s the start of the Super League season draws nearer, the competition’s annual launch video has been released.
While the video is an improvement on last year’s execrable effort involving triathletes the Brownlee brothers, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
In its favour, it is at least making more use of Super League players, and seems to be trying to play up to notions of community and history.
There is a mention of the 1895 breakaway at the start of the video, but this doesn’t relate to anything else in the video at all – there is no black and white footage of the game’s great players for example, even in passing.
There is a distinct lack of passion in the video, it has to be said.
The only people showing any kind of excitement about the game are French, in the shape of Wigan fullback Morgan Escare and some Catalans Dragons supporters.
Presumably those fans are celebrating being allowed to defend the Challenge Cup in 2019.
Everyone else looks like they’re getting up for a job interview.
Jermaine McGillvary looks really worried at the start of the video, like he’s got an exam later that day on which his whole future rests.
No one looks excited to be part of Super League. Even the fans in the video look like they’re off to some kind of sports-theme funeral.
But the main issue with it is that there is no action. There is nothing in the video at all to tell people what our sport is actually about.
If you knew nothing about Super League, this video would not enlighten you at all.
There are no collisions, no sidesteps, no ripping passes, no try celebrations.
The video gives no one any reason at all to watch Super League.
We see them getting changed, but we do not see them playing our great sport.It also does nothing to tell people who are not familiar with our sport who McGillvary, Kevin Naiqama and the rest of the players are.
The overall effort reflects a sport that in the UK lacks confidence in itself.
It’s like we’re asking people politely to like us, rather than making a proper impression.
The biggest USP our sport has in the UK is the action it provides. One day the marketing people might realise that.