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Showing content with the highest reputation on 21/12/22 in all areas

  1. I've been very impressed by the Salford Chairman Paul King and his CEO Ian Blease. Having spoken to Paul about this, I think that the Salford Mayor Paul Dennett deserves a great deal of credit for making this decision. I don't live in the Salford area, so I don't know much about how the Council operates, but I get the impression that the Mayor sees Salford as a Rugby League city and he wants to do everything possible to strengthen the game and the club. And the club itself is making remarkable progress under a coach who I think is one of the very best in the game. They are at last managing to keep hold of the majority of the players they want to retain and they are doing some great work in the community. Their average crowd in 2022 was 4,639 which, although modest, was a 24% rise on 2021 - the biggest percentage rise of any club in Super League. A similar rise in 2023 would take them to 5,750. It would be great to see them averaging at least that figure.
    9 points
  2. No they don't. Rugby League has extremely poor market penetration even in its heartland areas - particularly with younger and more diverse audiences.
    7 points
  3. This is the very problem that, amongst other things, brand helps to solve. It's currently very difficult to "buy" RL if you're not in the heartlands. The sport is poor on many areas that would allow us to break through our geographical barriers, including digital, content, merchandising and branding. Move away from the goal of RL being about selling tickets and matchday attendances, and towards the idea that the goal is to build an audience. That's what IMG bring to the party and that's where all of those things above become so important. Because if we can build an audience that appreciates RL irrespective of where they actually live, that makes it easier to sell our media rights, our sponsorships and the product when we take it away from the heartlands. So things like "people seeing it on the internet" become important, because if we can package our content in a way that people enjoy it, can find it and - importantly - recognise it as ours, that's how we address the core problem of "how do people 200 miles away stay connected with RL". That's where branding is important because if you see something online that impresses you, say a brilliant corner-flag finish from Tommy Makinson, recognise it very clearly as being from "Super League", that builds salience that makes it more likely that people will see the next piece of content we produce, and the next. Before you know it, you have an engaged audience that you can package up and sell. That's where the branding isn't nonsense because, taking that content as an example, the branding, the logos, the typography, the soundtrack, the presentation and everything else, helps us own that narrative and allows us to move to a situation where people think that RL is where you see that sort of skill. It's the same reason why when you see two golden arches, you think "burgers" and when you see a swooshed tick, you think "trainers". What we want is for someone to see what makes RL great, and think that's from "Rugby Super League".
    7 points
  4. Well.....I remember David Ward once saying " A good TEAM beats a team of NAMES". And to be fair , I think as a TEAM, we've proved that it's the case a lot of the time, this season and over the last few seasons. The key is to enjoy the ride, and boy what a ride we've had. Hopefully this year will be as good. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year . ColinB.
    7 points
  5. I've said this before and whilst it's not a universally popular view, I stand by it. People forget how much of a role fortune plays in these sorts of projects and to be frank, I have doubts over whether St Helens and Warrington would be playing where they are now had they jumped into bed with Tesco just a couple of years later than they did. That's not to say that they'd still be playing at Knowsley or Wilderspool, but that their respective projects may have looked very different. If St Helens or Warrington had launched their projects slightly later and closer to the 2008 recession, where the housing market collapsed and when the grocery retail landscape changed, prompting supermarkets like Tesco to shift away from the "hypermarket" model to compete with the likes of Aldi and Lidl, would those projects have worked the way they did? We'll never know the answer, but I don't think it's completely unfair to suggest that both clubs could have found themselves in a similar position to Wakefield or Castleford. For all of the fair criticsm you could throw at clubs like Castleford and Wakefield, they have tried to do what many posters on here suggest they should do and mirror what clubs like Warrington and St Helens did, working with major developments and using S106 planning to support their projects. In the case of Wakefield, that failed because the developer took advantage of a loophole in the planning consent that the council subsequently wouldn't/couldn't enforce. In the case of Castleford, they've been impacted by the collapse of the retail sector (especially "big box" retail) and the rise of online shopping. Both clubs now appear to have found a way forward, but it's unfair not to acknowledge the role that fortune (or lack of it) - alongside some undoubted hard work - plays in this process.
