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Poower Lad

Is it almost the end .

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16 hours ago, Chris22 said:

We may never be a huge sport and in all likelihood will remain niche. That doesn't mean we can't succeed or sensibly expand when opportunities present themselves.

My concerns are that we do have an aging fanbase and we must replace or add the fanbase with younger fans, the numbers of which seem to be waning.

I'd agree with much of this and the frustrating part of it is that it is all very fixable.

I was at an event a few weeks ago where the marketing director at a Premier League football club was taking about the challenges that they faced and how they solved them. Now, before anyone sees the phrase "Premier League football club" and starts rolling their eyes and saying RL can't do that sort of thing, there were two things about what he said that were very striking:

1. The problems they faced were very similar to the problems facing RL. They had an ageing fan base, they had a fan base concentrated in one of the poorer parts of the UK. They had an ageing stadium, empty seats and they had a culture in the marketing team that they couldn't achieve regular sell-outs. They also had an under-achieving team and were the 'second' sporting team in their particular area. All issues that many RL clubs face. 

2. The solutions to a these issues were not particuarly difficult, and certainly not expensive, to implement.

They did a lot of analysis of their supporter base - looking carefully at the data behind who they are, their supporting habits, what they bought and what they didn't buy, and they changed the mentality that a 'supporter' was only worthwhile to them if they bought a season ticket. They now know more about their fans than they ever did, they know when and where they are likely to 'drop off', they cater their offering to each and every supporter and they make it easy for people who don't or can't go to the games to buy into the club. The only "expense" behind this was some time spent with their CRM system. 

They addressed the ageing fan base issue through little more than community marketing and matchday experience. They made the players accessible to young fans and they ran community events - stuff that all RL clubs do to some extent. But they also improved the matchday experience for younger fans - made it more kid friendly, gave every new junior season ticket holder a "debut season" gift pack and held events where they could play on the pitch after the last game of the season - all fairly easy and cheap stuff to do, but something that means the world to those kids. 

They've gone from having just one sell-out game a year to having an 11,000+ season ticket waiting list, and they now have the youngest average season ticket holder age in the PL. 

Clearly, there are various other factors at play, but even if RL clubs could get the 'cheap stuff', like the stuff mentioned above, right then they and the game would be in a much better position. The problems RL faces in the modern sports market aren't particuarly unique - it's just the way in which the sport tries to fix them. 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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2 minutes ago, Clogiron said:

I agree that that there's nothing more the RFU would like than a couple of big clubs in the north but, and it's a very big but, there's a world of difference between a group of people watching their game down the pub and actually attending a club game week in week out for 80+ mins of tediousness, in winter. Until they can square that circle there's enough people with common sense in the North to ignore what their friends in the media try to ram down our throats😔

I don't buy that 'Boring' Union Argument.......You just have to be invested in what you're watching.......I've seen loads of boring Rugby League games.

I like watching the England World cup games cos i want England to win.

Most people are Invested in International sport and that why Rugby League need to concentrate more on that.

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13 minutes ago, tuutaisrambo said:

 

True but look how Union has progressed in this country since then compared to rugby league. 
We were stronger in 2003

Were we? The last season has just had very high attendance and tv viewing figures, some records in amongst all that I believe. 

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Stronger in comparison.......Statistics may have improved depending on your point of view but International Rugby League is far inferior to 2003 and we are much further behind Union now

Edited by tuutaisrambo

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As some people might know, I used to be a huge RL fan and it took up most of my leisure time for about 20 years. So I certainly aren’t some sort of troll out to cause mischief. But......

While I don’t think it’s the end of RL, or anything like it, it’s certainly close to becoming irrelevant in the mainstream. (This doesn’t bother me when it comes to music but sport is different)

Perhaps only when you don’t follow RL do you truly appreciate that you rarely hear anything about it outside of the dedicated followers. I had no idea for instance that Saints were runaway leaders in the SL. I didn’t have a clue about Salford until they reached the final...which was good to see. I don’t even know who plays for Bradford (although neither do they apparently lol)

I’be also been reading about the ‘GB’ tour.....predictably containing no non English except Aussies, and seems to have sold about 12 tickets. Ludicrous. But it keeps the old mates running RL happy, so who am I to argue? 

