The marketing and organisation for international RL is terrible, that's why crowds are low.
The RFL began to build momentum for international RL in 2004 with the push to use the COMS and ER (after a few years of 25k stadia). They then replaced the COMS with Loftus Road, and retreated to using 25k grounds again, and announcing fixtures towards the end of the season.
They aren't creating an event. Some times they do. Most times it's just another fixture. The push for the WC is brilliant to see, but this needs to be EVERY YEAR. The international tournament organisation this year could have been done by a child.
It is up to the RFL to create events and stick to them. The RL public may be a tough nut to crack, but that means you need to try harder, not softer.
I agree with much of this. Whilst I do have an issue with the lack of energy and enthusiasm for international RL by many fans, the RFL do have a mixed track record with their organisation and promotion of the international game.
Before people state that things used to be so much better - it didn't, even the World Cup in 1995 was announced quite late, with the worst opening ceremony ever seen cobbled together consisting of around 10 dancers fannying around in the middle of a huge Wembley Stadium. The opener between England and Australia attracted around 14k fewer fans than the GB v Aus a year earlier at the same stadium.
The ground selection for internationals in recent years has been extremely frustrating, IMHO in every series there should be a 'gamble' if you like, where a showpiece stadium is used. TBH after a year or two grounds like the CoM, Wembley, Cardiff etc would stop being gambles and hopefully the crowds would have grown enough for these to be regular grounds. Internationals should absolutely be an event, and staging games at the likes of Leigh, Salford and Hull KR sends out the wrong message. I'm aware these grounds didn't sell out, but the RFL should absolutely take a large share of the responsibility here for the reall quite shoddy organisation, meaning they pretty much had to give tickets away for the event. People were attending these games for as little as £6 each, and we still weren't attracting crowds of 5 figures.
IMHO the RFL have had the strategy slightly out on the marketing of Internationals (they absolutely do market, despite many claiming they do none). The bulk of their efforts are on the easier, cheaper, repeat market. They utilise free channels like their own websites, club websites a lot as these will in effect get free sales, but the reality is that the RL public haven't bought into Test RL as much as you'd want them to, meaning you need to be targeting new customers. It would appear that the World Cup organisers have faced up to this, although it should be noted that the vast majority of games are in the heartlands.
Stadium selection, promotion and event organisation are all linked, and far too often at least one of these things are out. Why on earth would new fans come along to a game at Hull KR or Leigh for example?
The WC next year has a great opportunity to attract new fans, but these will be at the likes of Wembley, Cardiff, Limerick, Old Trafford etc. in the main.