The Star gives fanatical NSW fans ‘Smartwig’ for State of Origin game

A ‘Smartwig’ with live cross overs to the NSW Blues locker rooms, live commentary from Triple M, and exclusive interviews with past NRL legends, is the centrepiece for a State of Origin campaign by The Star Sydney.

Created by sports, media and entertainment agency Kind, in partnership with Bashful, the campaign aims to give The Blatchys Blues, a group of die-hard supporters of the NSW Blues, a special experience for the home leg of this year’s State of Origin on June 21.

Now in its third year, The Star’s sponsorship with the NSW Rugby League and the Blatchys Blues will include a wearable technology offering which sits within the iconic blue wig worn at each match by the group.

The Smartwigs, which will be given out to the 12,000 Blatchys ticket holders at ANZ stadium before game two of the State of Origin, connects to an exclusive radio station which features six hours of exclusive content, hosted by former Blues stars Nathan Hindmarsh and Bryan Fletcher (Fletch and Hindy).

Fletch and Hindy will also communicate directly to the Blatchys to organise co-ordinated movements at key moments of the match, and an LED antenna is also connected to light up the supporters when the lights go down.

While the content will run throughout the game, it will be played at strategic points pre, during and post match, to make sure fans get to be part of the action.

Commenting ahead of the launch, Melinda Madigan, general manager of marketing and entertainment at the Star Sydney told Mumbrella: “We want to give them something no one else can have, it supports the proposition of them actually being a Blatchys Blues.

“It gives them another part of an experience and the only way you can get that is being a fan. The Star is really supporting and investing in that hard core passion of the Blues and sport, which is so important to our brand.

“We thought what better way to deeply integrate into that passion of the Blues, align ourselves with our local spirit brand, and really engage and leverage our key partnership with the NSW Rugby League in creating something new.

“At the end of the day we are not in here just to amplify our brand for the sake of amplifying our brand. We want to deliver those thrilling experiences, on property and off property,” she said.

“The Blues were delighted because essentially it’s going to help them amplify the value of the Batchy’s Blues proposition in the stadium.”

The “We bleed blue” campaign also features a promotional ad, a microsite with Smartwig ambassador and NSW Blue player, Aaron Woods, and activations across The Star’s locations, including the 24/7 sports bar and the logo in front of The Star’s main building in Pyrmont.

While the 12,000 wigs can be taken home, the radio and lights will only work at game two. Standard Blatchys wigs will be offered to fans at games one and three of the series, which are being played in Brisbane.

Asked about whether The Star would look to continue this wearable technology in future, Madigan said it was a possibility.

“We are not only looking at it for in stadium, we are looking for it in our 24/7 sports bar. We have thousands of people who come to watch the three games in our sports bar. We are potentially looking to take that in addition to being on property,” she said.

Madigan said the new campaign reinforces The Star’s core pillars – “brilliant experiences and local spirit.”

“This is a wonderful platform to amplify that and amplify it in a genuine way,” Madigan said.

The front of The Star Sydney

The campaign is being supported by the NSW rugby league, NRL, Triple M and The Daily Telegraph.

Top marketers will be sharing their wisdom at the Sports Marketing Summit at the Sydney Cricket Ground on June 21. Earlybird tickets end tomorrow. For more details and the program click the banner below.


  • KIND – Strategy, Account Management & PR
  • CEO: Paul Kind
  • Account Director: Chris Leffers
  • Bashful – Strategy and Creative
  • Creative Director: Tim Chenery
  • Copywriter: Jason Kempen
  • Art Director: Dan Leraci
  • Strategy: Guy Marshall
  • Digital: Garreth Wills


  • Photographer – Gary Sheppard
  • Heckler – Launch Film
  • Executive Producer: Will Alexander
  • Director: Tim Kindler
  • Producers: Charu Menon, Mukul Kandara
  • Colourist: Greg Constantaras
  • 3D team: Max McMullin, Tim Jarick, Marco Chau
  • Compositors: Bertrand Polivka, Younguck Ha, Shane Miranda
  • Online: Maxence Peillon
  • Rumble Studios – Sound
  • Sound Designer: Cam Milne

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