Brett Levy, Blue Label Telecoms’ joint CEO, must curse the day he described the experience of joining with Springbok rugby as one of reinvention and renewal, writes MARK KEOHANE.
Levy and his leadership were dummied. Ouch.
Levy and his joint CEO Mark Levy would claim business influence and leaders in business but their investment in the Boks was done out of patriotism and the delusion that excellence is in a vision presented by way of Powerpoint.
Levy declared 2016 a season in which two brands aligned because of the principle of innovation and inspiration.
Even more embarrassing was joint CEO Mark Levy’s purple prose in blind patriotism and delusion. ‘SA Rugby has a vision for the team, from coach through to captain and management – the stage is set to show the world the Bokke’s [sic] determination and prowess.
‘We share their confidence in South Africa and their commitment to excellence – the Bokke are a perfect fit with the Blue Label Telecoms brand,’ he said.
Levy is Blue Label Telecoms joint CEO – and this is definitely one that got lost in translation.
Gentlemen you’ve embarrassed yourselves and done a dirty on the pedigree of your brand levels of excellence.
Why the silence?
Why the acceptance of one try scored and 15 conceded as acceptable to your brand?
Saru’s leadership is renowned for talking before thinking and for celebrating before the team plays. There is no substance. There is only confirmation that the only gold in the Bok season is that of fool’s gold.
What then of Blue Label’s statement that their brand is a perfect fit for the Boks?
The Boks scored one try and conceded 15 in two Tests against the All Blacks.
Blue Label Telecoms’ leadership has been as absent as that of the South African Rugby Union’s.
The criticism is that the game’s custodians are inept and amateur and that they don’t have the business acumen or the professional pedigree to be at the helm of a professional sport.
What then of Blue Label Telecoms? The shame of Durban and the darkest day in Springbok rugby history is one of insult to a vision of excellence when all the hype and hysteria was of innovation.
Blind national patriotism and the Bok bluster even seduced sane business minds to delight in the delusion that vision equals victory and illusion, innovation.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king and paper talk trumps what happens on the field.
Bok coach Allister Coetzee is that king – one-eyed and yet blind to the fact that the defeat in Durban demanded his resignation and that of those who appointed him.
Coetzee said the players he picked were the best for the job. This excluded 13 of the starting XV from the Lions Super Rugby final defeat against the Hurricanes.
There was no accountability of getting it wrong. In fact, he said he had no answer and refused to accept there could be another answer.
Coetzee mocked the media about he realities of Test rugby. It was a fantasy to expect running rugby and loads of tries.
He was right from the Boks’ perspective. They scored one try in two Tests against the All Blacks and they conceded 15.
Bok rugby is in free fall but the arrogance of Coetzee knows no limits. He did not read the media, didn’t care what the public thought and was satisfied his coaching staff and players had all the answers.
His Springboks are a disgrace.
Coetzee is liked because he doesn’t challenge the administration. He is liked because he is inoffensive, but his team selections and results have been offensive.
Equally offensive is the notion that his selections are right because 57-15 would indicate there was absolutely nothing right.
It’s insulting that the SA Rugby leadership can feel so little for the stakeholders of the game and supporters who bleed green and pay big in finance and emotion.
What was at times the ace in world rugby is now the joker.
The combined score favoured the All Blacks 98-28.
Expect more carnage at Twickenham against England. The potential of a first-ever defeat against Italy is now real and Wales will complete the misery.
Mark Alexander is the new president. He has already secured his legacy as a loser. He hasn’t said a word.
Patriotism has paralysed perspective in Bok rugby and sponsor Blue Label Telecoms.
The arrogance of those who lead the game is also the poison for which there will be no antidote.
Photo: SA Rugby