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In December 2023, Classic Sportswear became the official apparel supplier to the New Zealand Super Rugby Clubs. Replacing a long standing incumbent is never an easy task, but one that the Classic team were more than keen to take on. With their focus in apparel technology and fan appreciation, they were the natural choice for the job.



Our strategic process started with a deep dive into the history of Super Rugby. Since ‘96, Super Rugby has been the pinnacle national rugby competition in New Zealand, with star players, big hits and unbelievable tries. But we noticed that you could find all of these things at most games of rugby across the world. So what was it that made Super Rugby the spectacle that it is?

The ideation behind the campaign came after recognising that the essence and thrill of Super Rugby extended beyond the game itself and the players on the field. Never before had Super Rugby or a Super Rugby apparel supplier celebrated and championed the true reason of what makes the game of rugby super. 

The fans.

If it wasn’t for the fans, Super Rugby would just be… Rugby.

We wanted to put fans at the forefront of the campaign, celebrating their dedication and love of the game.


It was paramount that the campaign was effective across all generations. The message needed to bridge the gap between fans of all ages who share a common passion for rugby.


Combining the history and tradition from longtime supporters and die-hard fans, with the idea of self-expression and individuality from our youngest generations, we landed on the tagline: “You Define Super.”

"You Define Super" is a celebration of fan empowerment, highlighting the pivotal role fans play in making the game of rugby super. By cheering from the sidelines, supporting your team and showing your true colours, the fans transform what would be just a simple game of rugby, to a game of Super Rugby. Without the fans, Super Rugby is just rugby.


Super Rugby Jerseys aren't just a piece of clothing; they're a fan's way of expressing their love for the game and the passion they have for their club. Each and every fan defines their passion and love for their team in their own unique way. From simply wearing their team's beanie or jersey, to full-on body paint and tattoos, each fan defines their support in a way that they want to. "You Define Super" resonates with the concept that by wearing club merchandise the way you want to, you make it super. Merchandise is what transforms people into fans.

For longtime supporters and die-hard fans, “You Define Super” celebrates their enduring dedication and support, and the pivotal role they’re played in shaping the game. Over the years, they’ve witnessed immense transformation across the rugby landscape. They’ve seen the evolution of what was Super 12 in ‘96, to the spectacle that is Super Rugby today. To this generation, they have defined what it means to be super.

On the other hand, the younger generation is drawn to the idea of self-expression and individuality. "You Define Super" steers clear of directive language that forces them to think, act or be a certain way, letting them shape their rugby experience as they envision. “You Define Super” is an open-ended approach that invites this generation to define what Super Rugby means to them personally, creating a stronger bond and enduring connection with the game.


The objective of the graphic design was to create appeal to a wider target audience than usual for this type of campaign. To attract all fans, we wanted to prioritise the minority; e.g. young fans, female fans, those who don’t fit into the stereotypical demographic. Creating a look and feel that attracts this minority, but that isn’t polarising to long-term fans. 

Trendy + Nostalgic. 

The key to this objective was taking inspiration from 1990s sport design. Appealing to a sense of nostalgia for the older target audience and trendy retro fashion aesthetics for the younger audience. This direction was also a nod to the beginnings of Super Rugby, in 1996. 

Strong photography does the heavy lifting in these designs, with all other visual elements minimalistic and complementary to let the imagery shine. 

Typography draws inspiration from the past, but sits firmly in the present. The combination of serif and sans serif creates that classic contemporary look, serif display text creating a softness and warmth not typically seen in sport design. The scripted ‘Classic’ signature adds an extra personal touch and texture to the designs, adding to the idea of authenticity and keeping Classic front of mind. 

Team colours are simplified as much as possible, and colour is stripped completely back in mixed designs, to avoid clashing or distraction from the photography.



Photography was the most important aspect of this campaign, where our messaging is really communicated and carried through. The photography heroes imagery of players and fans alike modelling the brand new jersey designs.

