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Tommygilf

Arresting the decline at Wigan

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Radlinski certainly talks a good game here. The impact of the SL branding team is evident with the comments about "instagrammable moments" and gameday "event culture". Can't remember if he talks about loop fixtures though... 

They seem to get it at least, but can they go forward and make it work? As of now we've had a rebrand and then a shirt covered in Northern soul owls - but hopefully Robin Park grows as an event before and after the event.

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I’d love it it Wigan got back to a 15-16k average, with 20 in for the big games, we need clubs like that and the same goes for Leeds. 

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16 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Radlinski certainly talks a good game here. The impact of the SL branding team is evident with the comments about "instagrammable moments" and gameday "event culture". Can't remember if he talks about loop fixtures though... 

They seem to get it at least, but can they go forward and make it work? As of now we've had a rebrand and then a shirt covered in Northern soul owls - but hopefully Robin Park grows as an event before and after the event.

Really interesting article. I'm obviously not going to agree with or like everything Wigan do as part of this - and they shouldn't be listening to tubby middle aged men on the other side of the country anyway - but I like that they're being proactive and creative in addressing the decline in crowds and interest.

Far better than the "just play the game and 'marketing'" approach.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Really interesting article. I'm obviously not going to agree with or like everything Wigan do as part of this - and they shouldn't be listening to tubby middle aged men on the other side of the country anyway - but I like that they're being proactive and creative in addressing the decline in crowds and interest.

Far better than the "just play the game and 'marketing'" approach.

I like that they're at least open about recognising it. I'm not convinced by all their solutions but at least they're trying.

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Warrington (bless ‘em) have been the stand outs for me when it comes to enthusing and growing their support, a lot of teams could look closely at what they’ve done and are doing. It’s quite obvious that standing on a crumbling terrace with a rank pie and plastic pint of some gnat’s p155 electric pump lager or bitter doesn’t cut it for that many people these days. 

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5 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Warrington (bless ‘em) have been the stand outs for me when it comes to enthusing and growing their support, a lot of teams could look closely at what they’ve done and are doing. It’s quite obvious that standing on a crumbling terrace with a rank pie and plastic pint of some gnat’s p155 electric pump lager or bitter doesn’t cut it for that many people these days. 

Agreed. Though at Leeds and Wigan the facilities themselves can hardly be seen as the problem. And the on field couldn't really get much better for either team really in terms of the headline figures.

At Leeds I certainly think they've taken their eyes of the ball regarding the everyday fan (and indeed everything else) in favour of the rebuild. Also combined with the actually average performances we had under McDermott for several regular seasons. Perhaps in a similar way at Wigan the performances under Maguire and then Wane whilst getting good results were physical and dour and will take a hell of a lot of time to wash out of the club's psychological memory.

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playing wigan v saints games on a thursday night doesn't help what used to be a twenty thousand crowd has been whittled away to around 15 thou, and don't get me started on loop fixtures.

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12 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Agreed. Though at Leeds and Wigan the facilities themselves can hardly be seen as the problem. And the on field couldn't really get much better for either team really in terms of the headline figures.

At Leeds I certainly think they've taken their eyes of the ball regarding the everyday fan (and indeed everything else) in favour of the rebuild. Also combined with the actually average performances we had under McDermott for several regular seasons. Perhaps in a similar way at Wigan the performances under Maguire and then Wane whilst getting good results were physical and dour and will take a hell of a lot of time to wash out of the club's psychological memory.

I think before the rebuild of Headingley Leeds relied on the pubs and bars in Headingley as a pre match entertainment for fans

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That continual on-field success won't necessarily translate to sustained levels of crowd won't be a surprise to Bulls fans.

Anyone recall Chris Caisley having a rant in the Bradford local paper because crowd figures at the Bulls were ebbing away despite us winning the treble the season before? 

I don't know what the solution is but it seems to be the case that you need more than winning titles to keep people coming. Perhaps there's a kind of 'success fatigue' (for want of a better term) that afflicts perpetually successful teams?

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10 minutes ago, Mr Plow said:

I think before the rebuild of Headingley Leeds relied on the pubs and bars in Headingley as a pre match entertainment for fans

Seems those pubs are changing too, they noticeably have in the 4 years I've been at uni there.

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37 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Warrington (bless ‘em) have been the stand outs for me when it comes to enthusing and growing their support, a lot of teams could look closely at what they’ve done and are doing. It’s quite obvious that standing on a crumbling terrace with a rank pie and plastic pint of some gnat’s p155 electric pump lager or bitter doesn’t cut it for that many people these days. 

I take it you have tried the keg Tetley's and Carlsberg Lager at Warrington in a plastic glass? Similar offerings at Headingley.

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6 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

That continual on-field success won't necessarily translate to sustained levels of crowd won't be a surprise to Bulls fans.

Anyone recall Chris Caisley having a rant in the Bradford local paper because crowd figures at the Bulls were ebbing away despite us winning the treble the season before? 

I don't know what the solution is but it seems to be the case that you need more than winning titles to keep people coming. Perhaps there's a kind of 'success fatigue' (for want of a better term) that afflicts perpetually successful teams?

I think there's certainly an element of high expectations and partly that is a problem the game itself has created.

