global level, while Steinlager is a sponsor of the All Blacks team. This means it can use its association as the All Blacks’ official beer, but it can’t claim any association with the Rugby World Cup.”

Both Breweries are sponsors – but they sponsor slightly different aspects of the event. I can’t even begin to tell you how utterly absurd this situation is.

Not content with harassing fans or small businesses, even the sponsors are beginning to cannibalise and consume each other?

Which brings us to the present, and current debacle,

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Perhaps someone from On High can explain to me, and to 4.4 million other New Zealanders; how did we get to this?

How did we get to a situation where a foreign corporation now owns the clothing rights to a  “brand” that is one of our  most cherished institutions (the All Blacks – in case you had forgotten what this was all about – and I bet you had!) and can sell goods back to us with that “brand”, at exorbitantly high prices?!?!

Of course, I guess this was inevitable, really. We’ve been busily selling off our state assets, businesses, and farms to all and sundry – and then buying back the products/services that we once produced ourselves.

I bet it was only a matter of time before it happened to one of our most iconic institutions.

How did it get to this?

The answer is idiotically simple. We allowed it to happen. Because, truth to tell, my fellow New Zealanders – sometimes we are none-to-bright when it comes to dealing with big companies apparently offering us truckloads of money.

Oh, for the simple days, when rugby was rugby, and sponsorship consisted of a few plastic-corflute boards placed around a playing field.

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We have well and truly given away our innocence. That, folks, is what killed rugby.

Are we having fun yet?

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+++ UPDATE: More RWC Silliness +++

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Full story

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Full Story

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Full Story

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Full Story

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Copy of sign seen in Greater Wellington Region, erected by supermarket. Clever buggers! (Sign’s corporate colours and company name have been redacted. This blog has no wish to assist RWC “sponsorship police”.) Note the blackened-out rectangle – what could that possibly signify?

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Further Reading

Tew threatens to pull out of next World Cup

NZRU boss Steve Tew lobs a grenade at the IRB

Aussies back NZRU over World Cup complaint

NZ must reap what it has sown over World Cup

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  1. 15 August 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I just want to say Frank that the game is bigger than the All Blacks and the Rugby World Cup. Once all the nonsense of the RWC is over we will get back to the status quo.

    • 15 August 2011 at 10:55 pm

      That would actually be a pleasant change, Peter. Who knows – maybe next year Kiwi families can go to a stadium and enjoy a game without having to worry about all the rules, regulations, commercialisation, etc, etc which seems to have put a cloud over this sport…

  2. Gosman
    14 September 2011 at 11:16 am

    A couple of questions for you Frank.

    Do you know what is a significant contributor to the development of Rugby Union in places like Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Georgia, Romania, USA, Canada, Argentina, Namibia, and Russia is? I’ll give you a couple of clues. It involves the owners of the RWC and also money.

    Do you know how the NZRFU is able to afford to keep almost all it’s top players playing in the country as opposed to in other nations competitions such as what happens in Association Football and Rugby League? I’ll give you another clue. It has something to do with the something the NZRFU owns which is regarded by many as a valuable commodity.

    • 15 September 2011 at 11:44 am

      That begs the question, Gosman; if money is so important that we’ve lost sight of the game itself – how did rugby ever survive, grow, and flourish before corporate sponsorship took over?

      • Gosman
        15 September 2011 at 2:38 pm

        The point is Frank that Rugby Union wasn’t in such great shape before it went openly professional.

        Crowds in the Northern hemisphere were pitiful for all but a handful of club games plus internationals.

        France, Italy, and South Africa were secretly professional anyway with the associated skull duggery that goes with that.

        Australian Rugby Union’s top talent was being continually poached by Rugby League and they had moved on to NZ Rugby Union as well. Do you remember how many top flight All Blacks crossed codes in the early 1990’s?

        There was really only ever three top flight teams capable of beating each other rom time to time. The rest were pretty much cannon fodder. Rugby Union development was stagnating in the

  3. 15 September 2011 at 12:30 am

    The problem with your neo-liberal viewpoint, Gosman, is that you fail to consider the wider consequences of the value of sport. For you, it all boils down to money, money, money.

