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Rugby Commercials: The World Awaits

The Rugby World Cup begins next week. From now until the RWC's end, or at least until I run out of material, I will be attempting at least one rugby post per day. Let me know if you can guest-write a team preview, or if you can invite me to an embassy RWC watch party, or if you have any other coverage ideas. Bear in mind that, if you're still reading this, you know more about the actual game than I do. And write here to join my RWC Fantasy League.

Having watched much sports programming in the past week or so, I still, shockingly, have yet to see a Rugby World Cup-related TV spot. I'm guessing I"m not the only one. Check out this dispiriting story out of Tonga:

If being able to watch the 2007 Rugby World Cup on television will enable one to go to heaven, only 700 Tongan families will make it; the rest will have to watch wrestling on Tonfon, or Beijing Olympic hype on CCTV, and ex-students' programs on TV Tonga.

Plus, they'll go to hell. There is also concern in Ireland, where the best rugby announcers will apparently not be calling this Cup, since it's on TV3, whose coverage is known for "taking sometimes fascinating games and draining the life out of them, along with the viewer's soul." Meaning those viewers go to hell, too.

But if the coverage news is bad, the commercial news is swell. The All Blacks did one of those athletes-drawing-on-the-screen Impossible Is Nothing Adidas ads, the same campaign featuring Gilbert and Becks and Messi and the rest. I approve. Many more RWC ads after the jump.

The most bizarre sporting ad I've ever seen, featuring the Springboks in some weird amalgam of Gladiator, the Fantastic Four, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and those U.S. Marine Corps spots, made by their chemical-company sponsor Sasol.

Continuing the weird post-apocalyptic theme, a Heineken ad in which ruggers shift the tectonic plates or something.

More beer, via Guinness.

Another Adidas All Blacks commercial.

Super Slo Mo ITV coverage commercial.

Peugeot, sponsor of los Pumas (Argentina).

And finally, a bit of humor, via Lifestyle Sports.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 31, 2007; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  Rugby  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Brunell Trade: WUSA vs. The World
Next: Today's Top Five: Gilbert Gets Animated


Man, I miss playing rugby!

Anyone who doesn't get chills down their spine when watching the All-Blacks do their pre-game haka has no soul.

Go BucktownRFC!!

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | August 31, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse


West Potomac RFC ( is always looking for new players. Come on out, we'd love to have you!


Posted by: KJ | September 4, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Saturday I spent hours watching 3 different RWC matches on TV (they show all of them in France), and yesterday watched 4 more. What excitement even though almost all games at this point were a miss-match. Go "Les Bleus" (France), Go Argentina, and Go All Blacks (the team that will most likely win it all). This event has made for many interesting sites in Paris, from a "Fan Center" at the Trocadero, to the Eiffel Tower being unusually "dressed up" in the official colors.

Posted by: GdG | September 10, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

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