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SA RUGBY CURRIE CUP

‘WHERE LEGENDS RISE’ CAMPAIGN

“Hats+Rabbits are reliable, efficient and have a stand out approach to each campaign they create. Their extensive experience, professionalism and
can-do attitude completely sets
them apart.”

Justine Blacker Brand Manager, SA Rugby

The opportunity:
To re-calibrate the relevance of the Currie Cup, given that it’s losing eyeballs and column inches to the slicker, sexier Super Rugby tournament where unions inevitably field their stronger teams.

In many ways, it’s a perfect storm. The two tournaments pretty much entirely overlap on the calendar. And Super Rugby is international. It’s prime-time. And it’s given priority by selectors when team sheets are being drawn up for fixtures. How can a local inter-provincial contest, whose early rounds are often played on dusty fields to crowds numbered in double digits, possibly compete with the bright lights and glamour of its ratings rival?

The insight:
Unlike every other tournament in the world, where the scoreboard determines the winner, the Currie Cup was to be won back in 1890 by the side who played with the most heart and grit.

In that year Sir Donald Currie sponsored a U.K. rugby tour to the Southern tip of Africa. He handed them a large golden cup, and with it strict instructions. The cup was to be awarded to the team that gave them the toughest test. As they tore through the SA sides, they came up against a small team called Griqualand West. This team of minnows gave them hell, and although they didn’t win the game, their heart, resolve and mettle won them the Currie Cup.

The idea:
“Where Legends Rise” A Celebration of a near-mythical legend of a cup from which all subsequent Southern African rugby legends are born from.

Super Rugby must do their thing with their cheerleaders, fireworks and slick broadcasts. We’re taking the Currie Cup back to its roots. Touring sides come and go. Heck, even entire tournaments come and go. But, 125 years on, the Currie Cup remains the golden thread that runs through the South African rugby story. From far flung rural fields to the urban concrete cauldrons, The Currie Cup is the fire in which Springboks are forged.

The execution:
A fully integrated campaign that packed a Game-of-Thrones-meets-Rocky punch. Individually customized to each of the 15 unions for maximum relevance.

TV, print, social, radio – the works. The shoot was somewhat nerve-wracking. Firstly to co-ordinate 45 players’ plans to be in one place at one time is not for the faint hearted. But then to throw a bunch of live animals into the mix takes it all up a notch. Fun fact: we had to shoot in the order of the food chain – horses first, then eagles, then bulls, then cheetahs, and finally lions. Live predators are one thing, but even scarier is customizing all the creative assets 15 different ways.

The result:
A strong 7 month narrative that gave the tournament relevance and standout vs Super Rugby.

The conceptual territory of “Where Legends Rise” gave journalists and sports shows a relevant ‘spin’ on how and why to cover the Currie Cup. It was less about who was winning against who, and more focused on some of the incredible performances, and stories behind the rising stars. Like Yves Bashiya who narrowly escaped becoming a child soldier in DRC, or Bobby de Wee who was mauled by a lion as a child. The campaign gave the next generation of South African rugby real heart and personality.

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