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Martyn Sadler

Can Sheffield Eagles kick on from Wembley?

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1 minute ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Sheffield Eagles had a great day out at Wembley on Saturday.

But can they take advantage of their success this time?

Good luck to them going forward, but I do some work in Sheffield and nobody I speak to ever mention the Eagles. All they talk about is football. RL just doesn't seem to catch the Sheffield public's imagination. It was the same when they won the CC.

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1 hour ago, Gooleboy said:

Good luck to them going forward, but I do some work in Sheffield and nobody I speak to ever mention the Eagles. All they talk about is football. RL just doesn't seem to catch the Sheffield public's imagination. It was the same when they won the CC.

It's very interesting you should make that point, which I don't doubt.

I worked for 20 years as a lecturer in Sheffield until 1997 and I found there was a significant degree of interest because of the work that Gary Hetherington did in spreading the word. But when he sold out in 1996 the club's missionary activity seemed to lose momentum, although I also left the city the following March, so perhaps I lost contact too.

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The one thing the Eagles dont do is shout about themselves. As has been said people dont know much about them and its stuff that can be done quite easily, I tend to feel that they dont have a media team at all or a marketing team and its what they desperately need. Steelers have done a great job of this and I doubt their pockets are much deeper. There is much that can be done but they need a will power from up high to do it, i could list a load of things they could/should do, my wife has many times as she works in Marketing at Sheffield Hallam Uni and been instrumental in some award winning campaigns they have won in the last couple of years. But if the Eagles higher bods arent prepared to take the lead/step to push this (its not up to Mark Aston he has to get the players on the pitch right) then its not going to happen.. "If you build it they will come" only works if you also tell them where to come to!

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Sheffield desperately need to upgrade the facility at OLP. Just one good stand along a touch line could be enough in the short to medium term and could massively help them in terms of generating revenue - something I am aware they have been struggling for.

Clearly a media/marketing team is massively needed also. 

 

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1 hour ago, Gooleboy said:

Good luck to them going forward, but I do some work in Sheffield and nobody I speak to ever mention the Eagles. All they talk about is football. RL just doesn't seem to catch the Sheffield public's imagination. It was the same when they won the CC.

  The majority of the public in Sheffield are totally unaware that the sport of rugby league exists in the city;or where the sport is played.

A few paragraphs,albeit on a regular basis,in The Star newspaper,and a few minutes on local radio,sporadically,is far from sufficient to inform people.

 Distributing videos of both Wembley victories around the schools would be a start to informing the public.

If anyone has any better ideas inform the club ....then find some volunteers to spread the word.

It is the best kept secret in Sheffield....beneath the contempt of the local council and former Sports Minister Caborn,plus beneath a whole host of other sports in the city,available for participation and to spectate in reasonable comfort,and with decent facilities. 


     Born - didn't ask. Dying - didn't argue                                 

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5 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

It's very interesting you should make that point, which I don't doubt.

I worked for 20 years as a lecturer in Sheffield until 1997 and I found there was a significant degree of interest because of the work that Gary Hetherington did in spreading the word. But when he sold out in 1996 the club's missionary activity seemed to lose momentum, although I also left the city the following March, so perhaps I lost contact too.

that is exactly how i see it too... born and bread sheffielder worked away in london from 2000-2007 but back now.. and this is exactly what has happened.. no one knows who they are or where they are or what is going on... whoever is at the top now (a case in point.. no idea!) needs to let Aston get on with building a team while the board get on with doing something about promoting them.. from what i have seen nothing is going on in that aspect (maybe some social media stuff but thats not enough on its own). 

Yes the stadium needs sorting and yes there is probably work to be done off the pitch but it would be so much easier to have those sorts of conversations if there were people queueing up to get it and interest in the city and actual uproar that stuff wasnt done.. at the moment no one really cares that the ground isnt built.. i've spoken to plenty of people who didnt even know there was a pitch at the OLP let alone the potential "stadium".

