The one to beat.

All Blacks / Brand Evolution

Grow Brand, Engagement + Protection.

All Blacks 2

The All Blacks are a global brand, and New Zealand’s most valuable sporting asset. The prestige of the All Blacks has shifted significantly – from national icon to a truly international brand. The challenge laid down to DNA was to help secure and protect core New Zealand Rugby intellectual property internationally; to organise a constellation of assets in to a family of brands and to extend the whole brand portfolio's articulation and expression both nationally and internationally. 

Key sponsor, licensee and Media revenue streams depended on the All Blacks brand being instantly recognised and legally defensible. NZ Rugby sought to grow a global fan-base and future merchandising revenue streams. As part of the global rugby community, brand strength links to leverage in revenue and rights, inclusion in global competitions and relationships.



Going global – The All Blacks are respected by rivals, sought out by partners and universally loved by fans globally

Grass-roots to elite – Few other brands command such attention and inspire such extraordinary pride among the New Zealand public, and the global rugby community

Revenue Upside – The new brand has given NZ Rugby a stronger negotiating position, greater fan engagement and extensive new merchandising/digital revenue opportunities

Brand architecture – The name, architecture, and mark grew protection – created a family of brands that were distinct, aligned and like no other property in global rugby

Overcome barriers – The silver fern – a potent symbol of national pride that is unable to be trademarked – was retained but modified

IP enhanced – Unlocked a significant improvement in IP due to new brand assets and approach which had positive forward revenue impacts 

 Future proof – Clear strategy developed to transcend the peaks and troughs of on-field performance – this is central to the essence and delivery of the brand ‘on and off’ the field.



> The brand is now protected – without impinging on other organisation’s right to use the silver fern

> DNA worked closely with New Zealand Rugby to evolve a brand that honoured the All Blacks' proud heritage, while allowing it to mature in to one of the world's truly global sports brands

> The brand system is thoroughly documented and works robustly across the multitude of applications – from the Playing strip (jersey) to billboards, collateral, merchandise through to broadcast and online

> Brand architecture, new assets and role clarity increased the protection of sponsor and licensee rights and created a family of brands that are distinct, aligned and like no other property in global rugby

> Removing the words ‘New Zealand’ from the team’s name was highly controversial but it allowed the marque to give more emphasis to the mana and power in the name

> DNA managed to reconcile three different imperatives; 

> Strengthen and modernise the visual expression of the brand mark; carry forward the unique heritage value it enjoyed; and be distinct enough for the New Zealand Rugby to trademark and protect in global markets.


> DNA reviewed all national team identities, workshopped the options for evolution across core factors; heritage, values, brand distinction and modernisation

> We undertook In-depth research on emerging Rugby markets and commercial opportunity was mapped against the brand territories and assessed for an IP value or risk

> Team definition, the player continuum and global brand architecture re-written – resulting in a more unified and distinct set of properties and assets

> Brand strategy for the international teams and grass-roots, community and the womens game delivered

> A unique typeface was developed, creating a brand device that can be protected by trademark and able to stand alone when necessary (this bespoke font is central to the New Zealand Rugby family of brands)

> Presented Board with options and detailed discussion surrounding the implications of each option, the robustness of protection from each approach, the complexities inherent in rollout and the other avenues available

> Brand creation followed by guidelines, creation of additional brand properties and digital integration.

The Challenge

How might we secure and protect our core IP internationally.

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The Numbers


Grew a significant improvement in IP due to new brand assets and approach which had positive forward revenue impacts.

*We can’t be more specific as its commercially sensitive - but its impressive.

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  • Brand Experience
  • Collateral Systems
  • Corporate Identity
  • Event Design
  • Identity Design Systems
  • Integrated Communication
  • Packaging / Merchandising
  • Signage Systems