Adidas Gets a (All) Black Eye Just Before the Rugby World Cup Reply


Should citizens of the Rugby World Cup host nation have to pay more than double for their beloved All Blacks Jersey? 

Adidas seemed to think so.  According to an online article, Adidas cancelled its glitzy party amid a pricing row over the All Blacks jersey.  Fans are upset that as residents of New Zealand they must pay NZ$220 for their All Blacks jersey but online the same product can be purchased for NZ$98.  Adidas brilliant response was to try and prevent New Zealanders from being bale to purchase the jersey online.  When that failed, the second response was to cancel the party.

Reputationally speaking, why would a sports company like Adidas pay the big dollars to sponsor the host nation’s team then turn around and gouge its citizens who want to wear the jersey?  To this American, the move seems a little bit like trying to charge double for an American flag on the run-up to July 4.

The smart move would have been to apologize immediately, but now that the company is back on its heels any apology will likely seem forced rather than sincere. 

The good news for our friends in New Zealand is that access to the online stores has been restored and they can again buy at the lower price.  This same article suggests (no conclusive evidence seems available) that the jersey costs approximately $8 to manufacture. 

Oxfam New Zealand executive director Barry Coates agreed.

“We know about how the jerseys are made in Thailand and China. From our understanding of the labour costs side of it, that sounds about right, but we don’t have any primary information on it.

“However, we’ve heard nothing to say that there’s any extremely expensive materials to justify a $220 selling price.”

Coates said workers were typically paid around $1 an hour in factories in Asia. He said companies needed to calculate and pay its workers a living wage, as the minimum wage in developing countries was often much less.

You can join the Boycott Adidas Facebook page here if you find all this truly distasteful.  Of course if there are any corrections or updates tot he story, I shall post them here.

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