Just as we are about to introduce new Jet Funzee, all black onesies in fleece, we get news this week from across the pond. Close to 300 All Black Onesie wearing fans poured through Chicago’s O’Hare terminal after an Air New Zealand plane — painted all black of course — landed at one of the world’s busiest airports
Nobody would expect the USA to go suddenly gaga over rugby, there is little history of it there, but the All Blacks’ arrival in the States for the first official test in 101 years has not gone unnoticed. Chicago is a football town, American football that is, but their beloved Bears were recently embarrassed 51-23 by the New England Patriots. This is a town fast becoming disillusioned by their team which might explain why Soldier Field, the oldest NFL Stadium still in use and home of the Chicago Bears, is sold out for the Rugby Union test with over 62,000 fans expected.
Rugby is growing in the United States thanks largely to the inclusion of sevens rugby (the shorter, faster, less complicated version of the game) at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the possibility of grabbing a medal has opened up funding for the sport.
It was a curious trip for the All Black’s No 8 Kieran Read as he flew out of New Zealand at 5.45pm on Sunday and arrived, via Los Angeles, in Chicago at 5.45pm on Sunday, so he effectively enjoyed two birthdays – time travel in the 21st century.
Our plain Jet Funzee will be great for printing on – so sports clubs or college teams can print their logo or say, “European Tour 2015” on the garments. And with the Rugby World Cup coming to the UK next year we might even sell some to Kiwi visitors.