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boxhead

Promoting the Game

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boxhead    158

Why does Rugby League struggle so badly to promote the game as a spectacle?

I have sometimes watched the other code and appreciated some aspects of its game.

 

After watching the British and Ireland Lions tour games V Oz something is wrong, these games have been dire and I have nearly turned off the TV several times watching them.

 

Why can we not sell our game?

Its a dynamic game with far more to offer on the field than Union.

Is it bad management at the top? the geographical base of the game?

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keighley    579

I think that winning the world cup would work wonders.  UK team winning the on national TV when the soccer and RU teams failed so miserablyt at their respective world cups would be a great way to promote the game. Of course that is easier said than done.

 

I think attendances will be decent which could also send a positive message about the world wide spread of the game.

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Trojan    1,414

I travelled from Leeds to Salisbury on the train on Tuesday, I bought LE and RLW in Smiths in Leeds, I left LE on the train in Bristol (it was going on to Plymouth) and RLW on the train in Salisbury, it was going on to Portsmouth.  I'm hoping someone bored with their journey picked them up and read them and perhaps ignited a spark on interest. Well I can hope!  Winning the World Cup on national TV would do wonders for our game IMO. TBH I reckon Jonny's drop goal damaged our game immeasurably.  I didn't think so at the time but I think so now!

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keighley    579

I travelled from Leeds to Salisbury on the train on Tuesday, I bought LE and RLW in Smiths in Leeds, I left LE on the train in Bristol (it was going on to Plymouth) and RLW on the train in Salisbury, it was going on to Portsmouth.  I'm hoping someone bored with their journey picked them up and read them and perhaps ignited a spark on interest. Well I can hope!  Winning the World Cup on national TV would do wonders for our game IMO. TBH I reckon Jonny's drop goal damaged our game immeasurably.  I didn't think so at the time but I think so now!

 

I think you are right about the drop goal and even ferrygate, dwarf throwing gate and royal spouse kissing woman in bar gate added to a dismal playing performance in the last RUWC failed to dent the aura and love affair with the England RU team that that drop goal started.

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walter sobchak    952

Why does Rugby League struggle so badly to promote the game as a spectacle?

I have sometimes watched the other code and appreciated some aspects of its game.

 

After watching the British and Ireland Lions tour games V Oz something is wrong, these games have been dire and I have nearly turned off the TV several times watching them.

 

Why can we not sell our game?

Its a dynamic game with far more to offer on the field than Union.

Is it bad management at the top? the geographical base of the game?

It's the peope that run the game for me, I can remember being a mad 9 year old football fan when I just happened to stumble across the 1990 ashes test match at wembley and remember being blown away by the skills of players like ellery Hanley, Martin offiah, Gary schoefield etc. The matches at wembley, old Trafford and elland road had crowds of 55,000, 46,000 and 35,000 plus millions watching on BBC grandstand but the ashes are no more, just think how big these games could have been today if they had stuck with them?

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A vast majority of professional and semi professional clubs are very poor at match day maketing. The RFL are poor, but getting better at promoting international game's.

The clubs need to let people know when they are playing at home. who they are playing and KO times for starters.

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markleeds    102

In the UK the media creates the hype, hence why rubbish like te Xfactor is so popular. It is therefore needed that the RFL start kissing up to the media as much as possible.

Take Cheryl Cole, she was media darling and couldn't do wrong. Them for some reason the media turned on her and her stocks fell. The same with Robbie Williams, although Gary Barlow has recently got him back on track.

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Dave T    5,097

It's the peope that run the game for me, I can remember being a mad 9 year old football fan when I just happened to stumble across the 1990 ashes test match at wembley and remember being blown away by the skills of players like ellery Hanley, Martin offiah, Gary schoefield etc. The matches at wembley, old Trafford and elland road had crowds of 55,000, 46,000 and 35,000 plus millions watching on BBC grandstand but the ashes are no more, just think how big these games could have been today if they had stuck with them?

10 years later the Ashes were still around. They shrunk in size.

Maybe the early 90's was the peak.

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Trojan    1,414

10 years later the Ashes were still around. They shrunk in size.

