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Key learnings from the World Cup


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#1 Yakstorm

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:41 AM

Whilst the World Cup is far from over, there are some key learnings the RFL should take out from the World Cup and look to apply to some of their other events moving forward.

 

The first is, the 'bid city' process works, and works really quite well.  The RFL is never going to have massive budgets to market it's games, so being able to rely on clubs, councils and any other body that wants to get involved is a must.  

 

Honestly moving forward the following events should be open to tender each year:

  • World Club Challenge
  • Mid Year International (England v Exiles, or who-ever else)
  • Challenge Cup Semi Finals
  • Northern Rail Cup Final
  • Championship Final

Whilst maybe you can argue against the WCC being open for tender, the rest of the events can be played at neutral venues.  As such, provided the venues meet some minimum requirements (ie. Capacity), then why should it matter who bids for these events.  In the case of the Challenge Cup Semi's and Mid-Year internationals, having them open for bids might help bring the crowds back to these events.

 

Naturally as well when England hosts end of year tours/internationals, then of course these matches should be open for tender as well.

 

 

Secondly, put the events on sale as early as possible.  The RFL has always been paranoid about certain events eating into other event pre-sales, but one thing that has helped this tournament is a significant portion of tickets had ticked over before any of the major promotions started.  

 

Demand creates demand, and when venues could already say that a X numbers of tickets had already been sold, or X bays, it did appear to spark plenty of sales and best of all discussion. 

 

 

Thirdly, Bristol has shown it should get an 'on the road' Super League match or something similar.  Over 7,200 for a game between the two bottom seeds on a Wednesday night is impressive, meaning there is an appetite for events in this city, and some league fans in the area that are prepared to work very hard to make events a success.  As such, it only makes sense to reward this enthusiasm.  

 

 

Finally, there is clearly an appetite for matches involving nations outside of Australia and NZ in the UK.  England v Ireland and England v Fiji will both draw over 20K, and being honest is there really any reason why these figures couldn't be replicated outside of a World Cup?  Sure there has to be consideration on who the opponents are, and as well not to over-do some of these fixtures, but clearly there is a strong Irish supporter base in Northern England, and a team like Fiji is entertaining enough to be watched.  Again if tied with the first two learnings, I see no reason why England couldn't mix up some of it's international schedules every year.


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#2 superten

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:09 AM

I would be interesting in looking on what could be done for a European six nations competition . Either two pools of three or a straight league of six playing each other once. Have five cities or stadiums holding triple headers could be the way to go.
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#3 JohnM

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:30 AM

ahem:  all good and thoughtful stuff. One point, its not "learnings" but "lessons"  (as it is also not "co-workers" but colleagues")

 

You may carry on.  :)



#4 West Country Eagle

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:40 AM

I think what last night proved is that Bristol is starved of top rate sport, and particularly international competition, and that the city responds to big events. I have doubts that we'd get anywhere near that many people for regular club games - it's international competition that's the draw.

For example, an England game in Bristol would do quite well, as long as the promotion was done properly, and it had the backing of the two local councils and as much effort was put in as tonight. Wigan against Wire, as an example, probably wouldn't. It would be the same if we had a semi-pro/pro club - you wouldn't get a third of that watching a Bristol side play, say, South Wales or London Skolars.

International competition is key. Having the World Cup down here has given the game in this part of the world a huge boost, but without support from the RFL it can only grow so much. We wouldn't expect to be handed money as cut backs to development budgets mean there's just not enough cash, but they could certainly help us more in other ways.

Back to the main point, though: this World Cup has worked so far because games have largely been close and entertaining, each game has been turned into a proper "event" - lots of pre-match stuff, community involvement etc - which in turn has helped attract new fans with no major interest in the sport. In the long term that is key to the continued growth and development of Rugby League. The contrast with 2000 has been made many times, but it's huge. There are a lot of reasons for this, and we should probably wait until after the comp is finished to fully assess it, but so far, who can complain?
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#5 scrape_goose

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:51 AM

The problem with getting competitive mid year internationals is the release of NRL players that make up a lot of nations squads. It would be difficult to get Fiji v Ireland mid season would be missing the majority of the squads and so the quality wouldn't be as good. If the NRL don't get on board then unfortunately outside world cups it's going to be hard. Sorry to sound negative amongst all the positivity going around at the moment.