I knew about Toronto but they seem about as welcome as a fart in a space suit by the SL clubs. And having women, kids or disabled playing the game doesn’t make it unique or special- virtually every sport does it. 
 

So, while it’s not the end, IMO, it’s becoming an irrelevance fast....but bizarrely that seems to suit many in the game. C’est la Vie. Bonjour

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1 hour ago, tuutaisrambo said:

Stronger in comparison.......Statistics may have improved depending on your point of view but International Rugby League is far inferior to 2003 and we are much further behind Union now

I strongly disagree. 

That was 3yrs after the disappointing 2000 RLWC; we didn’t have another until 2008. The Ashes Series that year was played in 3 x 25k capacity grounds; Hull wasn’t full. Oh, and we lost 0-3. 

Now we have had 3 x successful WCs since then; more better quality teams (Pacific Islands especially), Fiji/Tonga beating NZ, NZ winning the WC, England playing big games at big stadia, 75k at the 2013 WC Final, the game played international in far more locations, and even the IRL starting to develop into something resembling an organisation. 

We are in a much better place now than 2003.

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If the game is in such rude health what are we banging on about in this thread.

I agree with Johnoco in that i also follow other sports and if you switch off from rugby league circles the game disappears.

I watch fev every so often but outside of that i only take a general interest in the sport as a whole from August to October when the games that matter take place.

The rest of the time i enjoy other things and unless i go looking for it the sport falls off the map.


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5 hours ago, tuutaisrambo said:

If the game is in such rude health what are we banging on about in this thread.

I agree with Johnoco in that i also follow other sports and if you switch off from rugby league circles the game disappears.

I watch fev every so often but outside of that i only take a general interest in the sport as a whole from August to October when the games that matter take place.

The rest of the time i enjoy other things and unless i go looking for it the sport falls off the map.

That’s a choice you make I have no interest or very little in RU and guess what it’s very easy then to not hear or see anything about the sport. Football you can’t get away from but any other sport you can completely avoid if you choose. 

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The international game may be going ok in England, but it's rarely been weaker in Australia or NZ than it is right now. Aside from the Tonga bandwagon, which I fear is over now, it's very sad to say that no one out here seems to care now. Kiwi fans seem to almost be boycotting their team, and Aussie fans grow more disinterested every year. 

I think that's why Australia declined to host GB, but suggested an ashes series in England instead. GB refused to listen, and instead turned up basically uninvited to NZ anyway - all while they're in rugby union world cup fever! The absolutely worst time to tour there...

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6 minutes ago, ghost crayfish said:

The international game may be going ok in England, but it's rarely been weaker in Australia or NZ than it is right now. Aside from the Tonga bandwagon, which I fear is over now, it's very sad to say that no one out here seems to care now. Kiwi fans seem to almost be boycotting their team, and Aussie fans grow more disinterested every year. 

I think that's why Australia declined to host GB, but suggested an ashes series in England instead. GB refused to listen, and instead turned up basically uninvited to NZ anyway - all while they're in rugby union world cup fever! The absolutely worst time to tour there...

I am not disputing this but it is sad to hear.

With the downturn in quality of the Australian Union scene and the fact that New Zealand have won the last 17 Bledisloe Cup series you would have hoped that the Rugby League leadership would be going all out to cultivate and showcase the Trans-Tasman rivalry between the Kiwis and the Kangaroos. 

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47 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I am not disputing this but it is sad to hear.

With the downturn in quality of the Australian Union scene and the fact that New Zealand have won the last 17 Bledisloe Cup series you would have hoped that the Rugby League leadership would be going all out to cultivate and showcase the Trans-Tasman rivalry between the Kiwis and the Kangaroos. 

Totally agree. Scrapping the ANZAC test has been a disgrace, as has been killing off the four nations. The NRL is doing good things with the Pacific countries to be fair, but seem to want the Kangaroos to play as few matches as possible (the $20k match payments they agreed to with this TV deal are making their games too expensive to play... How dumb is that!)

