The mouthguard manufacturer at the centre of two fines handed out to brothers Manu and Alesana Tuilagi during the Rugby World Cup has hit out at claims the company was involved in ambush marketing.
The ‘Mouthguard Two’, as they’ve been described in the media, were hit with NZ$10,000 fines (around £5,000) after breaching IRB commercial regulations by wearing OPRO mouthguards emblazoned with their sponsor’s logo.
OPRO managing director Dr Anthony Lovat says he is horrified at suggestions the company may have been involved in guerrilla marketing, adding the company has in no way encouraged any player to wear its branded mouthguards during any international rugby tournament play.
“OPRO is a professional organisation and has never, and would never, be involved in ambush marketing activities,” he says.
In addition to offering to pay the players’ fines, OPRO says it will supply any player in the 2011 tournament with an unbranded replacement mouthguard.
Says Lovat: “As a dentist I want to do my upmost to protect players’ teeth, whether that is children at weekend fixtures or the international rugby elite – all deserve to have the very best oral protection possible.”