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The General 'Toronto Wolfpack' Discussion Thread


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I am devastated by todays decision.Obviously I think its wrong but I think it shows the narrow minded thinking of most super league clubs.I very much doubt the Wolfpack will ever be back as I don't se

Rugby League as a sport - fans, owners, administrators, the lot - gets what it deserves. There was an opportunity here, an owner who's spent £10m, a growing fanbase and a very attractive market,

To avoid the forum being swamped with dozens of individual threads about Toronto which generally all end up heading down the same rabbit hole eventually anyway, we're opening this general discussion t

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3 hours ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Of course you can. Will it compare to the events of the scale of a Champions League Final or a Super Bowl? Of course not. I don’t think that is a fair comparison. However, the game doesn’t do enough to create such events and we’re our own worst enemy too by claiming how great the sport is but by equally calling it small and unimportant. Even our closest relatives, Rugby Union manages to create events in double headers and big games at bigger stadiums between clubs that I wouldn’t say are particularly big names in this country, let alone European wise or even globally.

It’s about how you sell it rather than who is in it. Take State of Origin, again another event that means little outside its home. My nephew watched it with my Dad on Wednesday evening and he now wants to be part of that when he grows up (I’m leaving it to grandad to tell him why a kid born in Preston can’t). It’s the same when his RU playing Dad has taken him and dragged me and my Dad to watch Rugby Union, they make an event out of things and do more for a standard home game than I’ve seen at a Super League ground for a long, long time. He wants to be a part of that. He cares little that Wasps are based in Coventry or Sale aren’t a big name but he buys into what’s going on around him. 

Take Toronto for example. This isn’t a slant at them necessarily and the host club and Super League could have done more. Their double headers felt like they were a necessity rather than an event itself. It’s the same for our Cup Semi-Finals. It’s just convenient rather than an event and social media reflects that across the sport. Magic is just six games at a different stadium, it’s not a good event at all, really. 

 

Hela, Ya Nephew born in Preston can play State of Origin, as long he plays the vast majority of his junior RL at a Queensland or NSW based club. 

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5 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

But unless you already have clubs in those locations, or you have an investor willing to base their club where you want them to, it is a "pins in maps" approach. At the moment, we don't have a club in New York. What we have is a bloke with a crate of beanie hats to sell, so we can't build any sort of strategy around a club in New York as we sit here today. 

Is playing in cities preferable from a marketing perspective to playing in towns? Yes, but the game is currently played predominantly in towns, so let's work to overcome those biases. The clubs that play rugby league are not "towns", they're brands - so sell that. The players wearing cherry and white don't represent Wigan Town, they represent Wigan Warriors - and that's what you sell and that's what you make it easy for people to buy. Ask your same person on the street what the hell a Saracen or a Harlequin is or what they think of Wasps and you'd probably get equally blank looks. 

There is nothing, nothing at all, about being in the north that stops rugby league reaching new audiences, nothing about being in the north that stops it attracting commercial partners, nothing about being in the north stops RL going viral on social media and nothing about being in the north that stops it being newsworthy. It all comes down to making the sport more relevant to more people. 

The young uns in the SL academies and in some Championship squads, 17 and 18, all need to be on snapchat and Tiktok, getting the game they love and hope to earn a living from out there. It needs to be a part of their job / apprenticeship, they will reap the rewards when they are in their late twenties and so will the sport. 

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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

I do feel for the fans. But maybe just maybe we’ll see some amateur rugby league clubs popping up in Ontario off the back of the Wolfpack? You never know.

I would have considered the chances of that happening more likely with two professional clubs thriving as opposed to one being given its marching papers and the other being told there is little point persevering because there's no future for the game in your home country/continent.

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7 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

I would have considered the chances of that happening more likely with two professional clubs thriving as opposed to one being given its marching papers and the other being told there is little point persevering because there's no future for the game in your home country/continent.

TBH I’ve got more faith in the good folk of Canada doing it off their own bat than anything to do with the shysters running Toronto Wolfpack.

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Now Ottawa has pulled out for 2021 citing COVID uncertainty. Big question is whether they will be on the field in 2022 or have the investors got cold feet after watching the warm welcome and high level of support shown to the Wolfpack by the RL fraternity.

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5 hours ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Of course you can. Will it compare to the events of the scale of a Champions League Final or a Super Bowl? Of course not. I don’t think that is a fair comparison. However, the game doesn’t do enough to create such events and we’re our own worst enemy too by claiming how great the sport is but by equally calling it small and unimportant. Even our closest relatives, Rugby Union manages to create events in double headers and big games at bigger stadiums between clubs that I wouldn’t say are particularly big names in this country, let alone European wise or even globally.

It’s about how you sell it rather than who is in it. Take State of Origin, again another event that means little outside its home. My nephew watched it with my Dad on Wednesday evening and he now wants to be part of that when he grows up (I’m leaving it to grandad to tell him why a kid born in Preston can’t). It’s the same when his RU playing Dad has taken him and dragged me and my Dad to watch Rugby Union, they make an event out of things and do more for a standard home game than I’ve seen at a Super League ground for a long, long time. He wants to be a part of that. He cares little that Wasps are based in Coventry or Sale aren’t a big name but he buys into what’s going on around him. 

