New Zealand cricket captain signs on for another year as global brand ambassador for Rockit apples and takes stake in Longlands orchard
After 18 months as global brand ambassador for Rockit apples, New Zealand cricket captain Kane Williamson has underscored his belief in the product by taking a stake in the Longlands Rockit apple orchard just south of Hastings.
Williamson has also extended his global ambassadorship for another year with Rockit Global, which took out the Supreme Award at the New Zealand International Business Awards last month.
“I really believe Rockit apples are a fantastic product, so to be involved in growing the brand and sharing this Kiwi success story with the world is really exciting,” said Kane.
Mark O’Donnell, Rockit Global CEO, said Williamson’s support has already helped Rockit make in-roads into the market across India and South Asia over the past 18 months. But he said it’s the attitude of Bay of Plenty-born Wiillamson that has impressed the company most.
“From the moment we first met with Kane, it was clear his ambassadorship meant more to him than an emblem on a bat,” said O’Donnell. “Kane’s spent time with us in Hawke’s Bay, learning first-hand about the innovation we’re rolling out across our orchards, and into our packhouse.
“He’s taken time to ask questions and understand how we’re growing our fruit and what the company’s doing to support our orchardists, along with our goals and aspirations as a brand. And he has skin in the game.”
Williamson said his commitment and investment are inspired not only by the quality of the fruit, but also the calibre of expertise evident in Rockit’s New Zealand headquarters, and across its global team.
“This is an awesome product, grown and marketed by great people to work alongside,” said Williamson. “I love what Rockit has done with its world-leading brand, along with the technology that goes into growing each apple – from geo-mapping trees so that correct nutrients are delivered at the right time, to the robotics in the packhouse.”
Cricket connections grow brand reach
During 2022/23, Rockit said Williamson will continue to support the company’s efforts in cricket-loving nations across Asia and the Middle East, through omnichannel campaigns driving sales, social media growth and brand awareness.
With Rockit on course for its biggest production season yet in 2022/23, general manager of global marketing Julian Smith said it’s exciting to share the news that Williamson is on board as both investor and ambassador, as the brand pushes deeper into new consumer markets.
“Of course, many of our growers, our board and our global team are cricket mad. So having Kane on board with Rockit is a real delight for them too, and we’re all very proud of the association,” said Smith.
Williamson said he feels the same sense of pride to be part of the brand’s story.
“The fact that it’s a healthy product that my family, friends and I love is great. But to also be involved in the journey, from growing Rockit apples in our orchards, right through to being in partnership and sharing this awesome product with the world – there’s something kind of special in that.”