 

A mid season hoem nations comp would be good, but again would lack some quality players and Englands strength would mean it that, barring a massive upset, that the winner is a foregone conclusion.

 

When people watch an interntional they want to see the games best playing, they want to see players they recognise, not, and no disrespect, Championship and lower level players.

 

It is achieveable in time and with everyone comitting to growing the international game, and a proper International Federation committed to developing teh game globally.



#6 Kurt Angle

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:02 PM

The biggest lesson so far is that internationals deliver something that the club game can't.

 

The excitement so far has been bordering on tangible, to the point it will become emotionally draining if the WC continues like this... which I suspect it will.



#7 chuffer

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:06 PM

ahem:  all good and thoughtful stuff. One point, its not "learnings" but "lessons"  (as it is also not "co-workers" but colleagues")

 

You may carry on.  :)

 

It's corporate bullcrap bingo lingo.....our work used to have a "learnings database" so people could log H&S near misses



#8 Futtocks

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

While meaningful internationals are the draw that has got people interested, following the RWC up with a top-drawer 'on the road' SL match next season in Bristol would be a good gesture and a follow-up, to keep the game in the public mind.


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#9 GeordieSaint

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:19 PM

While meaningful internationals are the draw that has got people interested, following the RWC up with a top-drawer 'on the road' SL match next season in Bristol would be a good gesture and a follow-up, to keep the game in the public mind.

 

As WCE mentioned on another thread, it is the 'event' and international theme that has caught the attention of the Bristol public. As much as we hope it would, a club game involving two northern teams will never draw anywhere near the same enthusiasm etc therefore I think it is a waste of time. Participation, again mentioned by WCE and the Sonics, is the legacy this game should aiming to recreate.


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#10 DiH68

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:21 PM

ahem:  all good and thoughtful stuff. One point, its not "learnings" but "lessons"  (as it is also not "co-workers" but colleagues")
 
You may carry on.  :)

ahem...it's, not its.... ;-)

#11 Futtocks

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:47 PM

As WCE mentioned on another thread, it is the 'event' and international theme that has caught the attention of the Bristol public. As much as we hope it would, a club game involving two northern teams will never draw anywhere near the same enthusiasm etc therefore I think it is a waste of time. Participation, again mentioned by WCE and the Sonics, is the legacy this game should aiming to recreate.

I agree it's the international element that's the draw. But Bristol's chances to host another such event after the RWC will be a few years off, and some places used to respond pretty well to 'on the road' games, even back in the days when there was no local amateur RL scene. 


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#12 Scubby

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:52 PM

Yeah, I've already booked my trip to the Four Nations down under next year with games at......... er ......... hold on a minute! :ph34r:


Edited by Scubby, 31 October 2013 - 12:52 PM.


#13 Doghead

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 01:34 PM

A massive lesson learned, must be the part played by the social media in the run up, and first week of the tournament.

The enthusiasm for the tournament shown on this site, Twitter, Face book, etc has helped lift our game to a "must see" spectacle. This lesson must be learned and remembered, other sports will have.


Edited by Doghead, 31 October 2013 - 01:35 PM.


#14 Railway End

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:34 PM

As WCE mentioned on another thread, it is the 'event' and international theme that has caught the attention of the Bristol public. As much as we hope it would, a club game involving two northern teams will never draw anywhere near the same enthusiasm etc therefore I think it is a waste of time. Participation, again mentioned by WCE and the Sonics, is the legacy this game should aiming to recreate.

 

Does anybody know if the RFL have anything in place to follow up on last night's great success in Bristol?  I noticed lots of young families in the crowd.  Following the finish of a highly entertaining game, how do we intend to attract the enthusiastic locals to participate in RL?

