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Promoting the Game


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#21 Just to be clear

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 06:10 PM

For me, the single biggest tragedy in Rugby League is the fact that we no longer have tours to Australia. Unfortunately, I'm not old enough to have seen any of them, but when you look at the attention and media coverage that the Lions, and from all four countries at that has generated, just think of the benefits that they would have on Rugby League in general.


Just to be clear, none.

Compared to a rugby union Lions tour, the hype and national interest a rugby league Lions tour would generate would be to the same extent that our world cups generate in comparison their ones.

The rugby union Lions only tour Australia every 12 years, the hype is in part because of is scarcity. It is also because it is in effect an all-star team, drawing on the four nations of the British Isles to form a team at a level higher than the normal world cup, Six Nations, and autumn international ones.

If we toured that infrequently it would offer nothing we could build on, while our team would be just the England team with maybe one or two others. What makes the rugby union Lions of interest just do not apply to us. We practically play Australia every year, a test series could add an extra dimension but it will not even approach the level of media coverage the Six Nations receives.

The Six Nations annually records television audiences of up to 7.5m for England matches. The hype the rugby union Lions are getting is not simply because it is a "proper tour" with midweek matches against club sides. It is because, no matter what we may think of the it, the sport has a very popular international game and the interest in the Lions builds on from that. A rugby league Lions would be starting from a much smaller level that even a commensurate increase for us would still leave us struggling in the media.

I am not saying a rugby league England or GB tour of Australia would be a bad thing, it just would not the panacea it is being made out to be.

#22 GeordieSaint

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 06:48 PM

I am not saying a rugby league England or GB tour of Australia would be a bad thing, it just would not the panacea it is being made out to be.

 

A very good and sensible post.


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#23 Swansea Jack

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:06 PM

Here is good news. I live in South Wales. Last Sunday whilst on holiday my wife and I attended the Crusaders v. Rochdale  match in Wrexham. We were very impressed. The attendance was over 1000 and growing, But it was the great family atmosphere which pleased us the most. The crowd were very vocal in support of the Crusaders and added to the enjoyment.  There were many families. Mothers, daughters and lots of tiny tots in their small Crusaders shirts. If you have not been to Wrexham to see the Crusaders I heartily recommend that you do so.

The topic of this thread is promoting the game. Well all the great fans in Wrexham are doing a superb job. Thank you for a great day from a South Walian. See you all in October for the RLWC.



#24 robinson2

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:29 PM

I often hear people saying that rugby league has a great on-field product (with which I of course agree) and that it should be better marketed. What I don't hear so much is how this should be done. I wouldn't know the first thing about marketing but it certainly goes beyond sheer awareness among large numbers of people, who may or may not already watch/like rugby league, although that is a start. Surely research needs to be done into tastes in terms of what people look for in sports and maybe more specifically rugby - union or league and then a coherent message/campaign be built upon that. T20 is popular because it is short but action packed, in other words plenty of fours and sixes - it is a batsmen's game! I'd have thought anyone partial to a bit of rugby (again league or union - don't get me started about the BBC talking about just rugby as if only the 15-man game exists) would enjoy tries. Just crunching a few numbers, the LOWEST average try scorers this season are unsurprisingly the London Broncos with 2.95 tries per game. The ONLY rugby union team to exceed that in either the Aviva Premiership or le Top 14 were Clermont-Auvergne with 3.12 tries in the league on average. Wigan score over 5 tries per game for instance - that is more than Clermont PLUS Leicester, the two most free-scoring sides in union. As in football, the number of tries does not always correlate to quality, indeed the opposite can often be the case. However, to take one example, fans of the Eredivisie such as myself, often point out its higher goals to games ratio (over 3 I believe) compared to other leagues and even the Bundesliga fans have boasted for years about its higher goals to games ratio compared to the other major leagues (England/France/Italy/Spain), giving it a clear point to market itself on and build interest.