There is cheap media to be had, there are other institutions and clubs who you can get help from (Steelers, the 2 unis etc etc) use them.. As a business owner I have done at least 2 projects a year with Sheffield Hallam students.. for free!! but i keep all the information, market research projects on export markets, Social media projects, filming projects (to link with social media) etc etc.. all of this they do to give the students experience. Some of it is tosh but some of it is excellent.. do the Eagles use this at all? some students love working with us, we are a sweet manufacturer what not to like?, some do not engage because they are just like that.. (you'll know this Martyn) but its free!!! and when you get a nugget it saves you thousands! we've had some fab market research and 2 great videos out of it plus some brilliant Social Media work... Steelers have an electric billboard space booked up almost all season with their next "home fixture" on it on the parkway, the busiest route in and out of the city centre.. Eagles have nothing, they could easily do this piggy backing the steelers and getting a favourable rate by doing this.. and thats just 2 easy things they could do with no real thought!

i do think they talk a great game as a board but when it comes to action they do nothing.. its very "Rugby League" at the moment IMHO

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Sheffield desperately need to upgrade the facility at OLP. Just one good stand along a touch line could be enough in the short to medium term and could massively help them in terms of generating revenue - something I am aware they have been struggling for.

Clearly a media/marketing team is massively needed also. 

 

sadly its not down to the Eagles for that.. its the Scarborough Group and the council AFAIK.. but it is very much out of their hands.. i do agree though.

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5 minutes ago, Angelic Cynic said:

  The majority of the public in Sheffield are totally unaware that the sport of rugby league exists in the city;or where the sport is played.

A few paragraphs,albeit on a regular basis,in The Star newspaper,and a few minutes on local radio,sporadically,is far from sufficient to inform people.

 Distributing videos of both Wembley victories around the schools would be a start to informing the public.

If anyone has any better ideas inform the club ....then find some volunteers to spread the word.

It is the best kept secret in Sheffield....beneath the contempt of the local council and former Sports Minister Caborn,plus beneath a whole host of other sports in the city,available for participation and to spectate in reasonable comfort,and with decent facilities. 

i've mentioned the Uni idea to both the club and to the Uni who have contact with them anyway.. AFAIK (I talk regularly with the uni people) there is no work being done by eagles outside of any sports science stuff, and there seems to be no interest... but that is just what i am gleaning from conversations.. 

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5 minutes ago, RP London said:

sadly its not down to the Eagles for that.. its the Scarborough Group and the council AFAIK.. but it is very much out of their hands.. i do agree though.

Yeah don't get me wrong I understand the problems behind that. I just know from people in the club that the lack of facility is damaging financially and how they square that circle will be defining for Sheffield moving forward. If I was them I would look at Salford City FC, Toronto WP and Newcastle Falcons for inspiration in terms of a direction going forward. Hopefully some sort of benefit can be drawn from the WC.

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8 minutes ago, RP London said:

i've mentioned the Uni idea to both the club and to the Uni who have contact with them anyway.. AFAIK (I talk regularly with the uni people) there is no work being done by eagles outside of any sports science stuff, and there seems to be no interest... but that is just what i am gleaning from conversations.. 

 They played at Hallam University sports and not one student/member of staff apparently made an appearance - despite a suggestion that some marketing was done.

  The club lost a good man to Wakefield who was doing superb work for the Include Foundation.

  Staff come and go - and the staff are very low in numbers - without explanation.

   The connect between rugby league followers - and club owners/board is the least of all the sports out there.Clubs cannot operate correctly with skeleton staff.Communication and team work is required off-field.

   If regular supporters don't know what is going on,or what is needed,then those who do not regularly support the club,will have even less interest,or knowledge.

  I hope Sheffield Eagles put a plan together.They have a World Cup not too far away.


     Born - didn't ask. Dying - didn't argue                                 

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36 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

It's very interesting you should make that point, which I don't doubt.