    It may be a cliche, but there is more to life than money. Until you accept that, you’re on a treadmill heading nowhere.

  4. Gosman
    15 September 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I’ll carry on where I left off.

    Rugby Union development was stagnating outside the established nations.

    Yetdespit all of this you yearn for these so calledglory years of the sport.

    • 15 September 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Can you provide a reference that “Rugby Union development was stagnating outside the established nations”?

      Re; “Yet despit all of this you yearn for these so called glory years of the sport.”

      If you read my piece above, you’ll note that the only thing I really “yearn” for is to remove the excessive commercialisation of the sport. It really has become ridiculous when a pizza restaurant operator has to pay thousands of dollars in fees simply to stay open a few extra hours to sell their product. That kind of regulation is simply bizarre.

      Or any number of other examples I gave, above – including the beer can issue which impacts on patron safety.

      You’ll note that I don’t condemn all commercial activities or advertising – but it’s become excessive, intrusive, and just downright ridiculous in some aspects.

      • Gosman
        16 September 2011 at 5:39 am

        What references do you require that shows Rugby Union was stagnating?

        I base my point on my extensive history of the game. There was very few countries prior to the first world cup in 1987 which was getting any sort of growth or interest in the game outside a very small minority. You just have to look at the growth in the size of the tournament since then and the performance improvements by the lesser nations to see this has changed.

        With the advent of the RWC the game has got an almost global show pieceto promote the sport. Plus the IRB has tens of millions of dollars in development funding it can plow into the game to help lift standards and provide support to grass roots development of the game.

        The area you neglect to address in your post is why the IRB is insisting on these rules around commercialisation of the cup and what it would mean if they weren’t so onerous.

      • Gosman
        20 September 2011 at 7:01 am

        By the way have you been to any of the games yet Frank? If you have you will see that the patrons are very well behaved and there has been no threat of them going wild and crazy with throwing beer cans around.

        Fair enough if you think it is excessive. However hundreds of New zealanders are obviously not in agreement with you on that point.

        You have also not dealt with any of my points about how the IRB relies on the revenue generated by the World cup, (i.e. the money stumped up by the ‘evil’ corporations you bemoan so much) to fund development in places like Georgia, Samoa, Canada, etc.

        Of course we could go back to a pre 1995 situation where countries like Japan were being beaten by 100 odd points on a regular basis. Would you prefer that?

  5. Gosman
    15 September 2011 at 5:32 pm

    This does raise an interesting point though about your view point on wider issues beyond Rugby Union.

    It seems to me that you are like the classical sairists in the mold of Juvenal. You bemoan the current state of society and hark back to a supposed golden age when all was good with the world.

    The fact is there was never a golden age. If History teaches us anything it is that there are problems with any system and period in time for societies. It serves no good purpose to weap and pine for a mythological time in the near to distant past.

    • 15 September 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Ok, you had me at a disadvantage; I had to look up “Juvenal”.

      Interesting… the gentleman coined the phrase “Who watches the watchers?”. (The theme of one of the greatest graphic novels ever drawn/written; “Watchmen”. If you’ve never read it – grab a copy from the Library. I think you’ll find it intriguing and very clever.)

      I think I like him already.

      “The fact is there was never a golden age. If History teaches us anything it is that there are problems with any system and period in time for societies. “

      I concur.

      However, I never stated anything about a “Golden Age” – that was your reference. I only referred to “simpler days” and posit that we have gone too far in terms of commercialising certain activities – rugby in this case. I’ve spoken to a few sporting fans, and though they will still watch the games, they find the hyper-commercialisation a turn-off.

      Too much commercialisation, in an effort to make greater profits, and people will slowly turn away. Hence why my opening line above referred to the mythical goose that laid the golden eggs…

  6. 20 September 2011 at 2:13 pm

    “By the way have you been to any of the games yet Frank? “

    Nope.

