NZ Sevens are still 'All Blacks'
REACTION: The public debate surrounding the All Black brand's link to New Zealand's national Sevens team took another twist on Saturday.
NZ Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew dismissed the suggestion that the Sevens and Maori teams will no longer be able to call themselves 'All Blacks.
In the wake of controversy after the Sevens team crashed out of the Olympic medal hunt in Rio, Tew says there will be no review of the decision to attach the All Black name to a number of teams.
Tew says wider use of the All Black name is a vital part of the revenue-gathering strategy.
While he acknowledged the team did not meet the high standards they had set at the Olympics, Tew believed one bad result did not harm the All Blacks brand in a "meaningful way".
Tew told Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch: "The reality is whether we branded the team or otherwise it would have been called the All Blacks - every team which pulls on the black jersey outside of our country is thought of as the All Blacks.
"Have we damaged the brand in any meaningful way? I'd like to think not."
Japan, who beat the New Zealand Sevens team in their opening match at the Olympic, have been the surprise package of this tournament.
Some suggested the result would cause damage to the history of success and quality associated with the All Black brand.
However, Tew disputed those claims and confirmed to Radio Sport the teams would retain the name because of the financial benefits it offered.
"The economic reality is if we are going to generate the revenue we need internationally to survive in this very competitive game we have to have more collateral in the market than we can possibly dream of with just the All Blacks," he told Radio Sport from Rio.
"So our Sevens teams and our Maori All Blacks can give us leverage to get sponsorship and brand awareness we require.
"The English clubs have just done a deal which gives them a hell of a lot more money to buy players. The French TV deal has cashed up the French clubs. The pressure on our players continues.
"The All Black brand has been built up over a hundred years of success. Our Sevens team have contributed to that...16 out of 18 or 20 world series tournament, four Commonwealth Games medals in a row.
"This will be a dent but it is every time a New Zealand team wearing the black jersey loses. We've got a very strong brand and will continue to build on it."
Sources: Newstalk ZB & Radio Sport