I've been impressed with Brownie's performances
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has been forced to apologise on behalf of the franchise for a failed marketing campaign.
Fans are filthy after being left disappointed by the much-publicised 'high profile' signing which turned out to be Tony Brown as assistant coach.
Joseph says he wasn't involved in the campaign, but they're sorry.
"I got a lot of texts myself saying who's the high-profile signing, and I've been in a meeting for the last three days, so I just thought it was my friends taking the Mickey," the Highlanders coach said.
"Having said that, for us as a team it's pretty high profile because he's been a success story in his short term in coaching."
Joseph says it was a ploy to conjure up much-needed interest in the side after their failed season this year.
The Highlanders announced Brown's signing on Thursday.
The former Highlanders and Otago player, Brown, is Otago's NPC coach.
"I've been impressed with Brownie's performances with Otago over the last couple of years; the team has played with a lot of character and he has shown a great ability to get the best out of his players," Joseph said.
"I'm looking forward to having his input in the coaching mix for 2014."
As a player Brown played 90 games for the Highlanders in a career that spanned from 1996 to 2011.
He returned to the Highlanders in 2011 as injury cover at flyhalf, and the following year took up a two-year head coaching role with the Otago NPC team.
Brown had immediate success with Otago, taking them to the finals series in both 2012 and 2013 and also winning the Ranfurly Shield for the first time in 56 years.
Highlanders' General Manager, Roger Clark congratulated Brown on his coaching appointment.
"Tony has proven his coaching ability at NPC Cup and Japanese Top-League level, and we're thrilled he is joining the Highlanders' coaching team for 2014," Clark said.
"It's also pleasing from a franchise-wide point of view that there is a clear coaching pathway from NPC Cup to Super Rugby level."
Brown will continue in his role as the coach for the Otago NPC Cup team.
The Highlanders begin their season with a home match at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday, February 22 against the Blues.