    “If you have you will see that the patrons are very well behaved and there has been no threat of them going wild and crazy with throwing beer cans around. “

    Sorry, no, I don’t accept that. There have been many instances of intoxicated rugby fans throwing cans of beers as missiles. That is why venues now serve beer in plastic cups.

    “Fair enough if you think it is excessive. However hundreds of New zealanders are obviously not in agreement with you on that point. “

    ???

    What on Earth do you base that on? There is now very little control that New Zealanders have, in terms of hyper-commercialisation. So how you can posit that “hundreds of New zealanders are obviously not in agreement with you on that point” beggars belief.

    “You have also not dealt with any of my points about how the IRB relies on the revenue generated by the World cup, (i.e. the money stumped up by the ‘evil’ corporations you bemoan so much) to fund development in places like Georgia, Samoa, Canada, etc.”

    Because I asked you to back up the claims that you made. You declined, or ignored it. Hence, commenting on points that you raise, based on unsubstantiated claims, would give those unsubstantiated claims credence.

    “Of course we could go back to a pre 1995 situation where countries like Japan were being beaten by 100 odd points on a regular basis. Would you prefer that?”

    Is that a serious question? Sorry, I don’t even get the point you’re trying to make.

    • Gosman
      21 September 2011 at 9:32 am

      That should have read ‘hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders’ and is based on the number of New Zealanders who have attended games so far. Given they are seemingly enjoying the games and haven’t been revolted at the ‘gross commercialisation’ you think is happening and aren’t chucking cans around so far your dire predictions just look like doom mongering of the worse sort.

      I know my Rugby Union History. You haven’t dealt with any of the points I raised. Do you dispute that the All blacks were bleeding players to Australian and English Rugby League and were likely to lose more with the advent of Super League? Do you dispute that only three or four top teams were capable of beating each other regularly and that the lesser teams were being thrashed? Do you dispute that the game didn’t have an effective spectator precence outside internationals in most countries beyond New Zealand and South Africa? In short why do you think Rugby Union was in good health before the advent of professionalism?

      • 21 September 2011 at 8:29 pm

        Well, considering that the All Blacks won a “grand slam” against England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in one tour; and considering that the ABs won the World cup in 1987; and considering we didn’t go “Pro” until eight years later (1995) – I don’t think we were doing too badly, eh?

        As for the rest of your questions; I don’t doubt that you may have a better knowledge of the game or institution than I do.

        However, the OTT commercialisation of the RWC this year is a fact that others besides me have lamented. The debacle over the Adidas controversy is a fairly clear example of the of corporate greed in their extraordinary pursuit of the Holy Dollar.

        You cannot deny the damage to the Adidas brand caused by their mis-handling of the pricing issue, and their clumsy attempts to close down competition from overseas websites.

        Or the demand that St John cover up the ASB logo on their amulances and uniforms – simply to satisfy commercial dictats.

        Plus all the other examples above, which you haven’t addressed.

      • Gosman
        22 September 2011 at 8:50 am

        You don’t get it do you Frank?

        You fail to understand the commercialisation of the World Cup is not for New Zealand Rugby Union’s benefit.

        The World Cup is owned by the IRB. The IRB take ALL money from the event other than the ticket sales.

        It is the IRB who benefit from this money and use this money to improve the game throughout the world.

        Other than the Addidas issue, (and my opinion on that is that it is a commercial sale. You don’t want to pay a price for a Jersey don’t buy it), the stuff you raise were conditions of New Zealand hosting the Cup that we agreed with the IRB when we won the rights back in 2005.

        Do you remember when we lost the co-hosting rights to the 2003 event? Do you remember Trevor Mallard threatening to shove the World cup somewhere uncomfortable on the Aussie Rugby Union boss? The reason we lost the cup was because we couldn’t guarrantee the various commercial rules you bemoan. Why don’t you know this?

