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Dave T

RLWC 2013 - Success?

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Looking at the fixtures over the last couple of days, it got me thinking what would success look like at the end of the tournament (off the field).

I had a look at the 26 events that are being held and looked at the stadium sizes etc.

The capacity of the grounds is around 570k.

I have put a low estimate against all of the events, based on the kind of crowds we sort of get at the moment, taking out any feel-good factor, or increased marketing.

eg. 40k at Cardiff, 50k at Wembley, 45k at the final, England group games getting 12k and so on.

This would give us an aggregate crowd of 300k (average of 11,500) which I believe is higher than 2000's average. This factors in a lot of really low crowds like 3.5k in Workington, 3k in Neath etc.

I then put in higher numbers based on things like feel-good factor, effective marketing and so on:

60k at Cardiff, 65k at Wembley, 55k at the final, England games getting 19k and so on.

This would give us an agg crowd of 406k (average of 15,615) - similar to the 2008 WC. This has the lowest crowds at around 5k.

There is then also the stated target of 500k ticket sales - to get this we would need sellouts at the big three events and the 4 England games. A nudge on some of the other games would be needed too.

I personally think the 400k+ target is achievable, and think this would be a good starting point, but it is good to see that the RLWC team are looking at 500k+ (they recently stated they want to sell out Wembley and have appointed the firm behind the Union Big Events to market this event).

What do other people think would be a success for the WC?

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Beyond ticket sales and profit, success for the RWC would be a stronger and more credible presence in the general public's awareness. Just for more people to know there are two different codes, played differently, would be a big step forwards.

We are in the same position as many of the Olympic sports in 2012. The mainstream sports media covers a very narrow spectrum, and RL is not one of the chosen few who get 90% of the airtime/column inches.

Ideally, any converts to the game must also be (somehow) made aware that the game is likely to be played at some level near to wherever they live, and that it's not just confined to a narrow geographical band across the North of England.

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Ideally, any converts to the game must also be (somehow) made aware that the game is likely to be played at some level near to wherever they live, and that it's not just confined to a narrow geographical band across the North of England.

Every county bar Herefordshire*!

*Or Hampshire, can't remember which

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Success for me would be full stadiums for all the big games and a decent turn out for the others, along with an increased and consistent media presence during and after the event. As well as your average sports fan having an increased awareness of rugby league. Hopefully the event will be a success and we'll see playing numbers rise on the back of it also..

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In terms of attendances at grounds, what are your thoughts on whether we will achieve the lower estimates, or whether this event will push on and achieve record crowds?

I remember being really positive about the promotion for the RLWC 2008 - with plenty of tickets bought in advance, sponsors and broadcasters announced a year ahead, and a large British following - yet quite frankly some of the crowds were disappointing.

We have seen the same in Britain - whilst the 40k at Wembley last year was a real positive step in the right direction, you couldn't help be a bit disappointed that so many RL fans decided not to attend.

This is why I think it's crucial to keep up the momentum, really push the organisers from each town to be driving sales and events in the build up - it would be a shame to miss what is a brilliant opportunity for our sport.

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Any improvement in attendances from 2008 is essential. There were some superb matches, and I really enjoyed the tournament as a whole* but it seems Australians, once the NRL season is over, do rather switch off from the sport.

*the flaccid performances from England and France excepted.

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success will be reflected as a profit.....

and don't forget....2008 only had 18 games...........the 2013 has 28....hence the expected 200,000 extra fans (290k v a projected 500k)

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Any improvement in attendances from 2008 is essential. There were some superb matches, and I really enjoyed the tournament as a whole* but it seems Australians, once the NRL season is over, do rather switch off from the sport.

*the flaccid performances from England and France excepted.

The RLWC 2008 got an average crowd of 16,331. If we get 400k we would average 15.6k over 26 events, 500k would see us average over 19k (a remarkable effort IMHO).

The problem with the 2008 attendances for me were that many were solid rather than spectacular. Whilst there were some decent numbers to build on, the big events often didn't sell as well as they possibly should have. The scheduling wasn't that helpful for many travelling fans and some grounds selected were really rather uninspiring.

The opener with 34k was ok, not brilliant. The Samoa v Tonga game which had been billed as a game to attract 20k came in with just over half of that, and of course the Sydney semi was appallingly supported (15k for a home semi). I was also very disappointed by the Ireland v Fiji quarter final.

There is scope for our big events to get much larger crowds this time, but we have been disappointed before so we need to keep pushing these.

