Adidas backs England victory with Jonny Wilkinson ad

LONDON - Rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson is shown getting back to work in a new Adidas ad created to celebrate England's victory over Australia in the World Cup final on Saturday.

The ads, created by 180 Amsterdam and appearing in the Sun and the Daily Mirror this morning, show Wilkinson lining up balls to hone his goal-kicking talent, with the line: "Monday, back to work."

It plays on the fact that Wilkinson practices for several hours every day -- although he restricts himself to only an hour's practice on Christmas Day it is reported.

Adidas sponsors 24-year-old Wilkinson, and prior to the World Cup the sportswear company ran a television campaign where Wilkinson traded tips with David Beckham over kicking penalties in their respective sports. The company backed this with a second execution, called 'easy', that ran during the build-up to Saturday's final.

Richard Bullock, the Australian creative director at 180, said: "We kept some nice on-take scenes from the Beckham/Wilkinson shoot which we hoped we might be able to use for a tactical ad should England win the World Cup -- and what do you know, England beats Australia in the final."

Adidas' sponsorship has paid off handsomely with the fly half scoring the winning goal of the match with only seconds to spare, and being named by the International Rugby Players' Association as the player of the year. Speculation has it that Wilkinson could now sign sponsorship deals worth £5m.

The print ad was written by Dean Maryon and art directed by Stuart Brown, while the television ad was written by Bullock and art directed by Andy Fackrell.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.