  7. 22 September 2011 at 9:00 am

    “(and my opinion on that is that it is a commercial sale. You don’t want to pay a price for a Jersey don’t buy it)”

    Realllly??? And pray tell, Gosman, how does one exercise their right to shop around for the cheaprest possible price when Adidas actively curtailed competition by removing purchase-delivery options for New Zealand-based buyers, from certain websites.

    “You fail to understand the commercialisation of the World Cup is not for New Zealand Rugby Union’s benefit.”

    What staggers me, Gosman is that you don’t realise the enormity of that statement.

    Nor do you take note of public reaction to the over-commercialisation and corporate control over the games.

    As for what Trevor Mallard did eight years ago—?!

    • Gosman
      22 September 2011 at 5:07 pm

      No you don’t understand why Trevor Mallard’s over reaction was raised. NZ lost the 2003 co-hosting rights for the very reason you are arguing we should be against here. The fact that we could not guarrantee commercially clean stadiums and environs. Australia did provide this guarrantee to the IRB and they took the entire tournament.

      When Helen Clark put her political weight behind winning the hosting rights back in 2005 it was done in the clear knowledge that all of the issues here , (aside from the Addidas one), you raise would occur. The IRB want to maximise the commercial return they get from the event as it is their main source of income for development of the game world wide.

      It is quite simple really Frank. If you don’t like paying the price for the Addidas top then don’t buy it. Buy a black jersey with a silver fern on it instead. It won’t be an All Black Jersey but that surely is okay with you isn’t it? You don’t need a brand name to feel connected to the national Rugby Union team surely?

  8. 22 September 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Gosman :

    No you don’t understand why Trevor Mallard’s over reaction was raised. NZ lost the 2003 co-hosting rights for the very reason you are arguing we should be against here. The fact that we could not guarrantee commercially clean stadiums and environs. Australia did provide this guarrantee to the IRB and they took the entire tournament.

    When Helen Clark put her political weight behind winning the hosting rights back in 2005 it was done in the clear knowledge that all of the issues here , (aside from the Addidas one), you raise would occur. The IRB want to maximise the commercial return they get from the event as it is their main source of income for development of the game world wide.

    It is quite simple really Frank. If you don’t like paying the price for the Addidas top then don’t buy it. Buy a black jersey with a silver fern on it instead. It won’t be an All Black Jersey but that surely is okay with you isn’t it? You don’t need a brand name to feel connected to the national Rugby Union team surely?

    “Mallard”? “Clark”?

    You’re deflecting again, Gosman. Mallard and Clark are not relelated to this piece any more than Key, McCully, or Uncle Tom Cobbly.

    Let’s stick to the issue here: the hyper-commercialisation of rugby in this country.

    The Adidas fiasco was but one issue I raised. There were plenty others.

    And on Radio NZ today, it was reported that an Auckland car dealer had to remove a “Go All Blacks” sign from his car-yard.

    Why?

    Because he dealt in Audis. Audi is not a sponsor of the RWC – Ford is. So the NZRU told him to take the sign down.

    But he was allowed to put up a new sign: “Go ABs”.

    Website Story: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rugby-2011/85898/sign-supporting-all-blacks-changed

    Or the lingerie shop that was told to remove her “All Black Lingerie Sale” sign. Anyone with two interconnected brain-cells understands that one of the most common colours for lingerie is: black. And why shouldn’t our own rugby team be supported in all kinds of creative, inventive ways?

    Now please tell me; in what Parallel Universe does that kind of sheer pig-headeness seem rational to you?

    Radio NZ then conducted a “vox populii” on the matter. Opinions followed one theme: the NZRU was over-the-top on this matter. And one woman stated, quite clearly; “the All Blacks belong to us New Zealanders”.

    Checkpoint Report: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2498529/rugby-union-clamps-down-on-trademark-free-riders.asx

    I suggest you listen to the Vox Populii – it gives you an insight how New Zealanders feel.

    I think that kind of sums it up, don’t you?

  9. Gosman
    23 September 2011 at 6:19 am

    You fail to understand what was agreed when we won the hosting rights. That is why I keep bringing up Mallard and Clark. They were the ones who agreed to put the weight of the Government behind the rules the IRB set down.