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success will be reflected as a profit.....

and don't forget....2008 only had 18 games...........the 2013 has 28....hence the expected 200,000 extra fans (290k v a projected 500k)

I'm not convinced that profit is the best way of measuring success. It should certainly be a key target, but the event could have a bucketload of sponsors, tv coverage, packed grounds and great games but still make a loss. It could also have few sponsors, half full grounds, half-assed coverage yet return a profit.

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I think whilst attendances are very important, that getting a good chunk of the RWC games on terrestrial TV, both here and in France is vital to get the game exposure. The public loves international sport, the Olympics, the RU internationals, soccer etc.

Good exposure, and especially of the stadia are fairly full, would really promote the game. It would show the geographical range of the game and the skills displayed would be in strark contrast to the slower, stultifying RU stuff.

If we can get the games shown in North America, Europe, Russia and the middle east it wouldnt hurt either in terms of encouraging development.

The last WC over here had a Aus v NZ final and we got 44,000 crowd. I think we can do better this time even if it is a repeat fixture and if England make it I think we could get 60,000 plus to the final. I think the French home games will sell out . They are both in their heartlands.

I think the Fiji fixture at Rochdale could sell out given the novelty factor of the fixture and the Fijian disapora living in the town and the marketing efforts so far from the Rochdale oganising committee. Fiji were semi finalists in 2008, so that's another drwing card for this fixture.

If the Welsh get out of their group, a home quarter final at Wrexham might be a decent crowed also.

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I personally think the 400k+ target is achievable, and think this would be a good starting point, but it is good to see that the RLWC team are looking at 500k+ (they recently stated they want to sell out Wembley and have appointed the firm behind the Union Big Events to market this event).

If the bit in bold is indeed true then this is the best news I've heard in ages - but, just to clarify, is this the firm that has helped oversee Saracens' excursions to Wembley?

They're just the sort of people the game needed to market the World Club Challenge too...

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Success for me would full-ish stadia with nearly all, if not all, matches shown on free-to-air national television with people all over the country starting work by saying "Did you see the USA v Cook Islands last night? What a game?"

If not that I'll take England beating the Aussies to become World Champions!

Or can I have both?

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If the bit in bold is indeed true then this is the best news I've heard in ages - but, just to clarify, is this the firm that has helped oversee Saracens' excursions to Wembley?

They're just the sort of people the game needed to market the World Club Challenge too...

Yes - Capacity Consulting

http://www.rlif.co.uk/rugby-league-international-news/article/864/862/862/865/want-your-picture-with-the

http://capacityconsulting.co.uk/home

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What would be deemed a success? Less than 10 pages on a thread on here moaning about it I'd say! :lol::mellow:

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I think whilst attendances are very important, that getting a good chunk of the RWC games on terrestrial TV, both here and in France is vital to get the game exposure. The public loves international sport, the Olympics, the RU internationals, soccer etc.

Good exposure, and especially of the stadia are fairly full, would really promote the game. It would show the geographical range of the game and the skills displayed would be in strark contrast to the slower, stultifying RU stuff.

If we can get the games shown in North America, Europe, Russia and the middle east it wouldnt hurt either in terms of encouraging development.

The last WC over here had a Aus v NZ final and we got 44,000 crowd. I think we can do better this time even if it is a repeat fixture and if England make it I think we could get 60,000 plus to the final. I think the French home games will sell out . They are both in their heartlands.

I think the Fiji fixture at Rochdale could sell out given the novelty factor of the fixture and the Fijian disapora living in the town and the marketing efforts so far from the Rochdale oganising committee. Fiji were semi finalists in 2008, so that's another drwing card for this fixture.

If the Welsh get out of their group, a home quarter final at Wrexham might be a decent crowed also.

The signs are that we have learnt from previous challenges.

The BBC have covered the last two British based RLWC’s – they have shown a real appetite to show International RL in the last few years, so I suspect they will cover at least part of this. It would be great if they had the core selection of games, with Sky covering every other game. This was sort of the deal in 2000, although not every game was covered. The stadia do need to be relatively full, even if they are small grounds they need to look bustling. In 1995 we didn’t see the packed grounds at Central Park for England v Fiji, or Swansea for Wales v Western Samoa (apart from on LIVE TV) – and we need to show on national TV that there is a real desire for international RL – irrespective of how it compares in size to other sports.

The last WC had TV deals in all of the territories you mentioned IIRC, we should be looking for at least the same again, hopefully a wider reach.

