Expansion franchises work in the NRL and NFL because they build relationships with the media, ensuring that each new club has the visibility required to generate interest. That doesn't happen in Superleague, both through our own lack of effort and through being perceived by the media as a provincial sport. Sheffield could succeed in Superleague, but it would require a marketing budget far greater than clubs in Superleague currently work with, and a level of expertise that currently does not exist in our code in the UK. There have been rare brazen efforts to stretch limited funds in the past that have generated interest for the likes of Bradford and Keighley on a smaller stage, but outside of that most clubs are sitting on their hands. Most marketing people in UK rugby league should be sacked for laziness and a lack of vision.
To be quite clear, I don't believe that the likes of London or Sheffield can ever rise to the levels they should, unless the RFL makes some drastic changes in regards to how they market the game on behalf of the clubs whilst forging stronger ties with the media. Staff dedicated to growing the relationships our sport has with the national and local media, outside of current marketing strategies is vital. Without it nothing will change for the better.
That's very true but for me the slant of your post is towards "If only we had money and marketing expertise"
I agree far more with your "regional game" analysis.
Of course you can sell an NFL team in the USA and of course you can sell an NRL team in Australia, countries where these sports are the top sports.
The Lewis expansion years have shown exactly what the problems are and so I don't agree with you we need a lot of money, the right staff, the right vision etc etc.
In a country heavily dominated by Soccer and where there is a strong rival code we cannot realistically create pro clubs up and down the country even at the low turnover of approx £4M per year. Besides no money there's no infrastructure and little resource.
Superleague has to put it's efforts and investment into where the game is strong.
That's not in Leigh, Sheffield, or Keighley