We have employed all sorts of people from outside of the game yet our fortunes don't change massively.
People can talk all they want about customer profiles etc. but there is more to sport sponsorship than this. Prestige is a hard to measure thing.
Our Commercial Manager previously worked with Man City IIRC and was involved in major deals with the likes of Etihad - why isn't he just finding it easy to go out and get sponsors in?
IMG are selling the rights to the WC - again, whay aren't the broadcasters flocking to them?
People need to understand that Rugby League officials are often fighting an uphill battle. Journo's, fans and club officials don't help in the slightest.
I have commented on this issue before.
As Canetman rightly says, you have to work with the financial framework that large corporations decide their principal marketing spend well ahead of when it actually comes into effect. Which means forward planning say 2 years ahead of when the deal needs to take effect and I am not convinced the RFL have worked to that kind of schedule in the past. I do have some sympathy for the commercial manager, his contacts from Man City would probably not bring in much since RL is a very different beast to soccer, and I would expect trying to get competition sponsorship is more difficult than getting sponsorship for a club.
Furthermore, when the RFU employee in charge of sponsorship says it is a tough market, and that for an organisation with the clout of the RFU, then you know things are tough.