Maybe the early 90's was the peak.

 

If it was the peak, why was it the peak?  What's different now from then?  The only things I can think of is Super League, and Union going honest, something seems to have killed the enthusiasm nationally for our game dead.  Hanley, Davies, Schofield, Edwards, (little) Andy Gregory, were almost household names. Martin Offiah still is.  We have no one today to match them for being national personalities. Only Sinfield and possibly Tomkins come close.  I've absolutely no idea how to retrieve the situation except a success, or at least a heroic failure this autumn.  With our Aussie based players plus Tomkins and possibly Sinfield we have a greater chance than we've had since 1995. Hopefully Mcnamara won't fcuk it up.

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GeordieSaint    2,374

The game in the UK will always struggle until the London-based media is brought on board. No matter how much marketing you do, unless the media train gets involved, we'll still struggle to attract the exposure, sponsorship and attraction that the likes of RU, football and cricket attract. 

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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. I appreciate that they would need some sorting out, and it may take a while to organise, but a Great Britain tour of Australia every four years or so would do so much for the game in this country. Some of the tales and stories that are told by those who experienced them, even now, and the esteem that they are held in proves just how important they actually were, and it's something that would receive the backing of all Rugby League fans, and sport fans in general.

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thirteenthman    165

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. I appreciate that they would need some sorting out, and it may take a while to organise, but a Great Britain tour of Australia every four years or so would do so much for the game in this country. Some of the tales and stories that are told by those who experienced them, even now, and the esteem that they are held in proves just how important they actually were, and it's something that would receive the backing of all Rugby League fans, and sport fans in general.

 

England will be on tour in Australia and New Zealand next year for the Four Nations. We might not have 3 match test series, and it might not be a GB team, but we still tour down under.

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England will be on tour in Australia and New Zealand next year for the Four Nations. We might not have 3 match test series, and it might not be a GB team, but we still tour down under.

Personally, I think that we should have a concept similar to that of the British & Irish Lions, and that's what I was getting at. Doesn't have to be every year, but if we could have a proper tour with midweek fixtures included, I think the benefits would be huge.

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deluded pom?    1,684

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. I appreciate that they would need some sorting out, and it may take a while to organise, but a Great Britain tour of Australia every four years or so would do so much for the game in this country. Some of the tales and stories that are told by those who experienced them, even now, and the esteem that they are held in proves just how important they actually were, and it's something that would receive the backing of all Rugby League fans, and sport fans in general.

The tours you wax lyrical about lasted approximately six weeks and included more games against club and provincial teams than they did Tests. There's no way we could return to those days whilst we still play the game in summer. Whether we like it or not 13th man is right. Basically tours are going to be a Test series or a four nations tournament. The days of six week long tours involving games against non Test teams are a thing of the past unless there's a radical change of heart and a return to winter for the game in Britain. Even the proposed GB tour in 2015 is only for a two Test series against both Australia and the Kiwis.

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walter sobchak    952

10 years later the Ashes were still around. They shrunk in size.

Maybe the early 90's was the peak.

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

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bobbruce    669

If it was the peak, why was it the peak? What's different now from then? The only things I can think of is Super League, and Union going honest, something seems to have killed the enthusiasm nationally for our game dead. Hanley, Davies, Schofield, Edwards, (little) Andy Gregory, were almost household names. Martin Offiah still is. We have no one today to match them for being national personalities. Only Sinfield and possibly Tomkins come close. I've absolutely no idea how to retrieve the situation except a success, or at least a heroic failure this autumn. With our Aussie based players plus Tomkins and possibly Sinfield we have a greater chance than we've had since 1995. Hopefully Mcnamara won't fcuk it up.

In the early 90s was part of the reason other clubs fans got fed up watching Wigan win everything so threw their support behind the GB team. In a sort of if you cant beat them join them way. Only saying that as I noticed on a graph Padge put up the other day that there seemed to be a severe dip in league attendances as the crowds for GB games increased

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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.

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GeordieSaint    2,374

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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Swansea Jack    102

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.

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robinson2    14

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.

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markleeds    102

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?

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