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whatmichaelsays last won the day on July 9

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  1. I think the point about away fans isn't that they aren't valuable or something that we shouldn't embrace, but that equally "away fans" shouldn't be an argument to not do things like expand the reach of the sport. If there is value in having the game played at a high level away from the M62, then "but away fans" isn't really enough to negate that value. Away fans are a good thing, but people massively overplay their importance and they are nowhere near as valuable to a club than locals. Away fans are good but if they're the best argument someone has against something, then it's a weak argument.
  2. The point I'm making on pricing is not necessarily that it needs to be higher, but that it needs to be believable. I'd argue that the point about Aldi and Lidl working so itheir approach can work for RL too is a bit of a non sequitur as you're comparing a functional necessity with an entertainment product, but let's run with it for the purpose of this discussion. Aldi and Lidl, they sell themselves on being cheap and functional. You can believe the price on offer because you can see where the cost cutting is. If Sainsbury's or Waitrose started selling chicken breasts at Aldi prices, you'd be wondering which corners they cut - whether the quality was lower or if the welfare standards had fallen. Aldi cannot be Waitrose and Waitrose cannot be Aldi, because the positioning and experience is very different. What RL does is try and sell itself as a Waitrose sport at Aldi prices. We call ourselves "the greatest game" and then struggle to sell it on Groupon two days before the event. That's where it doesn't work. If we're such a great sport, why do we need to give away discounts, when other sports are over-subscribed at three times the price? If we're selling the sport cheap, how can we deliver the "world class talent and entertainment" that the game purports to be selling? The point is that the price neither has to be higher or lower - it just needs to be believable. Can RL sell itself as a form of "cheap and functional" entertainment in an Aldi-esque style? Probably. Should it? Probably not. How many times have you been asked "how was your weekend" and responded "brilliant - I had a great cheap and functional weekend - can't wait for the next one!" How this enhanced experience is paid for is essentially through the clubs selling more. Every unsold ticket is money left on the table - the issue here is whether the clubs have the ability and confidence to deliver what people are willing to pay for. I'll repeat the point earlier that enhancing the experience is about removing the variance in the product - removing the idea that it's not worth going to the game, because the game might be pants and instead, ensuring that no matter how turgid the game is, people can still have an enjoyable time. On your point on about working on performance related contracts, I have and still do, but even in those circumstances, certainly don't sell myself short (for a "pittance", to use your word). Nobody decent needs to work on those terms because it isn't hard for them to find clients that value their time. But the problem with such an approach is that it leads to shortermism. Get someone in on such a contract and they'll work on something that gets small results quickly, ignoring the long term strategy.
  3. Nobody is saying we should, but we should also be catering for those who want more from their entertainment and can afford to pay for it. We should also be pricing it at a point where people see it as worth getting out of the house for. Pricing it as a quality form of entertainment. We're not talking about Arsenal FC style pricing here but if the game keeps pricing it as a bargain basement sport, keeping it cheap because the core fan base keeps demanding that it stays cheap, it will keep declining.
  4. Whilst over supply is an issue at some clubs, I'd argue that the point about perception still stands. The perception of the sport being one that "can't be that good if you're selling it for that" isn't helping is fill the other half of the ground. Whilst Huddersfield games are usually half empty, selling season tickets at half the price of an annual Netflix subscription arguably a part of the problem. How can a sport that is as good as we try to claim it is be worth so little?
  5. Matchday experience means different things to different people, but enhancing that reduces the reliance on the game on the field alone being good enough to get them to come back. This is simple variance management. Let's assume, for example, that around 50% of RL games are good and 50% are pretty forgettable. Now take four new fans going to two games each. Fan 1 sees two good games. Fan 2 sees a good game and a bad game. Fan 3 sees a bad game and a good game. Fan 4 sees two bad games. Fan 1 is fine - he's hooked. Equally, fan four is never coming back. Fans 3 and 4 are less certain. They might come back, they night not. Fan 3 many not come back after his first game, whilst fan two may have lost interest at game two. Of the four fans you've spent money to attract, you've lost three of them. That's why it's important to serve those fans more than a game and deliver an experience, because the experience can mitigate the bad game. It disarms the objection of "I won't bother going, it might be rubbish" and turns it into "yeah, go on then, I had a decent laugh last time". That's what Toronto "get", and it's why people who to "the crowds will vanish when they start losing" really don't understand how this works. If you're like Grubrats and only want to go for the game, that's fine, but it means the game needs to find a lot more of people like Grubrats and, with respect, I doubt there are many out there that we haven't already found. This isn't made up guff - this is what successful hospitality businesses do. Nobody goes to McDonalds because it is any good - they go there because you never have a bad McDonalds. As for pricing, there's a body of evidence out there that raising prices, in the right contexts, can actually increase sales. I've done it with clients, despite their own natural instincts. What we do in RL is tell people "this is a great sport" and then sell it at a rock bottom price. It's very hard to convince someone what we're a great sport when you do that because people know that great sport costs more than £18-20. In the same sense, if you tried selling a brand new BMW for £10k, people would think something was wrong with it. Either we need to change the message, or sell the tickets more confidently. It's easier to sell a ticket to an event worth £30 for £30 than it is to say "it's a £30 event but you can have it for £15", because people will assume something is wrong with it and you can't sell it. Similarly, it's easier to sell a night out at an elite sporting event at £30 than it is for a tenner because, at a tenner, people think that the event can't be that good so it isn't worth the effort of going out when there is something good on Netflix. But yeah, bother with any of that? It sounds like hard work and it's easier to just blame the RFL, right?