Edited by ghost crayfish
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23 hours ago, Johnoco said:

........
I knew about Toronto but they seem about as welcome as a fart in a space suit by the SL clubs. And having women, kids or disabled playing the game doesn’t make it unique or special- virtually every sport does it. 
 

So, while it’s not the end, IMO, it’s becoming an irrelevance fast....but bizarrely that seems to suit many in the game. C’est la Vie. Bonjour

 I note your SL comment and Toronto not being welcome... well my sense is that Leeds have no issues, especial when Toronto owner was over recently.. they seemed to get on like a house on fire...

To me too many over generalise to their particular viewpoint or emotion... rather than being specific and hence we may then get a true sense.

The sport is niche and will always be niche and has always been an irrelevance in the greater sporting world let alone life in general... as I say it has always been such.... that doesn't mean we can't improve and grow,  and have a positive sense of the game...

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On 21/10/2019 at 22:26, whatmichaelsays said:

I'd agree with much of this and the frustrating part of it is that it is all very fixable.

I was at an event a few weeks ago where the marketing director at a Premier League football club was taking about the challenges that they faced and how they solved them. Now, before anyone sees the phrase "Premier League football club" and starts rolling their eyes and saying RL can't do that sort of thing, there were two things about what he said that were very striking:

They've gone from having just one sell-out game a year to having an 11,000+ season ticket waiting list, and they now have the youngest average season ticket holder age in the PL. 

Clearly, there are various other factors at play, but even if RL clubs could get the 'cheap stuff', like the stuff mentioned above, right then they and the game would be in a much better position. The problems RL faces in the modern sports market aren't particuarly unique - it's just the way in which the sport tries to fix them. 

So which is it, Wolves or Everton?

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1 hour ago, redjonn said:

 I note your SL comment and Toronto not being welcome... well my sense is that Leeds have no issues, especial when Toronto owner was over recently.. they seemed to get on like a house on fire...

To me too many over generalise to their particular viewpoint or emotion... rather than being specific and hence we may then get a true sense.

The sport is niche and will always be niche and has always been an irrelevance in the greater sporting world let alone life in general... as I say it has always been such.... that doesn't mean we can't improve and grow,  and have a positive sense of the game...

But why should it settle for being niche? RL was capable of being much more popular but seems happy to just exist. Which may have been ok in a past world but it’s a different story today and if you don’t adapt you’re gonna disappear from view. It never kicks on from anything (such as the England WC semi in 2013) and just throws away chance after chance to improve its popularity. And the leaders of the sport give the impression that they are not fussed about it either. 

Well now, neither am I. Good luck to RL, it’s still a great game but for me the flame has gone out. 

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2 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

But why should it settle for being niche? RL was capable of being much more popular but seems happy to just exist. Which may have been ok in a past world but it’s a different story today and if you don’t adapt you’re gonna disappear from view. It never kicks on from anything (such as the England WC semi in 2013) and just throws away chance after chance to improve its popularity. And the leaders of the sport give the impression that they are not fussed about it either. 

Well now, neither am I. Good luck to RL, it’s still a great game but for me the flame has gone out. 

In comparison to soccer, its niche and will always be niche.. its not being negative its being realistic - doesn't mean can't grow.... we have a good place in the sporting world UK compared to other sports. Plus with the right leadership can advance as well as say netball has in last 5 years...

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8 minutes ago, redjonn said:

In comparison to soccer, its niche and will always be niche.. its not being negative its being realistic - doesn't mean can't grow.... we have a good place in the sporting world UK compared to other sports. Plus with the right leadership can advance as well as say netball has in last 5 years...

I wasn’t comparing it to anything though, it’s about maximising it’s own potential. If there’s a potential 250K RL fans out there, don’t just put the cue on the rack when you get 100K. Get the other 150 on board. 
And no disrespect to netball but if that’s the bar to aim for, then it’s worse than I thought. 

