Adidas has not "got everything right" over the All Blacks jersey issue, New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew says.
Tew told TV ONE's Close Up that "we don't take the support of our fans for granted" and "we are trying to find a piece of middle ground" with adidas.
But Tew acknowledged the row has done some harm to the NZRU and the All Blacks brand.
His comments follow the lifting of a block on overseas websites selling the jersey to people in New Zealand.
Tew says the partnership with adidas, which began in 1999 and runs through to 2019, will be nearer to $500 million than $400 million by its end, and that goes directly into supporting rugby in New Zealand from grassroots to "keeping Richie (McCaw) in the country".
"Adidas hasn't got everything right, they accept that and admit it themselves," said Tew.
But he said it is up to people to decide where they buy the jersey and the way the debate has panned out this week has worked out well for buyers.
"It's now a hell of a lot cheaper to buy a jersey than it was at the beginning of the week."
Tew says this is really a dispute between the retailer and wholesaler.
Adidas has apologised to unhappy fans but the fallout from the controversy has cost one worker her job.
Tonight adidas was meant to host a who's who of sport and media but it cancelled its All Blacks party in Auckland because of "serious customer issues".
While not budging on the wholesale cost of the jersey, New Zealand manager David Huggett said: "I want to apologise to you and to all the fans out there. We've heard the frustration."
And ONE News understands that a receptionist at the company's head office has lost her job after posting comments about the jersey debacle on Facebook.
When ONE News tried to reach her today, an automatic email reply stated: "I am no longer employed by adidas NZ..."
A public relations person for adidas said the company is "not at liberty to discuss employment-related issues".
But adidas has unblocked New Zealanders' access to overseas websites which are selling the jersey much cheaper than local retailers. On worldrugbyshop.com the jerseys are selling for $US80 ($NZ97) not including shipping. rugbystore.co.uk is "out of stock".
New Zealand stores that have dropped their prices say they can still compete.
"It makes more sense to buy it onshore in this country, and be able to exchange it, return it, change it over if it's faulty," Rebel Sport general manager Rod Duke said.
Sales are also picking up for an alternative Rugby World Cup jersey available at supermarkets.
And New Zealanders are finding their own ways to vent their frustration. T-shirt makers Mr Vintage say they have been flooded with requests for an anti-adidas shirt.
"Most requested t-shirt we've ever had, people are angry. They're looking for pretty much a protesters' shirt, rather than us creating a supporters jersey," spokesman Robert Ewan said.
But they say they are still considering the legal implications of taking on a global giant.
Even the Prime Minister waded into the jersey debate yesterday and told adidas to admit it had made a problem and "fix it".
"It's when you just will not admit that there is a problem that it becomes a massive problem and I think that's the position adidas have got themselves into," John Key said.
Apology for distraction
Huggett admits the company should have handled the All Blacks jersey debacle differently.
"I recognise there is a lot of frustration from Kiwis out there," Huggett told Newstalk ZB .
And he apologised for the jersey debacle detracting from the Rugby World Cup excitement.
"The last 11 days has been pretty tough, I want to apologise to you for creating a distraction to what should have been a smooth build-up to the Rugby World Cup."
He said the company recognised New Zealanders are passionate about their jersey.
The sportswear manufacturer has faced a boycott from disgruntled rugby fans. Adidas managing director for the Pacific Greg Kerr told TV ONE's Close Up last night the wholesale price of the jersey will not be reduced and that it was "absolutely fair and reasonable".
Huggett said last night that when considering the difference between prices in New Zealand and those offshore, adidas has to look at its investment into grass roots rugby, and into the retail landscape with its stores.
"We invest significant amounts of money here that isn't invested in other parts of the world," he said.
Huggett said today the adidas "brand has been changed" in New Zealand as result of what's been a "tough time for us".
What do you think about the adidas saga? Have your say on the messageboard below.