Staunch supporters of the Vodafone Warriors for six years already, Wendy's loves rugby league almost as much as it loves good burgers.
So today’s announcement that the hamburger chain is renewing its sponsorship for another three seasons may come as no surprise.
Wendy’s NZ CEO Danielle Lendich said Wendy’s was proud to be partnering with the Vodafone Warriors heading into their 20th year and beyond.
“We’re a local, family-owned business so we feel fortunate to be part of the Vodafone Warriors family and we’re committed to the team 100 percent,” she said.
Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said the club placed the highest value on its partnership with Wendy’s.
“Danielle and everyone at Wendy’s have done a fantastic job ever since joining us,” he said.
“We love the way Wendy’s has gone about its partnership, adding excitement through its product innovations and the way our players are incorporated into television campaigns.”
A relationship that began in 2008 and progressed to an on-kit sponsor in 2011, Wendy’s has so far promoted its involvement through a Vodafone Warriors burger, various in-store promotions and several entertaining TV ads featuring selected players.
Launching over the weekend, the chain’s latest TVC sees Vodafone Warriors players Manu Vatuvei, Sam Tomkins, Ben Matulino and Charlie Gubb ham it up in a tongue-in-cheek ad promoting its new Holy Guacamole range of guacamole-based burgers and nachos.
A take on the great 1974 satirical western comedy 'Blazing Saddles' and other old spaghetti westerns, the players don Wild West attire and fake accents and are helped along by props including a fake cacti, campfire and cowboy ranch backdrop.
Not so silly is Wendy’s continuing knack of capitalising on current food trends – this time with Mexican and South American flavours.
With Jalapeno Beef, Spicy Chicken and Homestyle Chicken burgers and side or snack-sized nachos, its new Holy Guacamole range features chunky handmade guacamole, tangy tomato salsa, locally made corn chips and “just the right amount of heat”, says Lendich.
Lendich says the new menu items have been developed locally to capitalise on a growing appreciation of Mexican flavours and spicier options.
A family-owned business with roots firmly in West Auckland, the Wendy’s NZ head office still sits above the original Te Atatu restaurant with CEO Danielle taking the reins from parents Danny and Dianne Lendich some 15 years ago.
With more than 550 staff now on the payroll and 21 restaurants throughout the North Island and in Christchurch, new outlets are also scheduled to open next year in Dunedin and Hereford St, Christchurch (which is reopening after the 2011 earthquake destroyed the original store) .
The world’s third largest quick-service hamburger company, The Wendy’s Company has more than 6500 outlets across the US and in 29 other countries worldwide. Founder Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s restaurant in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio, naming the store after his daughter.
Developing an innovative method to prepare fresh, made-to-order hamburgers, Dave also introduced the square hamburger patties that Wendy’s serves to this day - as a symbol that it doesn’t cut corners.