It is infamous within the sport. A symbol of the total dominance the All Blacks have over the sport both on the field and commercially.
The All Blacks are the national rugby union team of New Zealand. One of the only places in the world where rugby union is classed as the national sport.
As a team, they are unmatched, a 77% winning record in test matches plus they hold the joint record for longest winning streak of 17 matches alongside England. They also hold the record for the longest period ranked as the number 1 nation globally. In fact they have been ranked number 1 for longer than the rest of the world combined!!
Their Rugby World Cup record is of course equally as impressive. They won the inaugural tournament in 1987 on home soil, as well as back to back wins in 2011 and 2015. They are the only team to have won the trophy on three occasions.
In the period between 1987 and 2011 they also featured heavily across quarter finals and semi-finals. Only coming unstuck by some truly heroic performances.
The All Blacks are the biggest show in town, commanding the biggest crowds and raising the ‘game’ of the opposing teams. If anyone is to beat the All Blacks they really have to be at their very best and still pray for a miracle.
It is thought the All Blacks have been wearing a completely black uniform of shirt, socks and shorts since 1901, hence the teams name. When the team encounters a kit clash the team sports an 'away' shirt which is predominantly white with black shorts.
Canterbury, a company founded in New Zealand and synonymous with Rugby supplied the All Blacks kit from 1924 to 1999. Adidas took over the reins in 1999 and have been supplying the All Blacks ever since. The current deal will take the long standing partnership through to 2023.
In 2012 the All Blacks took the somewhat controversial decision to accept a sponsorship placement on the front of the shirt. Commonplace for all other nations however the All Blacks jersey has remained largely clear of sponsorship. In an increasingly commercialised game it came as no surprise. The deal with American insurance company AIG is rumoured to be valued at $80 million over 5 years.
On the 1st of July 2019 The All Blacks unveiled their rugby shirt for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The tournament kicks-off in September in Japan. The shirt was designed by Y-3‘s legendary Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto who looked to fuse Japanese and Maori cultures. He said “We wanted to create a jersey that brought together the Japanese and Maori cultures. The design bears hand-drawn koru and fern motifs in a celebration of Maori culture.”
In terms of performance, the RWC shirt is 25% lighter than previous shirts thanks to seamless technology and a fully automated production process.
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