    Simple question for you Frank. Do you know what having ‘Clean’ stadiums and environs mean? That is what we agreed back in 2005. Answer that and you have the answer to the questions you keep raising.

    By the way it is incorrect to state the the All Bkacjs belong to all of us. They belong to the NZRFU, who are tasked with the role of running and promoting Rugby Union in this country. Following your logic someone who doesn’t like Rugby Union and has had nothing to do with the sport should have equal rights over the All Black brand as a life member of the NZRFU who has spent say 40 odd years supporting, playing, coaching, and adminstrating the game. That is just crazy.

    Sure the NZRFU has to be conscious of not alienating public support but there prime focus is ensuring the health of the game in the country. This means that they have to try and maximise revenues to keep the playing talent here. As much as you would like it top Rugby Union players don’t play just for the fun of the game anymore.

    • Who Gnu
      25 September 2011 at 2:45 pm

      You invested a lot of time in this argument Gosman, and none to your credit I might say. You’re either pedantically stupid or have a vested interest in this issue. Which is it?

  10. 25 September 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Gosman :

    By the way it is incorrect to state the the All Bkacjs belong to all of us. They belong to the NZRFU, who are tasked with the role of running and promoting Rugby Union in this country. Following your logic someone who doesn’t like Rugby Union and has had nothing to do with the sport should have equal rights over the All Black brand as a life member of the NZRFU who has spent say 40 odd years supporting, playing, coaching, and adminstrating the game. That is just crazy.

    Sure the NZRFU has to be conscious of not alienating public support but there prime focus is ensuring the health of the game in the country. This means that they have to try and maximise revenues to keep the playing talent here. As much as you would like it top Rugby Union players don’t play just for the fun of the game anymore.

    I think most New Zealanders would take issue with you on the “All Bkacjs” [sic] not belonging to us all, and if anything the NZRU are simply guardians of one of the most iconic institutions in this country. If you think I’m wrong – pause and consider if the NZRU would be able to sell the All Black team to another country.

    Do you think they’d get away with it?

    As for maximising revenue, there is a difference between what I’ve said above, in my main piece (which you seem to have over-looked) and your straw-man argument.

    At any rate, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  11. Hutcho
    29 September 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Good read, just picked up your link on stuff. There are some sad tales in this article. Local businesses being screwed like that and St Johns ambulance getting the stand over treatment is an ugly look. Amazing how a name synonymous with rugby in your country is now a registered and protected trademark (I won’t type it here just in case). I seriously see a black jersey these days and automatically think Adidas Blacks.

    Makes me vomit a little everytime I hear someone mention the QANTAS Wallabies or whatever they call our team now.

    Gosman, you are a mental lightweight.

  12. 2 October 2011 at 8:52 am

    Hutcho :

    Good read, just picked up your link on stuff. There are some sad tales in this article. Local businesses being screwed like that and St Johns ambulance getting the stand over treatment is an ugly look. Amazing how a name synonymous with rugby in your country is now a registered and protected trademark (I won’t type it here just in case). I seriously see a black jersey these days and automatically think Adidas Blacks.

    Makes me vomit a little everytime I hear someone mention the QANTAS Wallabies or whatever they call our team now…

    Indeed, Hutcho. The case of St. John’s ambulance was perhaps one of the strangest of all the cases. They are a non-profit organisation and – as far as I know – do not charge for their presence at sporting fixtures. (I may be corrected on this.)

    I wonder what the WRC organisers would have done had St John’s replied, “stuff you then – sort out your para-medics. Pay for a private firm to supply this service”?

    Every time I see a “Go All Blacks” sign now, my first thought is, “Is that legal? Is the WRC going to come down on these people?”. When that’s the first association I have with a ‘brand’ – then it’s obvious that something has turned to custard…

    It will be interesting to see if any major WRC sponsor(s) decline any further association in future events?

  1. 2 September 2011 at 2:43 pm
  2. 16 September 2011 at 10:07 am

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