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DDB Aotearoa and Steinlager Give Regular Kiwis the Opportunity to be (Virtual) Sport Stars

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Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry helped launch the campaign with an Alt Blacks recruitment video and appeared on The Project

DDB Aotearoa and Steinlager Give Regular Kiwis the Opportunity to be (Virtual) Sport Stars

Steinlager and DDB Group Aotearoa NZ have teamed up with the All Blacks to launch the Steinlager Alt Blacks: a team of 23 legendary everyday Kiwis who’ll be digitally immortalised in one of rugby’s most popular video games – Rugby Challenge 4.

The Steinlager Alt Blacks were announced last week with an integrated campaign encouraging regular, everyday Kiwis to take the chance to pull on a black jersey and take on South Africa in a live-streamed eSports match.

The campaign celebrates everyday greatness and the spirit of Kiwi supporters with a virtual rugby team, an alternative to the world-famous All Blacks.

DDB worked alongside Mediacom and Mango to launch the campaign, kicking it off with a 30 second film that encourages Kiwis, regardless of their size, sex or total lack of sporting ability, to apply to be a Steinlager Alt Black.

Mango enlisted legendary former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry to act as the Alt Blacks team selector and campaign spokesperson. Sir Graham helped launch the campaign with an Alt Blacks recruitment video and appeared on The Project, along with additional national media appearances across radio, print and online reaching more than one million Kiwis at campaign launch.

Off the back of the launch activity, thousands of Kiwis headed to the Steinlager Alt Blacks website to enter for the chance to join the virtual team.

Following the selection process, announced 21st September, 23rd lucky Kiwis will be sized up for the creation of their virtual character.  

The 3D-modeled virtual avatars that make up the Steinlager Alt Blacks will take part in the Rugby Challenge 4 eSports game on 2nd October, orchestrated in partnership with Let’s Play Live, with professional gamers and All Black Jack Goodhue, controlling both teams. The game will be live-streamed on the Steinlager and All Blacks social channels, and the Twitch eSports platform.

Steinlager senior brand manager Kerry McKenzie says Steinlager has been a sponsor of the All Blacks for more than 30 years and was looking for a new way to connect with Kiwis, particularly the growing number of whom love to play video games.

“The All Blacks are the most famous and revered rugby team in the world, and we wanted to celebrate our longstanding partnership through something unique that appeals to a vast audience. The Steinlager Alt Blacks makes it possible for everyday New Zealanders – teachers, tradies, and everything in between – to experience the thrill of virtually wearing the famous black jersey.

“Just days into the campaign it’s clear how well it is resonating with New Zealanders. Having Graham Henry on board has made it even more exciting, and we can’t wait to find out who our 23 Steinlager Alt Blacks will be.”

DDB Group Aotearoa NZ executive creative director Gary Steele says the integrated, digital-led campaign is a creative way to turn more Kiwis into national heroes.

“We know many Kiwis dream of becoming an All Black, but for most of us, it’s just not an option. Through this innovative campaign, we have delivered something that inspires a generation of Kiwis to keep that dream alive – albeit virtually.

“The campaign showcases our capabilities in providing world-class creative and strategic thinking to deliver on our client’s objectives. Integrated with PR through our collaboration with Mango and MediaCom, the results have already been impressive and we’re looking forward to seeing the final team.”

The campaign launched on 23rd August with a multi-channel recruitment phase. This is integrated across AV, Digital, Social, OOH and press. 

To apply to be a Steinlager Alt Black visit

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Client credits: STEINLAGER

Brand Director – Beer: Jeremy Meech

Senior Brand Manager: Kerry McKenzie

Brand Manager: Lauren Dyke

Digital Brand Manager: Kate Butler

Digital Marketing Manager: Matt Monk



Executive Creative Director: Gary Steele

Creative Director: James Conner and Christie Cooper

Art Director: Josep Jover

Copywriter: Jacob Newton

Group Account Director: Jenny Travers

Accout Director: Kristina Lyndsay

Account Manager: Margot Ruldoph

Planning Director: Lucinda Sherborne

Planner: Natassja Cox

Agency Integrated Producer: Melissa Ching

Print Producer: Julz Lane

Mac Designer: Kathryn Hollis

Head of Digital Delivery: Johannes Gertz

Head of Digital Design: Dean Pomfrett

Digital Designer: Kelsey Watson

Motion Designer & Art Director: Marcin Sulewski

Senior Full Stack Developer: Emmanuel Odorisio

Head of Motion Design: Mark Tretheway

Motion Designer: Ethan Wilson

Content Creator: Trent Hall

Post Production: DDB

Senior Editor: Mike Hammond

Audio Engineer: Milon Williams


General Manager: Sean Brown

Group Business Director: Kat Day

Senior Account Director: Max Burt

Account Manager: Jessica Morris

Digital Director: Jade Kaukau


Media: MediaCom

Business Director: Stephen Larsen

Group Account Director: Alice Franklin

Senior Account Manager: Amy McKinnon

Senior Digital Account Manager: George Coslett


Production Company: Flying Fish

Executive Producer: James Moore

Producer: Rachel Blimpied

Director: James Solomon

DOP: Drew McGeorge

Sills photography: Malcom Campbell

Wicked Witch

Genres: People

Categories: Beers, Alcoholic Beverages

DDB New Zealand, Thu, 02 Sep 2021 10:56:22 GMT