I worked for 20 years as a lecturer in Sheffield until 1997 and I found there was a significant degree of interest because of the work that Gary Hetherington did in spreading the word. But when he sold out in 1996 the club's missionary activity seemed to lose momentum, although I also left the city the following March, so perhaps I lost contact too.

Wasn't a guy by the name of Ralph Rimmer the CEO from 1997. I believe he overlooked the demise of the eagles and the worst merger in rugby league history........ I wonder what ever happened to him? 

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29 minutes ago, Angelic Cynic said:

1. They played at Hallam University sports and not one student/member of staff apparently made an appearance - despite a suggestion that some marketing was done.

  The club lost a good man to Wakefield who was doing superb work for the Include Foundation.

  Staff come and go - and the staff are very low in numbers - without explanation.

   The connect between rugby league followers - and club owners/board is the least of all the sports out there.Clubs cannot operate correctly with skeleton staff.Communication and team work is required off-field.

   If regular supporters don't know what is going on,or what is needed,then those who do not regularly support the club,will have even less interest,or knowledge.

  I hope Sheffield Eagles put a plan together.They have a World Cup not too far away.

1. i dont believe that stat as i know students and staff who went... but generally that ground was a pain to get to and a bit of a hole and again people didnt know they were playing there or playing at all...

in general though there may be marketing done to some students but thats just internal Hallam coms work thats not what we are talking about its using the Hallam students to create wider material. I have no interest in advertising to the students my stuff i use the students instead of a marketing or market info agency that would cost thousands..

it is not about the internal uni its about using the students as a resource instead of using outside firms. for example, they have a packaging design "company" which we used to re launch an old brand, all done through funding the uni was able to access that we wouldnt have been able to do otherwise and was cheaper because they are not just doing that work they are also employed by the Uni as experts for lectures etc.. the new brand is now a growing and ever more important part of our business (will be about 10% of turnover this year 3 years after launch) but would not have existed without this resource.. 

I think you are spot on with the disconnect.. I struggle to know when they are playing, its only because i want to know that i do... I'd love to see them do more like a Toronto side of things with more than just the game going on but sometimes it feels like its even a little too much effort to put the game on

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32 minutes ago, saintspete83 said:

Wasn't a guy by the name of Ralph Rimmer the CEO from 1997. I believe he overlooked the demise of the eagles and the worst merger in rugby league history........ I wonder what ever happened to him? 

Screenshot_20190829_105401_com.linkedin.android.jpg

jesus the man has a BA in Economics!!! god help us!

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They could but I suspect they wont unless there is a culture change at the club.  Sheffield Steelers are proof that a 'foreign' sport can make it in the city with a bit of imagination and creativity.

The problem some RL clubs in the UK have in expansion areas is expecting fans to just come as RL is an established sport in the country.  But they won't, you need to be unique and exciting and have a fun game day experience.  Sheffield (and London) are as bad as any clubs at this. 

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2 minutes ago, Tre Cool said:

They could but I suspect they wont unless there is a culture change at the club.  Sheffield Steelers are proof that a 'foreign' sport can make it in the city with a bit of imagination and creativity.

The problem some RL clubs in the UK have in expansion areas is expecting fans to just come as RL is an established sport in the country.  But they won't, you need to be unique and exciting and have a fun game day experience.  Sheffield (and London) are as bad as any clubs at this. 

100% 

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The problem with the city of Sheffield is your main competition comes from 2 successful football teams, followed by a successful Ice hockey side. They also have a Basketball team(not big), Speedway and 2 RUFC clubs too. A "merger" with Sheffield RUFC wouldn't be the worst of ideas, due to capacity and location but definitely agree that they need to look at the Uni's if they are to expand, even if that is training facilities or sponsorship or running an annual RL varsity between Uni of and Hallam. The downside with the football clubs both will be expensive to have games at and interest definitely drops now United are in the Premiership. Massive potential in Sheffield if you can market correctly but research should be done with Ice Hockey fans to work out where they are travelling from, the ice hockey team usually gets an attendance of around 4,500 on a Saturday evening which for a RL team in Sheffield would be excellent. Similar to how the Wolfpack look at Maple Leafs etc.

