by Baron Christopher Hanson
Baron Christopher Hanson is principal of RedBaron Strategy Consulting, an organic growth and turnaround management firm based in Charleston, SC and Washington, DC. Hanson wore the #8 jersey for Charlotte RFC and the HBS Rugby Club. A Harvard Business Review, SmartBrief, and SwampFox contributor, Hanson can be reached via RedBaronUSA.com and GoalLinePR.com.
The months of August and September are monumental transition times in the world of Rugby. Players wave goodbye to summer frolicking to join their teams at training and to put on their fall 15s game faces.
For coaches at the youth, university, and club levels, high-quality match videos are most helpful for teaching Rugby rules, technical skills, and the modern pace of the complete game. Perhaps more than anything, Rugby match footage is what initially draws new athletes toward playing the greatest sport ever in the history of the world.
For Rugby to grow here in America, millions more eyeballs must come into close visual contact with the sport –– on-screen, in public, in-detail, and on-demand. Rugby match videos shown during "post-match suppers" also train new spectators and interest new sponsors in sticking around. The more professional the Rugby footage, the better the traction.
The only problem is that full length Rugby match videos have been nearly impossible to obtain, expensive via satellite, and never available during prime time TV. Setanta Sport couldn't get it right. USA Rugby still can't figure it out, and DVD media from abroad is restricted and unplayable.
Thanks to YouTube.com, the utter aggravation of Rugby game media starvation in the USA is finally over. Full-length matches are now being uploaded and viewed –– free of cost –– anytime, anywhere there is an internet connection. Going forward, RFC leadership can arrange match videos to market and teach the sport organically in Anytown, USA.
The impetus has been Rugby-religious nations abroad. Somehow their rich libraries of full-length match content are now flooding YouTube from all over the globe. For me it's the greatest dream come true: Rugby, instantly, 24/7/365 –– forever.
However, far more US Rugby match content and video production quality are needed, to grow the game's infrastructure and demand here. What limits televised Rugby excellence is the absence of expert camera and sound crews, elevated stadium perspectives, and world-class announcers. Gravitating toward NFL-style video production quality is essential to Rugby media absorption here in America. For now, YouTube.com has let Rugby out of its cage.
What I find amazing is that classic Rugby matches from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, right up to the latest Lions and Barbarians tours can be viewed anytime, anywhere via the Internet. The evolution of the game over time is astonishing. Also fascinating to watch are Junior Rugby World Cup matches, college tournaments, or high school Rugby, complete with youngsters singing their national anthems or their version of the Haka. It's truly heartwarming.
International match build-ups and world-class announcer styles throughout the years also provide journalistic ideas for adopting the elegant passion and honorable vernacular that make playing and spectating Rugby so special.
Here are few links as examples to get any level Rugby Club dialed into the modern Rugby-via YouTube-phenomenon:
Rugby: Barbarians vs All Blacks 1973 [full match]
Rugby Test Match 2009 (1st) - South Africa vs. British & Irish Lions
2012 College Rugby D1A Finals - Arkansas State vs BYU, FULL GAME
1993 New Zealand All Blacks vs Manu Samoa classic (Full)
2012 Six Nations France vs England (Full)
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.