Face of the Sevens
This year my role at the NZ Sevens expanded slightly - I was dubbed "Face of the Sevens" and had a bit more work to do presenting on the big screen. Not only was I doing the couple of sponsors' activations that I had been doing last year but I was now doing live crosses to the crowd for giveaways and also filming my own content on iPhone to be used as fillers for the screen and for social media. With the exception of the iPhone bit my brief was very similar to my brief in the first few years of the tournament, and overall that was the whole vibe of the 2 days - it was a bit like the Sevens getting back to their roots.
There had been plenty of negative media coverage in the lead-up and it was true that the crowds were down but those 20000 folk who turned up were interested in the games as well as the dress-ups and the bacchanalian anarchy that everyone wanted us to believe was all the rage in past years wasn't really evident (again). From the first game of the tournament (an upset victory for France ove South Africa) the games were intriguing and there were plenty of upsets and near upsets throughout the 2 days.
My highlights were interviewing Sir Graham Henry and the Mad Butcher about the tournamanet (getting roundly scolded by the Mad Butcher along the way) as well as giving away the prizes for the Costume Catwalk on the final night with the help of the lovely Sam Hannah and Mark Hadlow.
Once again I found there were heaps of fun folk who had made an effort to dress up and be part of he occasion - and plenty of newbies. One of the positive effects of the tournament not selling out straight away was that people who were unable to commit when tickets went on sale were still able to roll up on the day. So everywhere I went there were first timers. I can guarantee they had a good time and it bodes well for next year, when the stars will be out for pre-Olympic selection, that there will be a full house again. I can't wait to be part of it!