Auckland University marketing head Dr Bodo Lang believes the Super League's chief sponsor will benefit hugely from Sonny Bill Williams' refusal to wear their logo on his Toronto Wolfpack jersey.
On Thursday, reports surfaced saying Williams won't wear the Betfred logo on his jersey due to his Muslim beliefs.
Betfred is one of the UK's biggest betting companies and gambling is considered haram in Islam, meaning that it is forbidden in addition to other practices such as drinking alcohol.
Williams converted from Christianity to Islam in 2009 and became the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks.
"This creates a talking point and people who are into betting will love this," Lang told The AM Show.
"We know through research that well-known brands don't benefit from controversies, but less well-known brands like Betfred do because we here in New Zealand start talking about them."
Lang also feels this news also shows how powerful the 'Sonny Bill Williams' brand is.
Last year, the Super League extended its sponsorship deal with betting company Betfred for a further two seasons, worth an estimated £1m (NZ$1.98m) a year.
But that figure is nothing compared to Williams' contract, reportedly worth £5m (NZ$10m) over two years.
"Sonny Bill is the bigger brand because he's extracting more money for the club that the whole league is getting. He's worth $5m and Betfred is worth $2m.
"It should be something you expect when you sign Sonny Bill Williams. You're signing up for an exceptional athlete, but you're also signing up for some controversy and entertainment off the field."
This isn't the first time Williams has refused to wear a sponsors logo on a jersey. In 2017, Williams covered up the Bank of New Zealand logo on his Blues top, with permission from the New Zealand Rugby Union.
He taped over the bank's logo on his collar in his debut, and a new jersey was soon created sporting a Plunket logo in its place.
"My objection to wearing clothing that markets banks, alcohol and gambling companies is central to my religious beliefs and it is important to me to have been granted this exemption," Williams said at the time.
"As I learn more and develop a better understanding of my faith, I am no longer comfortable doing things I used to do. So while a logo on a jersey might seem like a small thing to some people, it is important to me that I do the right thing with regards to my faith and hope people respect that."
Wolfpack chairman Bob Hunter said he's working with the Super League to find alternative logos Williams can wear instead of Betfred.
The Betfred logo appears on the right sleeve of the Toronto Wolfpack jersey, as well as all other Super League teams and on match balls.
"I think Betfred will benefit by taking the position that we respect and honour the player's religious beliefs," Hunted told the Telegraph.
"In today's society, there are some very sensitive issues, but I think the sponsor can say 'Yes, okay, we understand this. He's a big brand and a big name, but we get it'.
"I can't say how it will work on a practical basis, but the league [Super League] may want an alternative.
"Maybe something to prop up another sponsor, but again those discussions are still to be had."
Williams missed the Wolfpack's lone preseason game earlier this week but is set to feature in their season opener on February 2 against the Castleford Tigers.
He's then set to return to New Zealand two weeks later for the birth of his fourth child.