Mount Smart Stadium will take on an other-worldly feeling as Vodafone Warriors members and fans embrace the #ZombieNight theme for tonight’s 14th-round NRL match against the Sydney Roosters (match day sponsor: Vodafone).’
With gates opening at 3.30pm, the football entertainment is built around three games with the NYC fixture (3.40pm kick-off) and the New South Wales Cup contest (5.40pm) preceding the NRL battle (8.00pm) when the zombies will come out to play.
The #ZombieNight theme was launched last week featuring social media activity including images of players photo-shopped to assume zombie-like appearances. Throughout the past week there have been strong rates of engagement from members and fans as promotion of the themed night has gathered pace. All supporters have been encouraged to come along dressed as zombies (NB: masks are not permitted).
Fans can look out for a number of Vodafone Warriors game day staff who will be made up as zombies while Zombie Survival Challenge, which has provided great support for the night, will have staff in-theme roaming the stadium.
In attendance tonight will be a significant number of former Kiwis who gathered yesterday for Sir Peter Leitch’s long lunch celebrating the Kiwis’ rise to be the world’s top nation in the past few months. The feature of the lunch was a tribute to the Kiwis’ player of the century, ex-captain Mark Graham. The former Vodafone Warriors coach will be a guest along with other former players for Sir Peter’s regular Mad Butcher’s game day event in the Stacey Jones Lounge.
In the lead-up to the NRL clash, the game day features will include a dance-off between Vodafone Warriors mascot Tiki and his Roosters counterpart Rocky, who has made a special trip from Sydney to be at tonight’s game.
The crowd will also be encouraged to get behind Vodafone Warriors fan favourite Manu Vatuvei by ringing out the #FeedTheBeast chant as they did with special effect when the big man made his 200th NRL appearance at home in April. He’s chasing another record tonight, needing just one more try to give him 10 for the season and the unprecedented feat of scoring 10 or more tries in 10 consecutive seasons.
In a special feature at halftime, new Vodafone Warriors deputy CEO Lucy Scott will be introduced to the crowd. She was chosen from thousands of entries in the Vodafone Fantastic Fridays competition to take on the four-day role as managing director Jim Doyle’s assistant. Scott's appointment started yesterday and also incorporates game day today.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Saturday, June 13
Mount Smart Stadium
3.30pm | Gates open
3.40pm | Vodafone Junior Warriors v Sydney Roosters (NYC)
5.40pm | Vodafone Warriors v Wyong Roos (NSW Cup)
8.00pm | Vodafone Warriors v Sydney Roosters (NRL)
The next home match against Canberra on June 27 will be a #OnsieParty when the Vodafone Warriors will embrace the Jammies in June campaign run by charity partner Kidz First Children’s Hospital. The Jammies in June promotion seeks to raise awareness about keeping warm in winter.