Kiwi sports stars are getting “personal” with their fans.
All Blacks stars Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett have dazzled fans on the pitch for many years – now they’re working their magic off the pitch too.
The half-back and leading five-eighth have been the spark behind many great All Black moments since the pair first donned the black jersey in 2012, now they are among hundreds of Kiwi sports stars recording personalized video messages reserved by their fans.
The posts – which celebrate many different occasions, from birthdays to good luck messages, motivation, marriage proposals, workout tips and just about everything in between – are recorded via the Swysh custom video platform.
A minimum of 20% of every video purchased from a sports star is donated to local children’s charities, the Graeme Dingle Foundation and UpsideDowns. Over the past two years, Swysh has donated over $500,000 to children’s charities in New Zealand and Australia.
It was this charitable impact that Smith says was the driving force behind his decision to join Swysh. “That’s a huge part of that for me and I’m sure that’s why so many athletes have jumped on Swysh,” he says.
“It’s an awesome platform that allows us to engage with fans from all over the world. At games, we don’t always get the chance to meet people or have one-on-one conversations. , so Swysh is a simple and different way for us to engage with fans anywhere, anytime.”
Smith and Barrett’s teammates Sam Cane and Anton Lienert-Brown, plus legendary former All Blacks Christian Cullen, Kieran Read and John Kirwan are also part of the Swysh “family”, as is Olympic gold medalist Ruby Tui and Black Ferns star Portia Woodman.
Smith says birthday shoutouts are very common requests from fans, but he’s also seen requests for messages of support and motivation that are truly meaningful to him.
“I know Father’s Day is Swysh’s biggest occasion every year, so I’m already looking forward to September. It’s so nice to play a small part in someone’s special day and Swysh allows me to do it.”
Christian Cullen, an All Black in the 1990s and early 2000s whose jaw-dropping runs from the back are the stuff of legends, echoed Smith’s comments.
“Swysh is a great platform for retired athletes to stay in touch with fans. I love how they still remember specific highlights from twenty years ago and it’s always nice to share stories with them and have a little laugh,” he says. . “I’m sure my requests are coming from people a bit older than the current superstars.”
Swysh Country Manager, Hayley Gillespie, has seen firsthand the power and possibility of sharing personalized video messages.
“Swysh is a twist on a ‘meet and greet’ and can be cherished forever by sports fans. With just a few clicks, we can give any fan personalized access to the biggest names in sports across the country, this which has never been done before,” she said.
“The Swysh team loves to see the reactions of people who have been surprised by a Swysh video – usually there are screams or tears!
“We are so proud to be able to work with amazing athletes like Aaron Smith and Christian Cullen to deliver personalized video messages to Kiwis every day,” Gillespie said.
“The best part is knowing that young children in need of help in New Zealand also benefit. The Swysh posts bring a smile to everyone’s face – it really is a gift that keeps on giving.”
Swysh’s Personalized Video Messages can be purchased at heyswysh.com. A minimum of 20% of each video ordered is split between the charities UpsideDowns, which provides speech therapy services for children with Down syndrome, and the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s youth development program, Project K.
Find all your favorite Kiwi sports stars on Swysh.