I know I have evoked a few different sports and I don't wish the thread to descend into a comparison between X and Y but am merely inviting those of you who are more hardcore rugby league fans (99%) and who have more of an idea of what might work and what has failed in the past to share your thoughts.



#25 markleeds

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 09:20 PM

For the game to be marketed correctly is going to take some one on a very high salary, we could be taking upwards of £1m. Considering people bemoan the fact the CEO of the RFL is on £150k what can be done?

#26 walter sobchak

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 05:44 AM

At club level I'd try something out of left field, for example at Huddersfield I'd give away 10,000 tickets for the remaining home fixtures at the John smiths stadium including any potential play off games to primary and secondary school kids in the Huddersfield and surrounding area as well as students at the local university and colleges. With the giants having the best shot in years at lifting some silverware at wembley or old Trafford or maybe both, it's a good a chance as any for converting some school kids and young adults into giants fans with a potential exciting cup and play off run.

#27 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:19 AM

Fill your stadium to capacity for one specified game and get two additional competition points ?

#28 boxhead

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:26 AM

Walter, that may work towards growing the fans.

My youngest Son (8 year old) played Auskick at school, its a promotional tool that the AFL use.

For $60 you get 6 weeks of 1 hour a week training after school with junior players from local AFL team, with a Backpack, Mini AFL Ball, Hat, drink bottle, DVD and 4 tickets to an AFL game of your choice.

Football (soccer) does something similar.

League does............. nothing, at this School at least.


Edited by AndyCapp, 07 July 2013 - 07:28 AM.


#29 walter sobchak

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:43 AM

Walter, that may work towards growing the fans.
My youngest Son (8 year old) played Auskick at school, its a promotional tool that the AFL use.
For $60 you get 6 weeks of 1 hour a week training after school with junior players from local AFL team, with a Backpack, Mini AFL Ball, Hat, drink bottle, DVD and 4 tickets to an AFL game of your choice.
Football (soccer) does something similar.
League does............. nothing, at this School at least.

I sometimes wonder if the people who run our game go out of their way to make it a constant up hill struggle.

#30 deluded pom?

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:12 AM

League does............. nothing, at this School at least.

Complacency Andy?

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#31 deluded pom?

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:13 AM

For the game to be marketed correctly is going to take some one on a very high salary, we could be taking upwards of £1m. Considering people bemoan the fact the CEO of the RFL is on £150k what can be done?

A marketing man who is good at his job will generate enough interest/money to cover his salary and then some.

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#32 boxhead

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:33 AM

Complacency Andy?

Lack of planning, complacency and poor structure pom.

Foundations are everything in most things in life, without solid foundations you will struggle down the track and risk being swept away at some point.

I believe that has caused some of the issues in the English game, too many quick fix imports of dubious quality to the detriment of building solid foundations at the Schools and at Junior Club level.

Having people involved in a sport will always guarantee some fans being interested in that game even if its family and friends and perhaps their friends.

Its a core to build on.


Edited by AndyCapp, 07 July 2013 - 08:33 AM.


#33 deluded pom?

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:37 AM

The rule in business is that once you stop going forwards then that's the day you start going backwards.

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#34 Johnoco

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:25 AM

Part of our problem is that we are just not middle class enough. The main sports that get loads of coverage are mostly middle class. ..including soccer now that it is deemed acceptable. Look at this weekends sport. ..Lions, Wimbledon. ..its middle class heaven. RL has never been included in this and is unlikely to be soon.
This is not a class war cry or anything like that, just pointing out how it is.

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#35 Jim from Oz

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:39 AM

From 82' until 94' the ashes was every 2 years, the super league war down under killed it IMO.

 

This is THE POINT exactly

 

Back then, fans knew for sure what international games were on and when; here in Oz, everyone knew there was a Kangaroos tour to UK/France every 4 years, and the hype for it here was huge: everyone watched the late-night tests etc.

 

From the Super League war till now, that ended. RL fans never knew what tournament was on and when; there was no anticipation, no planning to save up and go follow the tests/ashes series whatever on a supporters' tour.

