Jonah Lomu changed rugby forever

Where would modern rugby be today without Jonah Lomu, the bulldozing giant, the unstoppable tour de force who hit the rugby scene when he was just 19 as the youngest ever All Black?

Jonah Lomu changed the face of modern rugby. He was marketable and as a result he made Rugby Union marketable becoming a global superstar and household name.

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The All Blacks have many tributes to Jonah, but I like the one that has captured the reactions from key sporting figures from around the world, read them here.

I think it’s pretty special when a person with such incredible sporting talent can change, advance and improve a sport in multiple ways. He impacted the build of players, the game itself and the communications surrounding rugby. Public relations for rugby changed as communication between stakeholders evolved and improved.  The changes to the way rugby organisations and players handled PR, marketing and advertising made the game accessible to a much wider audience. By being more accessible Jonah became an icon and an inspiration to players of all ages.

Jonah’s support of the rugby world didn’t stop despite his health conditions or when he retired from the international rugby circuit. Recently he toured the UK promoting the 2015 World Cup, performing the traditional Haka.

Jonah Lomu, you are going to be missed but forever remembered as one of the greats, perhaps even the greatest. By engaging all your stakeholders you engaged the world through sport and you built a legacy that will last forever.

Jonah Lomu

 

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