New Zealand Rugby (NZR) are not planning to remove the All Blacks moniker from its Sevens and Maori teams.
Like the country’s famous 15-a-side national team, the aforementioned sides were given the name in 2012 as part of a rebranding strategy, although it hasn’t always had the approval of some sections of New Zealand’s rugby community.
And calls to scrap the name intensified after New Zealand Men’s poor performance at the Rio Olympics where they suffered a humiliating defeat to Japan in their first match and then bowed out in the quarter-finals to eventual winners Fiji.
Critics have suggested that New Zealand’s poor performance at the Olympics would damage the success and quality associated with the All Blacks brand.
NZR chief executive Steve Tew disputes those claims, however, and said the teams would retain the name because of the financial benefits it offered.
“The economic reality is if we are going to generate the revenue we need internationally to survive in this very competitive game we have to have more collateral in the market than we can possibly dream of with just the All Blacks,” he told Radio Sport.
“So our sevens teams and our Maori All Blacks … can give us leverage to get sponsorship and brand awareness we require. The English clubs have just done a deal which gives them a hell of a lot more money to buy players.
“The French TV deal has cashed up the French clubs. The pressure on our players continues.”
Tew acknowledged the poor showing of New Zealand’s Men’s team did not meet the high standards associated with the brand but feels one bad result did not harm thebrand in a “meaningful way”.