Our global brand
The Kiwis rugby league team, Black Caps and the Silver Ferns. Three national teams representing major codes in this country. What do they have in common? The curse of inconsistency. All three contain some world-class athletes. All three have reached incredible heights in their sports, but none has remained there long enough to earn the lasting respect of their global competitors or the awe and trepidation associated with ongoing, intimidating success.
When Steve Hansen recently sought public support to keep our star All Blacks from being tempted offshore, he raised the idea of the national rugby team as the ultimate example of Kiwi exceptionalism.
The request for support may have been easy to dismiss, but not so much his claims that the All Blacks are our one true global brand. Anyone who has travelled overseas will know that other people’s knowledge of the haka and our mighty All Blacks extends far beyond the still-limited boundaries of rugby as a global sport.
They may drink our milk in these far-flung places but it’s the legend of the world champion All Blacks they drink in when coming across the silver fern.
The team’s level of success and its impact as a global brand have long been admired, not only by other nations within rugby but by many other sports around the world. That can create complacency. It’s good to have that tested by genuine competition. We look forward to that tomorrow when the All Blacks take on England, and Ireland the week after. And we look forward to the legend continuing, the brand building even more.