 

Today, we just MAY have that starting again, with the 2017 RLWC being the first RLWC EVER to be held 4 years after the previous one. Do'h!

 

I'd plan an international program like this:

 

2013: RLWC

 

2015: 4 Nations

 

2017 RLWC

 

2019: 4 Nations

 

... and fitting Ashes series (in UK and Oz) as well as Kiwi tours (in UK and NZ) in between the 4 Nations and RLWC .... maybe Ashes tours would have to be every 6 years, to fit in Kiwi RL tours as well ...


Edited by Jim from Oz, 07 July 2013 - 09:41 AM.


#36 walter sobchak

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 02:06 PM

Again on the domestic front(super league) why not do what the NRL does and devout an entire round of fixtures to a cause? For example an armed forces round, LGBT round, breast cancer round, anti-racist&relgious bigotry round, NHS round etc. It would be great publicity for rugby league as well as supporting great causes, you could have special team strips for each round and have fund raising activities for the said causes.

#37 WelshpoolMarauder

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 03:10 PM

 

From the Super League war till now, that ended. RL fans never knew what tournament was on and when; there was no anticipation, no planning to save up and go follow the tests/ashes series whatever on a supporters' tour.

 

 

This is a massive point, it really is, and one that could easily have some action taken on it - give us some notice!

 

For a point of comparison, I can tell you now where the Welsh rugby union side will be on tour all the way up to 2019, as well as dates and times for the 6 Nations fixtures for the next two seasons. I also know that every November, they'll be playing three or four games in Cardiff.

 

Can I find any similar information for the Welsh rugby league side? Not a chance. I've searched around and can't even find out if there's a European competition for them in 2014, let alone when that might be.

 

We're not even talking about 100% set-in-stone dates and times, just a rough idea so that people can plan their lives a bit, and then not moving things around from year to year.



#38 markleeds

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 03:16 PM

TBH I think the RFL would love to have a 5 year calendar but it is hands of the Aussies to agree and that is where it goes wrong. A much stronger RLIF would help massively.

#39 WelshpoolMarauder

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:47 AM

TBH I think the RFL would love to have a 5 year calendar but it is hands of the Aussies to agree and that is where it goes wrong. A much stronger RLIF would help massively.

 

I don't necessarily think that they need to go that far ahead, but like I said, I can't even find out the details about any European competition next year, and that doesn't need any input from the Aussies!

 

Perhaps the European countries could start planning a bit further ahead, which could then act as a spur to the others - if the European nations start saying to the likes of PNG, New Zealand and so on 'how would you like to come over for a game or two during October of 2014, or 2015?', then the Aussies would perhaps start to get the message a bit, or find themselves with no-one to play.

 

There will be mis-matches, that's inevitable, but if the game is serious about having a major international dimension, the first step is having more international games taking place, regardless of who is playing in them, and giving people the time to plan for them.



#40 thirteenthman

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:14 PM

I don't necessarily think that they need to go that far ahead, but like I said, I can't even find out the details about any European competition next year, and that doesn't need any input from the Aussies!

 

Perhaps the European countries could start planning a bit further ahead, which could then act as a spur to the others - if the European nations start saying to the likes of PNG, New Zealand and so on 'how would you like to come over for a game or two during October of 2014, or 2015?', then the Aussies would perhaps start to get the message a bit, or find themselves with no-one to play.

 

There will be mis-matches, that's inevitable, but if the game is serious about having a major international dimension, the first step is having more international games taking place, regardless of who is playing in them, and giving people the time to plan for them.

 

2014 and 2016 will see a 4 Nations, so England will be playing Aus and NZ in those years, and 2015 is supposedly a Lions tour again to Aus and NZ. And then 2017 is a World Cup year. PNG could conceivably be playing in the 2014 4 Nations if they're the highest ranked Pacific side in this years WC.

 

I would agree that a more organised approach needs to be taken for all countries. It often appears that any forward planning in the international game is for the benefit of the top nations, with anything else basically fitted in around it.






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