We opted to reach out to clubs and select real fans as talent, rather than professional sportswear models, to bring a genuine authenticity to the campaign. Reflecting the wide range of real NZ rugby fans. 

The primary campaign designs featured three images for each club: Stars in Sportswear, Isolated Kit and Fan Style. 

Stars in Sportswear features players in traditional playing kit - a chance for fans to see their favourite players backing the new designs, providing star power to the campaign. 


Isolated Kit gives a chance for the jersey design to shine, showing off unique details that can get lost in the portrait shots. The grass field, stadium seats, or urban concrete backgrounds act as a bridge to connect textures in the portrait photos either side, and this photo also serves to break up the busy-ness of the other shots. 

Fan Style shots are the most important of the three to sell the campaign messaging. They show real fans styling the jerseys in their own way, ‘defining super’. The street fashion styling contrasts the player photographs, stands out from other typical sportswear campaigns and lets fans show their individual personalities. Fans are shot in local rugby clubs as a nod to the history of the sport and thank you to the grassroots supporters who built the game. 

Behind the scenes of Classic Sportswear Shoots, on 35mm


The campaign hero video is a tribute to the fans, acknowledging how their dedication has built rugby into what it is today. This story is told through a home-video style montage, invoking nostalgic memories, what it feels like to be a fan. This nostalgic montage builds up to switch into the present day, revealing our fans standing proud in the new kit designs. 


It’s one thing to say that fans are an important part of this campaign and have strong messaging to communicate how central they are to the fabric of rugby in Aotearoa, but it’s another to show it!

Classic and all the Super Rugby NZ clubs really wanted a physical activation to go alongside the advertising campaign. 

We wanted the launch to be as fan-centric as possible, so our immediate challenge was how do we connect all the clubs together physically while still making it about the fans. 

We asked the clubs to nominate a fan to win a meet and greet and Classic launch gift box. The box contained a brand new Classic jersey, memberships to their club and a variety to club merchandise. In that moment those fans were some of the first in the world to touch, feel and own these new Jerseys!


With the help of our friends at Merlin (an aviation company based in New Zealand who are on a mission to build the world's first autonomous pilot) we flew from Dunedin to Whangarei with players from the respective clubs to personally deliver the launch gift boxes to the fans. The ability to fly across the country in our own plane gave us the opportunity to honour and celebrate our fans in regional New Zealand such as Greymouth, Palmerston North and Whangārei. 

The fans that were selected ranged from decade-long stalwarts, to young rugby-obsessed kids who were left speechless meeting their heroes in an exclusive one on one manner. All thanks to Classic. The launch event was a warm and touching reminder of the power that rugby has to bring families together.


With the launch of Classic in New Zealand, it became apparent that they were in need of a website refresh to better represent their offerings and facilitate the transition into the NZ market. 

This redesign modernised and elevated their branding application, and created a much better user experience by smoothing out key usability issues. Additionally, we created a website for the New Zealand market, making minor adjustments to cater for New Zealand’s different preferences, needs, objectives and codes.


After many years in the Australian market, Classic’s social media channels had a good following of sports fans, however most of them were NRL supporters. As Classic’s offering in New Zealand was different to that of Australia, we needed to create @classicsportswearnz channels. Because these channels were brand new, we had to grow Classic’s following from scratch.

The social media marketing strategy was divided into two types of campaigns, broad and targeted. The objective of the broad campaigns was to gain engagement from a wide audience of New Zealanders and get them familiar with Classic and their connection to Super Rugby. The campaign was video led and had a 100% view rate of 14%, emphasising the importance of good creative.

Following on from the broad campaign, we gained access to each of the New Zealand Super Rugby clubs' Meta Pixels. This allowed us to create dedicated audiences for each of the Super Rugby teams and target ads to their fans - Highlanders fans received ads of the Highlanders kit, Chiefs fans received ads of the Chiefs kit and so on.

The combination of broad and targeted campaigns aligned with our strategy of celebrating longtime supporters and die-hard fans, and inviting new audiences to define what Super Rugby means to them.

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