It was not a common sight in the Serie A as AC Milan players danced to what was a bizzare version of the haka for its sponsor Nivea, before their match against Carpi.
AC Milan orchestrated a war dance in what amounted to an advertisement as their opponents obligingly lined up, facing them. The performance was done by a host of actors dressed up to look like AC Milan players, with advertising hoardings around the stadium displaying the words ‘Men, this is your ritual’.
But the team’s lackluster performance only served to exacerbate the cringe-worthy pre-match publicity stunt, which was dubbed the pre-match Tekitanka, with the name emblazoned on advertising boards along with social media hashtags. The ruse was all designed as a marketing ploy for club sponsors Nivea.
While attempting to be light-hearted, the attention-seeking ploy could backfire on the club, given the sanctity New Zealanders place in traditional war dances like the haka.
Naturally, the social media (especially those hailing from New Zealand) was quick to react negatively to the bizarre event, as it was another sign of pride and fame for the New Zealand’s All Blacks, who recently won the Laureus World Sports’ team of the year award.
Previously, politicians in New Zealand reacted with anger to England World Cup-winner Matt Dawson’s “Hakarena” dance advert during the autumn’s Rugby World Cup, as Maori Party co-leader Sir Pita Sharples branded Dawson’s insulting and “shameful”.
The only highlight in the uneventful game was Milan’s teenage forward Jose Mauri’s goal being ruled offside. The 19-year old substitute secured a pass from Giacomo Bonaventura to slot the ball in, but only get to see his debut Milan goal ruled out.
With the draw, Milan’s attempts to qualify for Europe is once against thwarted but Carpi will leave in high spirits. The team, struggling to stay safe in another four games, left the pitch with two points ahead of 18-point Frosinone.