Current and former Super Rugby stars say they would love to see players’ names featured on the back of Super Rugby Pacific game shirts.
Speaking on the Aotearoa Rugby PodCrusaders halfback Bryn Hall and former Blues hooker James Parsons backed the concept, which has become commonplace in professional sports around the world.
Teams competing in top sporting competitions such as the NBA, NFL and Premier League have benefited immensely from having the names of marquee players on the back of their jerseys, shirts and game shirts for many decades. now.
Even in rugby, the use of player names on the back of shirts has been used by clubs in European competitions like the Premiership, as well as countries participating in the World Sevens Series circuit.
However, Super Rugby teams have yet to adopt such a feature, which Hall says could be a lucrative marketing tool.
“I’m a huge supporter of American sports,” said Hall, a five-time Super Rugby champion with the Crusaders. Aotearoa Rugby Pod.
“If you look at a Tom Brady and the likes of these players, the really high-end players in the NFL, the amount of tradable money that they make for their clubs, just because of the sale of their jerseys, is tremendous. .
“I know for us as players it would be great to see that and to be able to have fans that you can see just walking down the street and they have your name on their back and that’s really cool to see.
“I’m not too sure if the [New Zealand] The Rugby Players Association and New Zealand Rugby could collaborate to get an idea if this could be done as I know it can make you a lot of money.
“He’s been seen in the NFL, baseball, all over America, and you see him in the fields, you see [fans] turn their backs and put their favorite players they have on the back of their shirts.
“For us as players, I know we really enjoy it. I would love for that to happen, and maybe it’s something that can happen in the future, hopefully.
Parsons, the former Blues captain and centurion who now works as player services manager for the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association, said earlier discussions had taken place over the idea of names for play shirts in Super Rugby.
However, the former All Blacks two-Test hooker told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod that those conversations fell flat for reasons unknown to him.
Nonetheless, Parsons added that he also likes the concept, as long as the numbers on the game shirts remain unchanged, unlike in other sports where players can choose which number they wear.
“I’m a fan of names, but I’d like the numbers to stay. I wouldn’t want to go as far as guys picking their own number,” Parsons told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.
“As you know, I’m a traditionalist, so keeping the fabric of our game going throughout development would be key for me, but I think it’s a great idea.
“We see it time and time again, as you both brought up with the NBA and the NFL. I bought many shirts and tops to connect with the team or a certain player, so I think that would be exciting.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about it before, but it just hasn’t materialized, so it’s definitely something we can put in the blender as we look to move forward. forward with Super Rugby and our other teams.”
Hall agreed with the assertion that the numbers on playing shirts should not change, but noted that Super Rugby Pacific teams could go further and introduce throwback shirts as another way to increase their profitability.
“The Warriors are doing it really, really well,” Hall told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod of the New Zealand-based NRL club.
“I don’t know how many shirts they have, they have that many shirts, but I loved seeing that legacy, that grand final shirt that they wore. [last] weekend against the Roosters.
“Again, it’s something you can reconnect with the people who are gone. [before you]. You look at the Warriors team from 2002 and they can see it, and then the players are able to represent that knowing what the jersey meant all that time ago.
“I’ve even seen on some social media sites, whether it’s legend Marty Banks or different Instagram handles, being able to see fans who have created heritage jerseys.
“I even saw them as players and we were like, ‘Man these are really cool shirts, we wouldn’t mind playing in these shirts for a ride or a legacy ride or whatever. “. I really think there is money to be made in this space.
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