Fire Spurts As Dragons Fly Over Auckland’s Sky Stadium In Halftime At All Blacks vs Ireland

Sky House-of-the-Dragon Activation NZRU 1

To celebrate the upcoming launch of the much anticipated Game of Thrones prequel ‘House of the Dragon’ huge shadows flew across the Auckland pitch accompanied by spine-tingling roars and spouts of flame during halftime in the rugby union game between the All Blacks and Ireland.


The dramatic on-pitch stunt at Sky Stadium, which took place in the Kiwi capital on 16 July, was created by The Monkeys (part of Accenture Song) for broadcaster Sky NZ and Neon and show owner HBO.


The campaign idea emerged after the agency research showed just how much New Zealanders loved the original ‘Game Of Thrones’ show – almost as much as they love the All Blacks. So The Monkeys set out to combine the two properties and create a memorable moment to launch the prequel


Sky, Neon and The Monkeys Aotearoa | House of the Dragon launch from Monkeys Aotearoa on Vimeo.


“Sky TV have the best sport and the best TV shows in the world on their channels, so it made sense to bring them together – launching HBO’s House of the Dragon within an All Blacks test match, at Sky Stadium,” said The Monkeys Aotearoa CEO Justin Mowday. “We wanted to make the promotion as epic as the show, what could be better than a dragon landing on the roof of a stadium in front of 38,000 people?”


Sky NZ Chief Executive Sophie Moloney commented: “Sky’s commitment to delivering world leading content to New Zealanders is well-established, and we are all eagerly anticipating House of the Dragon. As we look forward to the premiere on 22 August, we wanted to create genuine excitement and shareable moments for our customers and all Kiwis, and what better place to do it than at Sky Stadium. As the home of HBO’s House of the Dragon (and Game of Thrones) in New Zealand, we wanted an activation that felt true to the spirit of the programme but would also delight spectators at Sky Stadium and viewers at home alike. The Monkeys have certainly delivered on both fronts.”


The promotional stunt was created by a team at agency The Monkeys which included Damon Stapleton (Chief Creative Officer), James Conner (Creative Director), Christie Cooper (Creative Director), Tom Sykes (Head of Planning), Craig McLeod (Senior Planner), Susannah O’hUadhaigh (Art Director), Arron Sharma (Copywriter), Rosie Grayson (Head of Integrated Production), Ruth Coulson (Group Business Director) and Jackson Edgecombe (Business Executive), with Firework Professionals Ltd, Liquid Studios, Creature Post and Kaboose Media.





With dragons swopping down and pouring fire across the pitch, this promotional stunt was certainly dramatic and eye-catching and it offered a new take on the classic sports event pitch invasion.


Premiering on Sky and Neon from 22 August, HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ – which is set 200 years before ‘Game of Thrones’ – tells the story of House Targaryen and stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Fabien Frankel and Rhys Ifans.





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