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.
The "coach" of the fake players also seems to have the name J. Maori – a not-so-subtle nod to New Zealand culture.
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.
Social media reacted with a mixture of confusion and anger to the Italian club's use of a haka in a sponsored promotion.
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.