Take Toronto for example. This isn’t a slant at them necessarily and the host club and Super League could have done more. Their double headers felt like they were a necessity rather than an event itself. It’s the same for our Cup Semi-Finals. It’s just convenient rather than an event and social media reflects that across the sport. Magic is just six games at a different stadium, it’s not a good event at all, really. 

 

Great post,  sadly the RFL and SL are not great at creating events, just putting on games. To do so requires skill in marketing and promotion, something that if done properly by professionals can be very effective, regardless of who is playing, however professionals in this field cost $, something either the sport does not have, or is not willing to spend (usually because the clubs want that money)

3 hours ago, Blind side johnny said:

Yep.

Coupled with a major effort to persuade the public, including kids, that the game is fashionable and attractive.

Very important, kids are attracted to things that are fashionable and glamorous. The sport also needs to be using social media much more effectively, as the old traditional print media is dying out.

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19 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

 

The Wolfpack's socials would not be on my list of things they didn't do too well.  They were better than most!

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With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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10 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

Now Ottawa has pulled out for 2021 citing COVID uncertainty. Big question is whether they will be on the field in 2022 or have the investors got cold feet after watching the warm welcome and high level of support shown to the Wolfpack by the RL fraternity.

This has probably been on the cards for a while. Covid is going to continue to be a problem for some time to come and despite what may have been said, there’s no point entering a team called Ottawa if no one knows when they are actually going to play there. I would also suspect that there’s a good chance that there may not actually be a full 2021 season below SL, especially if the return of fans to stadiums remains in doubt.

With regard to your last point, who knows, but I would assume that if the objective was SL in 3-5 years (and realistically it must have been), then any potential investors would actually want reassurance that they would be allowed in before embarking on the journey and spending unnecessary money.

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Harry is correct regarding the safe playing surface and organised Clubs (with insurance needed) these days. He rightly mentions football, its also Basketball etc that can be played all over the gaff and picking up momentum over here, smaller numbers needed to form teams as well. 

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28 minutes ago, Oldbear said:

This has probably been on the cards for a while. Covid is going to continue to be a problem for some time to come and despite what may have been said, there’s no point entering a team called Ottawa if no one knows when they are actually going to play there. I would also suspect that there’s a good chance that there may not actually be a full 2021 season below SL, especially if the return of fans to stadiums remains in doubt.

With regard to your last point, who knows, but I would assume that if the objective was SL in 3-5 years (and realistically it must have been), then any potential investors would actually want reassurance that they would be allowed in before embarking on the journey and spending unnecessary money.

They'd almost certainly want an equal share of the central distribution and visiting teams to pay their own way over too.

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1 hour ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

The Wolfpack's socials would not be on my list of things they didn't do too well.  They were better than most!

It was on Super League's though, which further casts into doubt Elstone and his two chums report.

Edit: And I'll also add, they're 4 years old for christ's sake and have been spending all their previous time in the lower division. Their figures are pretty good considering that. 

Super League didn't seem to mind their socials when they signed SBW.

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6 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

They'd almost certainly want an equal share of the central distribution and visiting teams to pay their own way over too.

I agree, but more than anything they would not want to see what happened after theTWP v  Fev play off game, when it seemed to take an eternity to decide that TWP could actually move up to SL. As I said, no point getting promoted twice then be told that you can’t come up, if anything the recent actions by SL clubs seem to be trending to a closed shop, which is bad news for everyone currently on the outside.

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If the game was run in a businesslike fashion everyone currently employed by SLE and the RFL should be summarily fired for cause (incompetence) and a single new administration put in place. Rather it appears to be run along the lines of a soviet collective and we all know how well that went.

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16 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

If the game was run in a businesslike fashion everyone currently employed by SLE and the RFL should be summarily fired for cause (incompetence) and a single new administration put in place. Rather it appears to be run along the lines of a soviet collective and we all know how well that went.

Could they afford the severance and the cost of hiring new staff though?

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And now there is a petition. 

Petitions have never been RL's strength as they all fall out about the wording. With the exception of "The Petition" and the subsequent book .

Although  this one mentions Toronto (and so the fall out begins) it's central message is to object to the power  being in the hands of the clubs and their consequent self interest corrupting their decisions. So hopefully people on either side of the Toronto divide can bring themselves to sign it.

https://www.change.org/p/super-league-make-rugby-league-great-again?recruiter=1161772060&recruited_by_id=c27fb280-1f9c-11eb-af36-6dd4eb480a40&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard

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Just now, Damien said:

It is bleeding ridiculous and I feel for the Toronto fans that have taken the club and the game to their hearts. I really don't see how can anyone say there is no value in what Toronto have done.

The only people who decided that was Elstones 2 cronies who somehow compiled a detailed report on North American expansion despite never going there.

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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

It is bleeding ridiculous and I feel for the Toronto fans that have taken the club and the game to their hearts. I really don't see how can anyone say there is no value in what Toronto have done.

Thousands of fans just thrown away, completely insane.

I do wonder if the decision was directly influenced by the SL plan to cut £800k off the 12th club's funding. 

TWP said in advance they must have full central funding, but it now looks like SL had no intention of ever paying it.

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