    6 points
  6. oh do shut up.. every time someone (usually me... if you want to ask me out on a date just DM me, its much easier) has something positive to say about IMG you come back with utter tosh like the above. We get it, you dont like or trust IMG. yet they have a good track record.. but your view is not changing, there are many people like you, they used to be called ludites maybe it should Oatesies now.. The questions you pose cannot be answered by me, they cannot be answered by IMG right now either because they are doing research so they can, and so they can get it right.. its really not hard to understand.. They havent said they will rename it either (but lets not let facts get in the way of a good moan) they are just looking into it, which is what I would expect someone like them to do. anyway i wont get back into the way you "discuss" with people as you end up picking things up out of context and arguing something no one has said with "facts" based on the actual fact you just dont like IMG and dont trust them to do what they are known for, get paid for (by many organisations) and can earn money from us by getting right.
    6 points
  7. AJ Bell seems to get a lot of stick but i think it’s a great ground I always enjoy going, pleased for Salford
    5 points
  8. I think you're confusing gainshare pricing models with "not paid a penny". IMG don't need the business, they're not working for free they're working for equity. It's not uncommon, I have contracts where we do that. They're choosing to be rewarded this way because they believe strongly in both the opportunity and their capability, so feel its how they'll end up getting more money across the 12 years.
    4 points
  9. 2023 is not 1995. You're comparing an era that was before the mass adoption of multi-channel TV, before social media, before Google, before high-speed internet, before it was common for working-class people to go to university, before low-cost airlines made people more mobile, before our communities became as transient and diverse as they are now. More importantly, before the vast majority of current club leaders took leadership roles with their current clubs. Without checking, I suspect that there is only Hetherington (then at Sheffield) left from 1995's crop of leaders still in a prominent position within the game, and he has been publicly supportive of IMG's involvement. What worked in 1995 does not have relevance to what will work today, tomorrow and into the future. The world has changed, and so have the communities that RL serves. As you ask about IMG, they have been a significant partner of the Premier League for much of it's life, and played a role in the growth of what is now one of the most successful sporting competitions in the world, and arguably the UK's biggest cultural export. They have online streaming capabilities that the RFL couldn't possibly create themselves, and they've delivered pretty sizable commercial growth in Euroleague basketball. But yeah, no value, right?
    4 points
  10. That's an interesting comment. Do you have some insights that are not in the public domain? Which club owners don't think IMG are worth a penny? Incidentally, according to the terms of the (very complicated) contract between the RFL, Super League and IMG, they won't earn a penny until they can show they are generating the surplus income that they will take a percentage of.
    4 points
  11. That's completely missing the point. You said: That's plainly not true and football clubs aren't the reason for that being the case. Football clubs don't prevent rugby league, or any of the clubs, doing more to engage new audiences and using them as an excuse is a complete cop-out. Yes, we might be competing for attention, but that's where creative thinking and a better understanding of who the sport wants to reach makes the difference - and that happens to be something that IMG have a decent track record in. There is undoubtedly things that RL does do well, and some areas where we probably punch above our weight. But we also have areas where we don't do well, and the sport has recognised that and sought the support from a partner that does have expertise in those areas. I can't understand why anybody would have an issue with that, unless they were frightened that we might actually succeed.
    4 points
  12. Like most stadiums , it just needs people in it
    4 points
  13. I'm hoping we've already signed 1 or2 gems George although I just wish it had been confirmed they were at the club, training hard, ready for the soon to begin 2023 season which is due to open with a friendly at Doncaster 3 weeks on Sunday! Not a mention in the Press. No photo of them at training. Nothing! I assume they ARE training! Come on York, get your act together and let people know we still have a semi pro Rugby League club in York! While I'm on here, a pal of mine told me tonight he picked his season ticket up at the club shop yesterday when he called in. When I asked how he knew they were ready he said it was on Facebook! Facebook! What about we folk who don't do Facebook! I used to get emails from the club telling me things like that. What's happened to them!?