 

School visits with an aim at pointing the interested to the Sonics perhaps?  We have to capitalise on the interest built up for the game, not just let it fade back into the subconcious.


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#15 ArmchairRhino

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:44 AM

and being honest is there really any reason why these figures couldn't be replicated outside of a World Cup?

 

I'm not so sure, I think the words "World Cup" are a large part of the appeal.


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#16 West Country Eagle

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:56 AM

Does anybody know if the RFL have anything in place to follow up on last night's great success in Bristol?  I noticed lots of young families in the crowd.  Following the finish of a highly entertaining game, how do we intend to attract the enthusiastic locals to participate in RL?
 
School visits with an aim at pointing the interested to the Sonics perhaps?  We have to capitalise on the interest built up for the game, not just let it fade back into the subconcious.


We've seen a massive increase in hits on our website, and have had quite a few local media outlets get in touch to do follow-up pieces. We're obviously giving the message that anyone who wants to get involved, in whatever capacity, are welcome. If the interest is there we can create junior teams at more age groups, and we're always looking for new volunteers.

The only downside is that we're off-season, meaning we can't just get people playing ASAP, though if possible we'd love to do more schools work sooner rather than later. Given the success of the game, we should be able to get some support from the RFL for the region, even if it's just advice to sharpen up our development plan.

As someone mentioned earlier, legacy s key. From the very start Bristol City Council said that they would only get involved if there was some kind of legacy for the sport. They didn't want to host a match just for the sake of it - and the undoubted economic impact - but needed there to be some kind of legacy. That's the Sonics, schools coaching and the other teams in the region. We want the Sonics to be strong, but for Rugby League to be strong in this area it needs other strong clubs - that means helping out the likes of Swindon, Gloucestershire Warriors and Somerset Vikings as well.
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#17 Banbury Wolf

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:38 AM

We've seen a massive increase in hits on our website, and have had quite a few local media outlets get in touch to do follow-up pieces. We're obviously giving the message that anyone who wants to get involved, in whatever capacity, are welcome. If the interest is there we can create junior teams at more age groups, and we're always looking for new volunteers.

The only downside is that we're off-season, meaning we can't just get people playing ASAP, though if possible we'd love to do more schools work sooner rather than later. Given the success of the game, we should be able to get some support from the RFL for the region, even if it's just advice to sharpen up our development plan.

As someone mentioned earlier, legacy s key. From the very start Bristol City Council said that they would only get involved if there was some kind of legacy for the sport. They didn't want to host a match just for the sake of it - and the undoubted economic impact - but needed there to be some kind of legacy. That's the Sonics, schools coaching and the other teams in the region. We want the Sonics to be strong, but for Rugby League to be strong in this area it needs other strong clubs - that means helping out the likes of Swindon, Gloucestershire Warriors and Somerset Vikings as well.

 

Quick suggestion as regards the off season - can some weekend or mid-week low contact 'tag' sessions be organised during the winter?

(easy for me to say not being involved personally ;-))

 

Indoors perhaps so to increase the attendance.

 

Also could perhaps schedule this for 7-8pm on a weekday, followed by a viewing of the evening's group game if you can get a place where they have Premier Sports. (all a bit tight for timings I know :))


Edited by Banbury Wolf, 01 November 2013 - 09:41 AM.


#18 RugbyLeagueGeek

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:03 AM

The only downside is that we're off-season, meaning we can't just get people playing ASAP, though if possible we'd love to do more schools work sooner rather than later.

I raised this issue on this board some time ago and it was roundly dismissed, but for me has shown a lack of foresight by the RFL. The Olympics allegedly led to big upturns in participation numbers, but a vast majority of our teams will now be off-season, and nothing has been put in place to take advantage of any surge in interest immediately after this tournament finishes. For example, could some schedule of junior festivals have been organised around the country in order to capitalise on any new interest?


Edited by RugbyLeagueGeek, 01 November 2013 - 10:03 AM.





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