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6 hours ago, Johnoco said:

I wasn’t comparing it to anything though, it’s about maximising it’s own potential. If there’s a potential 250K RL fans out there, don’t just put the cue on the rack when you get 100K. Get the other 150 on board. 
And no disrespect to netball but if that’s the bar to aim for, then it’s worse than I thought. 

Its not a bad comparison, its grown many times over from what it was... its the 4th  biggest team sport (Sport England)... ahead of rugby of both codes... so I wouldn't instantly denigrate what they have achieved in last 10 years.

Anyway my point was irrespective of numbers... they identified a futures issue, analysed what was needed for old and new generations to the sport, introduced new formats and products to capture those needs, and have seen huge growth as a result with growth continuing...  have higher participation levels than RL.   I currently suspect its has a brighter future than RL as it stands at the moment...

Anyway I chose it as another niche sport that has turned itself around over last 10 years... maximising its own potential.

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17 hours ago, Johnoco said:

But why should it settle for being niche? RL was capable of being much more popular but seems happy to just exist. Which may have been ok in a past world but it’s a different story today and if you don’t adapt you’re gonna disappear from view. It never kicks on from anything (such as the England WC semi in 2013) and just throws away chance after chance to improve its popularity. And the leaders of the sport give the impression that they are not fussed about it either. 

Well now, neither am I. Good luck to RL, it’s still a great game but for me the flame has gone out. 

Mate don't give up on the game. Stick with us Buddy. Its a roller coaster ride at times,  but never boring

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10 hours ago, Johnoco said:

I bet netball didn't exclude huge swathes of the country, as they weren't 'proper' netball people. 

Are you sure, that flame's gone out? Or have you been fanning it a bit just lately?

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On 19/10/2019 at 23:15, Poower Lad said:

Sorry to be doom and gloom . But reading about the shambolic GB tour and seeing the organisation of other sports at the moment . Where does Rugby lLeague go from here . Just to say I am 100% league , it’s just there is never anything exiting anymore in the game . 

Concussion is an issue. The amount of high tackling in RL compared with RU is not suitable for 2019, Twitter and Facebook are to blame. I want there to be one code of rugby, it's basically RL but with lower tackling. 1 point for conversions which are drop-kicks, 20/40 as well as 40/20, uncontested scrums. 

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On 21/10/2019 at 07:40, dkw said:

But that simply isn't true, mens amateur and non league playing levels are down in both those sports, they are as concerned as we are about the figures. 

Spot on.

The drop in participation levels is worrying for most team sports and worrying for other reasons for society.

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21 hours ago, Johnoco said:

I wasn’t comparing it to anything though, it’s about maximising it’s own potential. If there’s a potential 250K RL fans out there, don’t just put the cue on the rack when you get 100K. Get the other 150 on board. 
And no disrespect to netball but if that’s the bar to aim for, then it’s worse than I thought. 

I get some of your points JOC but we don't know what rugby's potential is. Also, it's hard to keep interested when your team spends a few years, or more struggling for survival, and this seems to have an impact on staying interested in the game in general. There certainly hasn't been a clear cycle of international games and tournaments either to encourage people retaining that interest. That's certainly noticeable in the area where I live, albeit the level of support for internationals has been markedly volatile in the past.

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21 hours ago, redjonn said:

In comparison to soccer, its niche and will always be niche.. its not being negative its being realistic - doesn't mean can't grow.... we have a good place in the sporting world UK compared to other sports. Plus with the right leadership can advance as well as say netball has in last 5 years...

Is it niche in Australia and PNG?

It may be niche at first in new areas, but if you come in with that attitude then it's already going to BN eventually fail.

Netball is not niche participation-wise. It's one of the biggest sports in the country. It's niche as a spectator sport at present, but I can see it growing further because they aren't settling for niche.

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40 minutes ago, southwalesrabbitoh said:

Concussion is an issue. The amount of high tackling in RL compared with RU is not suitable for 2019, Twitter and Facebook are to blame. I want there to be one code of rugby, it's basically RL but with lower tackling. 1 point for conversions which are drop-kicks, 20/40 as well as 40/20, uncontested scrums. 

Don't forget 10-a-side

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