    4 points
  14. A massive well done to Rob Burrow on being given the Helen Rollason Award, Kevin Sinfield on his special recognition award and to Lindsey Burrow too. Fantastic to see all three getting the recognition they deserve.
    3 points
  15. I've given them. Nobody is saying that this is an easy thing to solve. Also, nobody is saying that our only measure of success should be soccer. What we're talking about here is driving incremental growth, using tactics and strategies that RL has so-far shown that it doesn't really have the expertise or resources to take advantage of. The fact the IMG have skin in the game on this is a good thing. Referring back to the mid-90s is irrelevant to this discussion. The people involved in RL are different, the environment in which we have to sell the sport is different, the needs and expectations of consumers are different and what works and doesn't work are different. It feels like one of those points where people blame decline in CC Final attendances on the fact that there aren't any pub or working men's club trips anymore - even though that pub and club culture hasn't existed for more than a quarter of a century.
    3 points
  16. UFC is a pretty good example of what IMG have involved themselves via a shared interest in the owner Endeavor. Sincw their involvement in 2016 it looks like revenue has increaesed 50% and is currently above $1Billion https://www.bloodyelbow.com/platform/amp/2022/6/10/23155850/documents-show-ufc-now-makes-over-1-billion-a-year-minimal-costs-and-more-growth-expected
    3 points
  17. Can't remember anyone claiming it was anything special. The point you are missing is that it has been improved recently, without relying on someone else to foot the bill.
    3 points
  18. Come on Steve, don’t be shy. Tell us your plan to grow the game.
    3 points
  19. Cas are not in danger of losing their status when you look at the clubs around them. They are financially solid, have a decent academy, do ok on the field and own their own ground with plans to upgrade. The grading system is not just a "new (but empty) ground" assessment in the same flawed way licencing was. As for clubs "pulling their fingers out" if you think Wakey and Cas haven't spent years and years and quite a lot of money on their stadium projects then you clearly haven't done much research on the topic.
    3 points
  20. Those annual artists impressions don’t come cheap.
    3 points
  21. To be fair we’ve recruited younger players this year. Personally I think Fev are stronger than last year, with the pack looking much better. Should be a good competitive season.
    3 points
  22. I get that for rusted on fans the name is far less important as they are already heavily engaged in the sport and know where to find news or how to watch games and so on, but for more casual fans, it can play a significant role. Whilst no one is suddenly going to start following Rugby League if IMG decides to call the top competition 'Super Mega Ultra League' or whatever they go with, if we can at least have a brand we can own, people can more easily find us, whether it be on the Internet or even looking up where to watch the sport or when it gets mentioned in the media, the name stands out more. Currently if you search for Super League, you get a lot of content for sports that aren't Rugby League... makes it hard for them to suddenly follow the sport if they see something that sparks their interest. There is also the impact it has on sponsors, positioning, perception and so on. Whilst I know a number of people on this forum don't consider those items hugely important, they can massively move the needle when it comes to attracting sponsors or getting broadcast revenue.
    3 points
  23. The name Rugby League must never be changed.
    3 points
  24. Absolutely invaluable reporting, RugbyLeagueRaj. Thanks for going out there and I agree with your sentiments. If only the egos could step aside and we can let the players do the talking with playing the great game.
    3 points
  25. What else is there to take the urea out of at present when there is no F in rugby?
    3 points
  26. Apart from it being 14 metres too short. It's an under-10s field.
    3 points
  27. Great news And the sale Vultures can hopefully stop undermining the salford red devils progress and community work
    3 points
  28. Feel free to have a go as a Ref mate. You can spend your weekends travelling all over the country to be abused from the sidelines by one man and his dog- then if you can handle that progress to SL and get abused by thousands- and no dogs. Let me know when its your first game and I'll come and support you as no one should recive abuse for reffing a game of RL. Good luck to the lad.
