Dr Mumbo

Wellington comes to Wollongong, sponsors and all

Brands agree to sign sponsorship agreements with sporting teams for a number of different reasons. They might want to be associated with a successful team, or simply get their logo across the eyeballs of thousands of hyped-up sports fans as they watch games either in-person or on TV.

But when New Zealand-based sponsors of the Wellington Phoenix signed on with the team, it’s unlikely that the plan was to have prime brand advertising 2,221km away from the target audience, in front of people living in an entirely different country.

So  why is this the case? Well, the Phoenix compete in Australia’s professional football competition, the A-League, and until further notice are based in Wollongong, south of Sydney.

This left dedicated sports fans like Dr Mumbo – who watched the game against Sydney safely with a mask on and socially distanced from other fans at Win Stadium over the weekend – distracted from the game itself by advertising for NZ-based companies like CloudCreator, Go Media, Revera and Sky Sport.

While the Phoenix, the A-League and Win Stadium itself did appear to have some partnerships with the odd local company, it was pretty fun to see ads placed around the stadium on boards and screens for Absolutely Positively Wellington being pitched to Aussies who can’t travel there, as well as other local Wellington businesses like Emporio Coffee and Exodus Health, as well as the New Zealand Campus Of Innovation And Sport.

To be fair, the advertising would still have been hitting key demographics on television, with the game broadcast in New Zealand on Sky.

Perhaps the egg will be on Dr Mumbo’s face when the New Zealand travel bubble finally opens (no guesses as to when that will be) and swathes of Wollongong folk start taking holidays or even moving across the ditch en masse.

The Kiwi-targeted advertising wasn’t the only odd part of the game, with another moment leaving broadcaster Fox Sports red faced.

Adding insult to injury for the Phoenix, Fox Sports experienced a significant technical issue as the home-away-from-home team scored its only goal of the game. Vision was lost entirely as Fox’s commentators described the goal.

At least the Wellington social media team saw the funny side of the issue…


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