Ross Karl: Super Rugby or Superficial?

Super Rugby
'People want to connect. They crave real interactions. They want to know their stars,' writes Ross Karl. Photo credit: Photosport

OPINION: #SuperBangBang #SuperBoomBoom #DontMissAThing

What do they have in common? They mean nothing. You can jazz them up with flash adverts all you like but they're a gimmick. They don't sell Super Rugby.

Dancers, a catchy tune, a hashtag and a slow-mo promo don't truly make fans buy-in for the season.

They might flick on the telly for the opening weekend, but if you want to truly connect with fringe rugby fans you need the human touch.

The way they're selling rugby to passing fans is so superficial. It's a tragic attempt to get down with the kids. Instead, give people a real reason to care.

People want to connect. They crave real interactions. They want to know their stars.

Rugby needs to stop selling fluff and start filling adverts and promos with real stories.

Show me the adversity they've overcome. 

Show me their lives.

Show me how funny they are.

Show me their families.

Jordie Barrett at the 2018 Super Rugby launch.
Jordie Barrett at the 2018 Super Rugby launch. Photo credit: Photosport

Tell people why they should turn on their TVs and give a damn about the athlete who is scoring that try.

They need to make us understand the players are just like us. Make an advert with Rieko and Akira Ioane waking up in their shared bedroom.

Players succeed despite poverty, childhood illness and bad luck.  Kids will relate and be inspired. Plus, they'll share on Facebook and like on Instagram.

They should encourage personality in a country where people are happy to hide behind shyness.

Make a running series of adverts on the Playstation duels that happen in every team hotel. Show us Israel Dagg buying lunch for Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara after one of their golf games.

Show us who rugby players are in their environment. The public needs to know them to buy in.

When there is a new cult hero, jump onto them immediately. Turn them into Super Rugby's Jeremy Lin. Make adverts.

Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin Photo credit: Getty

Make short documentaries to spread on social media and to play at grounds.

In short, stop trying to pull us in and actually let us in.

Ross Karl is the rugby editor for Newshub.