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A big issue here is the Stadium, or lack of it. The OLP is awful as were Owlerton and the Don Valley. Bramall Lane is far to big and on top of this they have played at Wakefield amongst other places. But without getting say a 10k capacity Stadium purpose built where firm roots and identity can be put down, unfortunately, only in my opinion, they will never get much response from the people of Sheffield. And we all know how difficult it is in the current climate to get funding for new Stadiums.

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1 hour ago, HarrogateKnights said:

The problem with the city of Sheffield is your main competition comes from 2 successful football teams, followed by a successful Ice hockey side. They also have a Basketball team(not big), Speedway and 2 RUFC clubs too. A "merger" with Sheffield RUFC wouldn't be the worst of ideas, due to capacity and location but definitely agree that they need to look at the Uni's if they are to expand, even if that is training facilities or sponsorship or running an annual RL varsity between Uni of and Hallam. The downside with the football clubs both will be expensive to have games at and interest definitely drops now United are in the Premiership. Massive potential in Sheffield if you can market correctly but research should be done with Ice Hockey fans to work out where they are travelling from, the ice hockey team usually gets an attendance of around 4,500 on a Saturday evening which for a RL team in Sheffield would be excellent. Similar to how the Wolfpack look at Maple Leafs etc.

a merger with Sheffield RUFC would do nothing at all.. Sheffield are not big and its the complete opposite side of the city with a very different demographic.. |there is no need to merge with either of the stronger RU teams as they are "stronger" but by no means strong. they are also both in the other end of the city. 

With regards the unis. there is already a varsity match part of a massive "varsity" programme run by both unis and heavily publicised by the unis. sponsorship training etc is the easy bit but thats not what is missing with Eagles (sponsorship always would be good to have extra of course). The point i was making is the Uni's offer to every business in the Sheffield City Region these facilities to have marketing students, film students, business students and so on and so forth at their disposal to do whatever project you give them.. and Eagles are not making any use of this from what i understand, they can basically get staff for free to do some of the work they desperately need. 

they certainly need to speak to the ice hockey but generally to be active would help, there is so little activity in the city around the eagles it is staggering.. this year for the second year at Sheffield Tigers RUFC they had one of the England Women come and hold a girls Rugby camp for a few days.. The union clubs in the area are not anti RL for the most part but you never see the Eagles at the junior set ups, you never see posters, flyers, ticket offers etc etc coming out to the membership. I rarely see posters or adverts for their next home game (i say rarely but i cannot remember the last time i saw one) and so it goes on. the schools never get offers through in term times.. I grant you its not massilvy easy but emails the post or people just driving around and dropping them in. They cost little to put on (printing for the flyers/posters/material) but if you have stuff for sale in the ground you can forgoe the kids ticket cost (my kids got a £1 season ticket so they are happy to do that) and recoup it on shirts, beer, food.... oh and while I am on the £1 kids season ticket I only found that out as i was on their website.. that should be in every kids schools newsletter and at every RU club from January 1st!

Just a few bits... i really should stop coming on this thread as it keeps leading to rants! sorry not aimed at you!

Edited by RP London
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1 hour ago, Gooleboy said:

A big issue here is the Stadium, or lack of it. The OLP is awful as were Owlerton and the Don Valley. Bramall Lane is far to big and on top of this they have played at Wakefield amongst other places. But without getting say a 10k capacity Stadium purpose built where firm roots and identity can be put down, unfortunately, only in my opinion, they will never get much response from the people of Sheffield. And we all know how difficult it is in the current climate to get funding for new Stadiums.

they wont your right.. however, there is a plan for this stadium which was supposed to start being built in feb... its a chicken and egg in a way but if they had managed to get more people interested in the last year or so on their return to the city and had a better team getting people involved then IMHO there would be more pressure to get this started.. as it is McCabe is more interested fighting the sheik at Bramall Lane than he is getting the stadium built which is the primary home of United Ladies too... once he has got rid of the Sheik or at least settled whatever it is they are disputing he may actually pull his finger out... people pressure may have helped though... but again no one is shouting from eagles properly to get this people power going.. 

