Our global brand

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

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.

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