Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You're fired? No, Ali & Richie are fired up

Sunday Star Times

He is no stranger to the limelight, but injured All Blacks and Blues lock Ali Williams can't hide his excitement at his upcoming appearance on television reality show The Apprentice.
"Am I looking forward to it? Very much so. It will be interesting to see how we have been portrayed."

Williams and All Blacks team-mate Richie McCaw appear on this Tuesday's episode of The Apprentice in a guise not before seen of the two rugby heavyweights - as business advisers.
The pair were approached by the show's producers several months ago and asked if they would like a chance to promote their product, Water For Everyone - and they jumped at it.

Water For Everyone is a part of the For Everyone brand which the pair own with team-mate Dan Carter. Five cents from every sale goes to the For Everyone Foundation, from which funds are used to support local community projects.

On the show, the five remaining contestants are told to devise a strategy to promote the charity water at a Countdown supermarket.

The contestants were allowed to use the rugby pair's star status to sell the water, but had to be aware that McCaw and Williams were free to reject the promotional ideas.

Williams said he felt "completely comfortable" being in the business "driver's seat" and passing on advice to contestants, despite normally being on the "other side of the fence" and being told how to handle business matters.

And despite having a failed business venture in the past, furniture chain Superfurn New Zealand, Williams said he was not lacking in knowledge or enthusiasm for the business world.

"The best lessons to learn in life are from your mistakes," he said.

Williams, currently recovering from an achilles tendon injury, said he and McCaw had taken in a lot from appearing on The Apprentice, and had now set their own challenges with supermarkets to sell out of their water.

The Apprentice television series started in the United States, hosted by real-estate magnate, businessman and television personality Donald Trump, and has since spawned series throughout the world.

The New Zealand series, which started on TV2 earlier this year, sees Wellington millionaire property developer and Phoenix football team owner Terry Serepisos put contestants through tasks to determine who will get a job with his company.

The series is known for the boardroom dismissals of contestants who are told by the boss: "You're fired."

The final episode of the Kiwi edition screens on May 11.

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