    3 points
  29. 2 points
  30. Communication is key
    2 points
  31. There's just been one of those moments - Kevin Sinfield presented Rob Burrow with the Helen Rollason Award... then the Beeb gave a special award to Kev, who was as gracious and open-hearted in his acceptance as you'd expect from the man. Now I have to get that pesky dust out of my eyes...
    2 points
  32. Terrible, designed by a 5 year old on the Errea website.
    2 points
  33. First definite redwing sighting a couple of days ago at Walling Fen as well as a couple of little egrets, a grey heron and a great close up view of a buzzard sitting on a hedge top. I imagine they're all drawn to the network of drainage channels in the area.
    2 points
  34. Aye, look what the betting was last season and look what happened lol.
    2 points
  35. 2 points
  36. He probably hasn't a clue,i wait with baited breath.
    2 points
  37. Out of interest who are your team BB? From your post it would suggest Bradford but your username suggests London Broncos? The crowd base has been done to death with Salford. Bar the 1930's and 1970's sides, Salford have had very little to show in the way of success. Throw in a successful global sports team (in the world's largest sport) like Man Utd on your doorstep and the fact they're now (much more recently) joined by Man City and you've got 2 very big reasons why competition for fans is tough. Not being able to take advantage of a GF appearance in 2019 and a CC Final appearance in 2020 due to the pandemic also probably cost us a few more new fans. Crowds will only grow significantly with some sort of continued success. It's easy for 10,000+ Wigan, Saints, Leeds fans to turn up every week because they're playing in RL hotbeds and watching a team that wins trophies consistently year on year. They've also got far stronger amateur clubs locally to feed off.
    2 points
  38. Stadiums either should or should not be part of any grading process , you either have one or not , we've seen clubs be refused entry to SL due to stadium , and other clubs allowed entry to SL despite their stadium not being up to standard Set out the standard and stick to it But do not accept any ' proposed developments ' until they are physically real , until that point they don't exist
    2 points
  39. I doubt they're in danger of losing SL status purely due to the ground, I see no signs we're going to toughen up the entry criteria. It's just they're nowhere near Cat A - and the benefits that brings - until they get it sorted.
    2 points
  40. Spot on John, the new regime have some work to do to convince the diehards that they intend to continue the family ethos built up in recent years since the JG debacle.
    2 points
  41. They first announced that they'd moving to a new stadium in Glasshoughton in the mid 1970s.....
    2 points
  42. Pretty much every club in SL who has had a stadium redeveloped has done it with the support of the local authority, a soccer club or an enabling development. Without any of those, until now, Cas and Wakey have been in an impossible position. Fans of clubs who have been lucky engaging in a **** waving contest against those who haven't is really not very useful or insightful.
    2 points
  43. You are really losing it here, All along the M62 everyone knows about the game and many follow it on TV across the country and at grounds if they live in the north. The game is on TV on SKY and on the BBC and has been for years. Some tin pot ad people we don't trust as we ain't paying without results "relaunches" the game (please do explain that one) and you start falling for it. Good job you don't have the purse strings of Superleague, you'd bankrupt it. OK so you would pay out tens of thousands to IMG Ad men to do what exactly? Over to you?? What would you re-name the game and where would you spend the money looking for new fans, and why would they bother??
    2 points
  44. Anything is better than nowt. But we need experienced, nasty props not youngsters learning their trade. We fell into that trap last season, and I couldn't cope after 62 years with yet another one.
    2 points
  45. You didn't order anything? They are clearing unsold stock at bargain prices (albeit the popular items and sizes are sold out) yet you expect RFL staff not World Cup staff to deliver to hundreds of addresses across the country personally? That sort of stuff really makes blood boil.
    2 points
  46. Looking at Widnes being shorter than Batley, Tom Gilmore must be an even better player than most of us have given him credit for! Gilmore and Hooley will be big misses for Batley, but they have a strong pack and a good coach and should be very competitive again.
    2 points
  47. So 2,200 ' new ' jobs ? So who's going to lose 2,200 existing jobs ? And until it's built , it doesn't exist and should NOT be included in any criteria classification
    2 points
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