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4 minutes ago, RP London said:

a merger with Sheffield RUFC would do nothing at all.. Sheffield are not big and its the complete opposite side of the city with a very different demographic.. |there is no need to merge with either of the stronger RU teams as they are "stronger" but by no means strong. they are also both in the other end of the city. 

With regards the unis. there is already a varsity match part of a massive "varsity" programme run by both unis and heavily publicised by the unis. sponsorship training etc is the easy bit but thats not what is missing with Eagles (sponsorship always would be good to have extra of course). The point i was making is the Uni's offer to every business in the Sheffield City Region these facilities to have marketing students, film students, business students and so on and so forth at their disposal to do whatever project you give them.. and Eagles are not making any use of this from what i understand, they can basically get staff for free to do some of the work they desperately need. 

they certainly need to speak to the ice hockey but generally to be active would help, there is so little activity in the city around the eagles it is staggering.. this year for the second year at Sheffield Tigers RUFC they had one of the England Women come and hold a girls Rugby camp for a few days.. The union clubs in the area are not anti RL for the most part but you never see the Eagles at the junior set ups, you never see posters, flyers, ticket offers etc etc coming out to the membership. I rarely see posters or adverts for their next home game (i say rarely but i cannot remember the last time i saw one) and so it goes on. the schools never get offers through in term times.. I grant you its not massilvy easy but emails the post or people just driving around and dropping them in. They cost little to put on (printing for the flyers/posters/material) but if you have stuff for sale in the ground you can forgoe the kids ticket cost (my kids got a £1 season ticket so they are happy to do that) and recoup it on shirts, beer, food.... oh and while I am on the £1 kids season ticket I only found that out as i was on their website.. that should be in every kids schools newsletter and at every RU club from January 1st!

Just a few bits... i really should stop coming on this thread as it keeps leading to rants! sorry not aimed at you!

Haha no worries at all. To be fair it wasn't until I looked at it more closely on google maps that I realised how far out the Union Clubs are. The chance to do it has probably gone but there used to be on the parkway towards Rotherham an old airport not sure if that's turned into an industrial estate by now but most new stadiums seemed to be attached to one

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1 minute ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Haha no worries at all. To be fair it wasn't until I looked at it more closely on google maps that I realised how far out the Union Clubs are. The chance to do it has probably gone but there used to be on the parkway towards Rotherham an old airport not sure if that's turned into an industrial estate by now but most new stadiums seemed to be attached to one

the "airport" was a joke.. the council is so utterly useless they gave it permission but not for a long enough runway to land a ruddy jet plane!!! so it basically couldnt fly to anywhere you would want to go!

The opportunity to merge with a uni team was lost once Rotherham Titans went belly up IMHO.. that may have been an idea but thats now gone really. The OLP area is growing and is getting better. I am on the Industrial Advisory Board of the Sheffield Hallam Food Engineering department and they are building a fantastic state of the art building just across the road. Hallam are also building a brilliant Health and Wellbeing department on the site too.. there is a school that is new there and they are looking to really upgrade the area (its needed!). The EIS is a stones throw too so it is good. The tram has a stop on the OLP so access isnt too bad from the city centre (bit of a sod from my side which is where the union clubs are but tis not that bad)... its not the nicest area and you probably wouldnt hang around for too long after the game but it is getting investment. Really needs the ground to start going up!

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I lived in Sheffield in the 90s and while it was still niche the Eagles got a fair bit of exposure and were frequently in the local news, I even remember going to see them play Australia and there must have been about 8,000 there. I thought they’d push on and become an established force, if it hadn’t been for the Huddersfield debacle maybe they would have. 

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