Although New Zealand exists as a small, peripheral nation (with a population of 4.3 million) in the global economy, it offers a unique site through which to examine the complex, but uneven, interplay between global forces and long-standing national traditions and cultural identities.
This book, authored by Jay Scherer (University of Alberta, Canada) and Steve Jackson (University of Otago, New Zealand) examines the profound impact of globalization on the national sport of rugby and New Zealand's iconic team, the All Blacks.
Since 1995, the national sport of rugby has undergone significant change, most notably due to the New Zealand Rugby Union's lucrative and ongoing corporate partnerships with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and global sportswear giant, Adidas. The authors explore these significant developments and pressure alongside the resulting tensions and contradictions that have emerged as the All Blacks, and other aspects of national heritage and indigenous identity have been steadily incorporated into a global promotional culture.
Following recent research in cultural studies, they highlight the intensive, but contested, commodification of the All Blacks to illuminate the ongoing transformation of rugby in New Zealand by corporate imperatives and the imaginations of marketers, most notably through the production of a complex discourse of corporate nationalism within Adidas's evolving local and global advertising campaigns.
Jay Scherer, associate professor
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Steve Jackson, professor
University of Otago, New Zealand