In New Zealand, where men are men and sheep are pretty, the Rugby World Cup kicks off this week, and online gambling company Betfair is at the heart of the action with its innovative new advertising campaign in support of the English team.
The betting company is offering New Zealand farmers a dollar for every sheep they paint with England’s St George’s Cross during international rugby’s toughest competition, held every four years.
England’s 2003 World Cup winning centre Will Greenwood launched the initiative Thursday by rounding up his own flock of English sheep. The 38-year-old appealed to New Zealand farmers to get involved.
Given that New Zealand boasts a population of 47.2 million sheep (13 times the amount of people), Betfair claims the advertising stunt should provide Martin Johnson’s England team with a much needed boost as they travel to matches around the host nation.
Greenwood said: “I’m sure even the All Blacks (New Zealand’s national team) will be left feeling a little bit sheepish by this unusual approach.”
200 sheep have already been signed up, and Betfair is supporting the initiative with an amusing viral video.