  6. I never said it was your fault. You've got me confused with someone else. Look at the advertised salary for roles at SL / RFL / clubs over the years. That's why the club can't attract, as you put it, "marketing experts".
  7. I see what you did fhsre. You missed the second bit in order to make a snide remark, didn't you? RL clubs don't pay the going rate for skills. It's a good indication of why the game is in the state it is iin.
  8. Who says I haven't been near a club? But you know how clubs are currently trying to nickle and dime their players? They do that with their marketing and business development teams as well.
  9. The current reality is that there will be people out there with money to spend when they are allowed to spend it. There are people who have been able to continue their jobs, not had the cost of commuting and who have a lot of pent-up demand for leisure. There is literally zero excuse for any RL club to not be thinking up ways to cater to those people. No excuse whatsoever. The game doesn't need loop fixtures that do more harm to the sport that they do good.
  10. You know full well this has been answered before, but they do it by: Understanding who the valuable audiences are. Understanding what those audiences want. Understanding what they're willing to pay. Adapting the matchday experience to reflect what they want and what they're willing to pay - clubs can't rely on the game itself being good enough to encourage them to come back. Confidently selling that product at a credible price point - nobody will believe you if you try and sell a premier sporting event for £20 or less or throw discounts around willy nilly. Make sure that the club works to build longer-term relationships with those audiences. The way you DON'T do it is the way most clubs are currently doing it - sell the same old guff that everyone is bored of to the same people, relying on dads and grandads to drag the next generation of reluctant supporter along. If the problem is that the game doesn't appeal to audiences that can afford to financially sustain it, it's time to change who it appeals to.
  11. You pay for it through growth. The entire justification for loop fixtures is based on zero-growth mindset - a lazy mentality that sells the same stuff to the same people over and over again. You don't need more games. You need to sell more of the games you have. Once this pandemic is over, there will be money out there to earn and a lot of pent-up leisure demand. There are sections of society that have done well out of this and are saving more than they ever have - the job of the clubs is to find those people and give them something they want to pay for.
  12. That's not really addressing the issue. If a club thinks that an "average" Australian is better than an "average" Englishman at getting results, isn't the issue that the quality of English players isn't good enough? Reducing the quota doesn't make English players better. It makes the competition poorer. Again, the whole argument for a tighter quota seems to be based on protectionism, which is the wrong way to approach this issue. Places sound be won on merit and ability, not accident of birth.
  13. But if we accept that recruiting a player from the other side of the world is neither cheap nor risk free, why are these "average" Antipodean players being recruited ahead of (presumably cheaper and easier-to-recruit) English players? If it is because average Australian players are better than average English players, surely the answer is to improve youth player coaching, not to damage the Super League product by forcing clubs to employ sub-par players just because of their passport or accident of birth?
  14. But why? For what purpose? Reducing the quota hasn't made the England / GB team in the 15 years or so since the rules changed to nullify the Kolpak ruling (if anything, we're finding it harder to put together a team that is LESS competitive), it hasn't helped Super League retain its best talent, it hasn't increased participation and it hasn't improved the quality of the league. Super League's "box office players" are predominantly overseas players - Hastings, SBW, Maloney, Hurrell, Falou - we need more of them, not less (homophobia aside). If there was an objectively good decision to reduce the number of overseas players in SL, I'd hear it, but I don't think there is one. It's one of those "sounds like a good idea" things that actually doesn't have a lot of merit behind it. It hasn't made England / GB any more competitive (if anything,we've gone backwards), it doesn't improve the standard or marketability of SL and I don't believe that there is an English kid working in a factory or fall centre who can credibly say "if it weren't for Konrad Hurrell, I'd be a Great Britain centre". Protectionism or jingoism aren't good enough reasons to prevent clubs recruiting the best talent they can.
  15. Why? We had this debate about 15 years ago when clubs were full of Kolpaks. The argument was that if we tightened the quota, it would give England / GB a better chance of beating Australia. Fast forward 15 years and with a tightened quota, we're relying more on ancestry players and getting beat by PNG and Tonga. So other than the "they're taking our jobs" argument, why should we be reducing overseas players in our comp? As a fan, I want to see the most talented players possible. Their nationality is irrelevant.
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