Brand Lessons from the Rugby World Cup Final

Brand + Business x Christine Moody*


My husband was horrified when I told him I was going to write about the Rugby! It’s not because everyone is probably over the commentary on the Rugby World Cup 2015 by now, but it was more to do with the fact that he knows that I am just not ‘into Rugby’. But I am ‘into Brand’ and I am ‘into’ observing and linking so much of what happens on the field (sport) to off the field (business). So my comments on the Rugby game on Saturday (Sunday morning Australian time) are purely from the ‘Brand’ perspective you understand and will leave the technical stuff to those far more qualified. Read ABC News here.

Sporting finals at this level involving Australians, often happen on the other side of the world, which means that we have to set our alarms for 1:30am so we can slide from our beds to the couch in time to cheer on our country’s team. While I was sitting watching the game in the pre-dawn darkness, I observed so many examples of things that happened during the match that are great examples for your team and therefore your brand. And these lessons came from both teams—the victorious All Blacks and the runners-up Wallabies.
I observed so many examples of things that happened during the match that are great examples for your team and therefore your brand
Here are my observations:
> Both teams played their style of Rugby, they played as a team, and stuck together as a team—for example, after each point scored or change of player, the Wallabies’ captain Stephan Moore, rallied the team and lead from the front.
> They kept on going no matter what the other team threw at them—the Wallabies must have felt deflated by the All Blacks scoring the first few points and it looked like they were just going to walk away with the Trophy but the Wallabies pulled themselves up and threw everything at the game and got closer to the All Blacks. Most importantly, the played good rugby to right up to the final, full-time whistle.
> When times got tough, they dug deeper—for example, the Wallabies Coach and Captain talked pre-game about “doing the small things well is what makes the difference”. We sometimes forget that when developing our brand that building a great brand is a long and slow process and it is all about doing the small things well every day and at every opportunity.
> They demonstrated sportsmanship on and off the field—for example, Sonny Bill Williams giving his medal to the young spectator during the All Blacks lap of honour. To that All Blacks player, the tackling of that young boy was unsportsman-like so rather than have a word to the security guy, Sonny demonstrated leadership by taking the boy under his wing and walking him back to the stands and handed over his gold medal! Now that is what leaders do—live your brand’s values by demonstrating them! Read story here.
> The Australian Coach never gave up the dream of the Wallabies winning—even when the score for the All Blacks was growing and the clock was ticking on to full time—he never gave up hope of a win for his team. This I believe is the biggest brand lesson of them all—whether you are a start up or a mature company there is always opportunities to fail and learn great lessons along the way but you must never give up! Read story here.

So go the Wallabies! See you in the finals in Rugby World Cup 2019! For some fantastic on-field Rugby and some great off-field brand lessons!

*Christine Moody is one of Australia’s leading brand strategists and the founder brand management consultancy, Brand Audits. With more than 30 years’ professional experience, Christine has helped a diverse client base of local and international brands, including Gold Coast City Council, Hilton Hotels, and Wrigleys USA, to develop, protect and achieve brand differentiation. Her particular interest is personal brand audits to assist executives realise their full potential.

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