Skip To Content

    Italian Soccer Team Performs Maori Haka To Sell Nivea Face Cream

    Yes, I am also confused.

    One of the most successful soccer teams in Italy, AC Milan, has sparked a social media frenzy following a decision to perform a pre-game haka as part of a publicity stunt for Nivea.

    The haka is a traditional Maori war cry and dance, made famous in the sporting world by the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks.

    Before their game against bottom of the table side Carpi, actors dressed like Milan players walked onto the field and performed their version of the haka – which the club has named a "Tekitanka" – in front of the opposition.

    What the fuck has my club come to?

    The "coach" of the fake players also seems to have the name J. Maori – a not-so-subtle nod to New Zealand culture.

    Impaziente di vedere il #TekiTanka #SampdoriaMilan

    The Tekitanka had been promoted by the club's social feeds days before the performance, but it was unclear what the hashtags actually meant until the dance was actually performed.

    Pronti per la sfida? Appuntamento giovedì 21 aprile, ore 19.45 – stadio San Siro. #Tekitanka! ➡ #MilanCarpi

    Social media reacted with a mixture of confusion and anger to the Italian club's use of a haka in a sponsored promotion.

    @acmilan embarrassment to football, performing their own Nivea 'Haka' tonight. Could not imagine Maldini/Cafu doing it, dark days #Tekitanka

    This club has won the European cup 7 times. State of modern football. Don't even think about it @ManUtd #Tekitanka

    Intanto a Milanello l' @acmilan si allena con un coach maori a passi di #tekitanka per la prossima partita..

    No more #Tekitanka nonsense please @acmilan

    Perform a fake haka just for a nivea campaign? It's pathetic & disgusting.. #tekitanka #acmilan

    It's also not really clear how the war dance ties in to Nivea - a company that sells cosmetics - and what the message being shared was meant to be.

    Beiersdorf Australia’s Managing Director, Clynton Bartholomeusz, told BuzzFeed News the company apologised for any offense caused.

    “NIVEA is a global brand, with a presence in over 200 countries. While we were not aware of the activity taking place at the Serie A game in Italy this morning (NZT), we recognise the Haka is of great significance to the Maori culture and to New Zealand as a nation and we apologise for any offence this has caused.”

    Anyway, Milan ended up drawing their match with Carpi, 0-0.

    BuzzFeed News has contacted Beiersdorf Italy for further statement.