All Blacks and Crusaders Centre Sonny Bill Williams admits he could stay in New Zealand beyond this year’s World Cup after signing a global sponsorship deal with adidas.
Williams was unveiled as the latest athlete to join the Adidas stable famous for its three stripes, and it’s understood the deal adds appreciably to the Crusaders and All Blacks midfielder’s income via his NZRU deal. Every All Black who plays for New Zealand is contracted to Wear Adidas in International games. Although Players Not on Full Adidas contracts will wear other brands during the Super 15 and ITM Cup.
It is rumoured that the Former Toulon Star will Wear the New Adidas RS7 Pro Boots in The Itense Green Colourway.
Adidas have been quick to snap him up on the back of that. He joins their global stable, which also includes rugby’s Jonah Lomu, Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, as well as the likes of David Beckham and Lionel Messi in football.
Williams will be hot property after the World Cup. The cross-codes star has been wooed by French rugby and a host of NRL clubs – including Russell Crowe’s South Sydney – and the NZRU is keen to keep him in New Zealand.
He’s also pondering taking his boxing to a more serious level.
The fact the chief sponsor of New Zealand rugby, and the All Blacks, has established such a high-level partnership with Williams is significant. It indicates not only that key interests are gathering behind Williams – but that the player and his management must now be realising the scale of what can be achieved in that famous black jersey.
“I’ve said all along as a sportsman, just like as a businessman, you want to have options,” Williams said.
“I could definitely see myself staying in New Zealand after the World Cup because I love playing for the All Blacks, I’ve loved my time in that black jersey and I want to play in it again.
“Then again, I can see myself doing other things too. For me at this stage it’s just about getting out there for the Crusaders and having a good Super Rugby season.”
Williams would not say whether the adidas partnership was linked to him being in the All Blacks – but did confirm it was “incentive-based” and that was the way he preferred it.
“If I don’t perform I don’t get paid.”
Williams, who played four tests with the All Blacks on last year’s tour north, said he was proud to be asked to join the Adidas stable.
“It comes with a bit of pressure to perform,” he said. “Since I’ve been back [in New Zealand] I’ve been under pressure and the spotlight’s been on me. It’s nothing new. It’s a long road ahead. I’m still the new boy. I’ve still got a lot of things to prove. I haven’t had a Super Rugby season yet and want to have a good one.”