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Kingz are now the New Zealand Knights

Published: 2:32PM Friday January 14, 2005 Source: ONE Sport

The Football Kingz have changed their name to the New Zealand Knights and unveiled a new logo on Friday at a Press conference, in preparation for their 2005 season in the Hyundai A-League.

The name change follows market research to find out whether there was support for a new identity for the team.

Club Chairman Anthony Lee explained the reasons for the change.

"We thought long and hard about today's announcement before eventually deciding to go with a change of brand. Whilst there was some merit to keeping a brand that the public is familiar with after 5 years in the market, it was decided to make a fresh start with a brand new product."

"Our message to the sporting public, media and commercial sector today is a strong one and is a clear indication that we are a new business looking for their support. Today is about ownership and drawing a line in the sand, this is a new club for us as owners and managers but more importantly a new club for all stakeholders to help us build and be proud of."

"There was much negativity associated with the Kingz brand and rightly or wrongly that has overwhelmed any positives that we may get from staying associated with that brand."

"Today signals a fresh start and a new chapter in the code of soccer in this country under the Knights Football Club banner."

Research carried out by the club indicated 76% of respondents were in favour of a name change. Interestingly when that research was focused on those aged 35 and under, the percentage in favour of a change rose to 90%.

Further to that, the Knights polled best of all names suggested in the survey, a clear 30% higher than any other option. The Knights Football Club is also a good fit from the point of view of the marketing and promotion of the club and the personality of the team and individuals.

Hot on the heels of Friday's announcement is news of the first new sponsor to sign up to the New Zealand Knights campaign. Food retailer Zero's New Zealand (Sub Sandwiches) has agreed to a deal with the Knights over the next three seasons in a six figure deal.

CEO Guy Hedderwick says it is likely to be the first of many. "The Knights are thrilled to have Zero's on board as a sleeve sponsor. They have already shown their commitment to the game at a local level through Waitakere City and Waitakere United. I am pleased Zero's has chosen the Knights to assist them as they expose what is a new but strong food brand to the New Zealand and Australian markets."

Manager John Adshead arrives in New Zealand on Monday to begin the process of forming a squad that will be a challenger in the Hyundai A-League.