Celebrating 30 years with Kookaburra

What does it take to stay married 30 years?

Here’s the best relationship advice you’ll ever hear!


When two people fall in love and choose to spend their lives together, many choose to marry, many choose not to, but they say any relationship needs a few vital ingredients to stand the test of time, it’s not always a bed of roses after all.

When the overwhelming emotions of courtship wane, as they seem to so often, as the challenges and familiarity of everyday life begin to erode those passionate early years, people often look for a silver bullet solution to bring back those heady bygone days.

So, what does it take to keep a relationship together for 30 years! What pearls (pun intended) of wisdom are floating out there to help us all achieve such a meritorious milestone?

Let’s look at one relationship that has stood the test of time, overcome adversity, and still thrives today. August 2020 marks 30 years since the beginning of the Hockey New Zealand partnership with Kookaburra. There’s not many sports sponsorships in New Zealand sport still going since 1990!

Over the course of these three decades we’ve seen hockey grow as a community sport for both men and women, the birth of the Small Sticks brand and programme that’s see’s circa 70,000 kids experience hockey each year, and we’ve seen the Black Sticks men and women scale the international rankings and win Commonwealth Games medals and Oceania Cups.

Kookaburra too has expanded and deepened its commitment to the hockey and cricket markets in New Zealand, with increased product ranges, stronger market share and most recently setting up it’s own online retail presence on their newly released website.

But there have been significant challenges and setbacks along the way, like the falling off of world rankings and heart-breaking Olympic campaigns, changing leadership at Hockey NZ, the global financial crisis of 2008 and most recently the Coronavirus pandemic.

So, what has kept this 30-year relationship flourishing and successful?

“Both parties understanding the value of relationships and loyalty which is especially important during these testing times” said Kookaburra NZ, General Manager, Jason Mills.

“Kookaburra, as a company, are invested in the game so want to support Hockey New Zealand in providing a quality delivery program. That’s why we’re involved. Hockey New Zealand know our objectives and keep them front of mind, so we are both successful, together”

Paul Scoringe, Hockey New Zealand’s Commercial and Marketing Consultant agrees, “we’re committed to delivering high levels of satisfaction for our partners, delivering on our agreements and always looking for opportunities to add value in ways that are important to them. That takes personal investment in building relationships of trust and mutual benefit”.

For both organisations, shared core values are critical. After undertaking a whole of sport brand review in 2018, hockey looked hard at the way the sport connected with communities and what it needed to do to be more accessible and easier to engage with. The core values of Integrity, Inclusivity, Enjoyment, Striving For Excellence and Hockey Whānau were born, embraced and now drive everything the organization does.

It means for long term partners like Kookaburra, they can rely on Hockey New Zealand to seek out what success look like for their people and their relationships.

Says Jason Mills, “Success to Kookaburra, is the sport of hockey thriving across the country and resonating from children through to adults while hoping our brand becomes the first choice of many of those involved”.

Aligning what success looks like and working collaboratively to achieve common goals, is the final ingredient that will keep the Kookaburra – Hockey New Zealand partnership alive for years to come.

So, there we have it. Reaching 30 years together is a milestone of significance, in life and in commerce. Valuing the relationship, building trust and showing loyalty, aligning goals and working collaboratively together to achieve them, establishing shared core values and striving for mutual success together are all vital.

And it will be these same beliefs and actions that will see this and any relationship thrive for the next 30 years.

Posted on Sunday, 22 November, 2020 | FeatureOtherSponsorship