Keeping the Boks dry

THERE wasn’t much room to spare at the Stockade in Perth last week when the entire South African rugby union squad, the Springboks, filed in to be fitted for Driza-Bone coats ahead of the big game this Saturday.

It might seem puzzling that Driza-Bone, the oldest sponsor of the Australian Rugby Union team, is fitting out the Springboks in the ‘Australian Legend’, but it’s more about the fans than the players.

Driza-Bone has capitalised on the madness that grips millions of Australian and South African sports fans every weekend through the winter to market its unique waterproof coats.

Driza-Bone managing director John Maguire said there were many positive marketing spin offs from making the Driza-Bone coats part of the Springboks’ official outfit.

“The rugby players tend to be peer group leaders and people look up to the individuals and emulate them in a number of ways,” Driza-Bone managing director John Maguire said.

Driza-Bone don’t invest heavily in direct advertising such as television, press or radio, preferring to concentrate its activities on sponsorship deals where the brand is aligned with other high profile, highly televised events.

As a result of a relatively small investment, Driza-Bone generates international exposure for its brand through both the players and at the actual games via ground signage.

Mr Maguire claims the Wallabies are not concerned the sponsorship deal with the Springboks will erode their relationship with Driza-Bone.

“The Australian Rugby Union actually assisted Driza-Bone by introducing them to the right people,” Mr Maguire said.

“We recognised a good market was the people who watched sport and we recognised the potential (in South Africa) early … where rugby is an international game, so we linked up with the Springboks.”

As the biggest retailer of Driza-Bones in WA, Lew Clarke, owner of the Stockade in Perth, was happy to present coats to the South African rugby union squad.

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