The last WC final got a good crowd in the end, but it was a real struggle at the time with free tickets going round, it looks like we are ahead of the game this time, and selling tickets for this event so early (with offers) is very positive. Making it an event to attend no matter who is there is the right thing to do, and it looks like the three big events are being taken seriously.

I actually think there is a possibility of some decent crowds for non-England games. The likes of NZ v Samoa at Warrington should be able to get 12k if the fans really buy into it, especially with adult tickets starting at £10.

I’m not overly optimistic about large crowds for Wales games tbh but if they do well generally Welsh fans will get behind the team.

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What would be deemed a success? Less than 10 pages on a thread on here moaning about it I'd say! :lol::mellow:

No chance! :D

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I would base success on crowds!

I think it will be a roaring success because I think the RFL have chosen well regarding stadiums being used. The likes of Rochdale, Workington, Neath, Limerick, Wrexham will do well just from locals turning out alone, these could be near sell outs!

Also the package deals available for the opening fixtures / semi finals / final etc are a great idea with low prices as well will get alot of bums on seats.

I'm planning on doing,

Millenium Stadium

Spotland

Derwent Park

Headingley - twice

Neath

Halifax

Wrexham

Wembley Stadium

Old Trafford

..... and an empty bank lol!!!

England v Aus Final with a full house at Old Trafford will alone be a spectacle!!!

Counting the days!

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I would base success on crowds!

I think it will be a roaring success because I think the RFL have chosen well regarding stadiums being used. The likes of Rochdale, Workington, Neath, Limerick, Wrexham will do well just from locals turning out alone, these could be near sell outs!

Also the package deals available for the opening fixtures / semi finals / final etc are a great idea with low prices as well will get alot of bums on seats.

I'm planning on doing,

Millenium Stadium

Spotland

Derwent Park

Headingley - twice

Neath

Halifax

Wrexham

Wembley Stadium

Old Trafford

..... and an empty bank lol!!!

England v Aus Final with a full house at Old Trafford will alone be a spectacle!!!

Counting the days!

They do seem to have taken the right approach of targeting the big games (with some pretty hefty prices tbh) and then the smaller games will probably take care of themselves to an extent.

If done right, we could break all sorts of international crowd records.

Largest international crowd in Wales (and potentially UK), at the opener.

Largest international crowd in the UK, at Wembley

Largest World Cup Final Crowd, at Old Trafford

These should be the aims for these events.

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Important point in there Dave about not comparing it with other, more popular sports. RL is not as big as soccer, RU etc and we needn't worry about matching their sort of crowds.

We need to do the best we can for RL and that will do.

We also need to ensure scumbags like Martyn Samuel have nothing to do with writing about it too. The fat f***

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Is there any news, this early on, about how the TV deal's been divvied up between (I'd assume) Sky and the BBC?

I wouldn't mind if it wasn't exclusively terrestrial for the live coverage, as long as the non-BBC matches had a BBC highlights package shown afterwards.

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real success for me (apart from good crowds,good media coverage and England doing well) would be for the penny to drop in Australia that international RL could be fantastic for the health of the sport and for them to give it some serious backing. That and sort out the ridiculous State of Origin qualification criteria. On top of those Aussie bludgers, and related to it all, the positive development of the international game in the likes of Fiji,Samoa & Tonga would also be a great shot in the arm for the sport.

Think I've covered all my wish list there!

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It'll be a success if Australia don't, a week before the tournament, decide they're all an ickle bit tired and decide they don't want to turn up. :P

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It'll be a success if Australia don't, a week before the tournament, decide they're all an ickle bit tired and decide they don't want to turn up. :P

That's England's best chance of winning.!!!!

Seriously though, the Aussies have been to every one and won most of them. They successfully hosted the last one after the one before ( 2000 in the UK ) had been a disaster. They might treat International RL as not as important as state of origin but they always show up on the day.

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real success for me (apart from good crowds,good media coverage and England doing well) would be for the penny to drop in Australia that international RL could be fantastic for the health of the sport and for them to give it some serious backing. That and sort out the ridiculous State of Origin qualification criteria. On top of those Aussie bludgers, and related to it all, the positive development of the international game in the likes of Fiji,Samoa & Tonga would also be a great shot in the arm for the sport.

Think I've covered all my wish list there!

That would be a real success story!

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I would throw a couple of other matters into the mix:

- we should do all we can to move the press from their default hostility mode to neutral. We won't win over the Establishment for obvious reasons, but it would be great to have our game covered with some respect;

- it is vital that the players enjoy it and feel as if they are part of something special.

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