Can you imagine going from 70 odd thousand for the big game at Old Trafford against another club with big following to 12k in a half empty DW against relatively small teams? As a non diehard its a bit of a difficult one for non diehards. That is a problem we've created that we can put our best foot forward and get 30k fans from each club for big games, but not for regular season games.

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14 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

That continual on-field success won't necessarily translate to sustained levels of crowd won't be a surprise to Bulls fans.

Anyone recall Chris Caisley having a rant in the Bradford local paper because crowd figures at the Bulls were ebbing away despite us winning the treble the season before? 

I don't know what the solution is but it seems to be the case that you need more than winning titles to keep people coming. Perhaps there's a kind of 'success fatigue' (for want of a better term) that afflicts perpetually successful teams?

I think there's certainly mileage in that, but also that Wigan managed to run out champions on a couple of occasions on the back of distinctly average regular seasons if memory serves me right.

4 minutes ago, Gooleboy said:

I take it you have tried the keg Tetley's and Carlsberg Lager at Warrington in a plastic glass? Similar offerings at Headingley.

I went to the Warrington v Castleford game not long before lockdown and to be fair they did have a bit more of a high-end selection of beers at a bar in the south-east corner.

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12 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Seems those pubs are changing too, they noticeably have in the 4 years I've been at uni there.

See at lot of students at Leeds games, obviously the ground is in a perfect location near lots of pubs/ bars, lots of students, near city centre

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15 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

That continual on-field success won't necessarily translate to sustained levels of crowd won't be a surprise to Bulls fans.

Anyone recall Chris Caisley having a rant in the Bradford local paper because crowd figures at the Bulls were ebbing away despite us winning the treble the season before? 

I don't know what the solution is but it seems to be the case that you need more than winning titles to keep people coming. Perhaps there's a kind of 'success fatigue' (for want of a better term) that afflicts perpetually successful teams?

I think a lot of it is complacency - you can't just think that you've found a winning formula and then sit back, which I think a lot of clubs did. It's a constant process of refinement and improvement. 

There's this incredibly dangerous phrase in the game of "we've got a great product, it's just that people don't know about it" - it's a sort of hubris that doesn't really play out in reality. We've got a great sport, but a great sport is not necessarily a great product. 

If you're losing fans, they're leaving you either because they don't like what you're offering any more, or because someone is offering something better. You don't get them back by shouting at them (more advertising of the same thing), by telling them that they're wrong (ala Caisley) or offering them more of the same thing they are bored of (loop fixtures). You get them back by doing what the business that took them from you did - by offering them something that they want to buy. 

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Years of structure changes with an emphasis on a plethora of meaningless games and play-offs that saw average teams for 75%+ crowned champions will have had some effect, I’m sure. 

It’s something (the matchday experience) that all clubs should be looking into. 

I wonder if Wigan or anyone else will move some non-televised games from their usual Friday slot, when crowds return?

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1 minute ago, Mr Plow said:

See at lot of students at Leeds games, obviously the ground is in a perfect location near lots of pubs/ bars, lots of students, near city centre

Yeah me and my mates liked it on Thursdays and Fridays (in a slightly traditionalist approach we used to go as a group of lads and meet the girls after 😂 though they would occasionally come along). That said, without having a fan as a mate to bring you along, there was 2 of us in our friendship group specifically, the club doesn't penetrate the student market very well. They might do better at Leeds Beckett, but that was my experience at Uni of.

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16 minutes ago, Leyther_Matt said:

 

I went to the Warrington v Castleford game not long before lockdown and to be fair they did have a bit more of a high-end selection of beers at a bar in the south-east corner.

More high end than Tetley or Carlsberg? I can’t imagine that. 

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18 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

I think a lot of it is complacency - you can't just think that you've found a winning formula and then sit back, which I think a lot of clubs did. It's a constant process of refinement and improvement. 

There's this incredibly dangerous phrase in the game of "we've got a great product, it's just that people don't know about it" - it's a sort of hubris that doesn't really play out in reality. We've got a great sport, but a great sport is not necessarily a great product. 

If you're losing fans, they're leaving you either because they don't like what you're offering any more, or because someone is offering something better. You don't get them back by shouting at them (more advertising of the same thing), by telling them that they're wrong (ala Caisley) or offering them more of the same thing they are bored of (loop fixtures). You get them back by doing what the business that took them from you did - by offering them something that they want to buy. 

Come on wms?

You completely ignored my last post to you and I'm really eager to hear your answers to my questions.

You've explained in some detail (a few times), what we're doing wrong but, WTF are we going to do about it? 

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31 minutes ago, Leyther_Matt said:

I think there's certainly mileage in that, but also that Wigan managed to run out champions on a couple of occasions on the back of distinctly average regular seasons if memory serves me right.

I went to the Warrington v Castleford game not long before lockdown and to be fair they did have a bit more of a high-end selection of beers at a bar in the south-east corner.

Maybe they have as the Brewers call it, premiumised the Bar by offering dearer higher margin brands. They were tied in with Carlsberg when I last went, so they still are, may have put such as San Miguel on, which is a Carlsberg premium brand.

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2 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

Come on wms?

You completely ignored my last post to you and I'm really eager to hear your answers to my questions.

You've explained in some detail (a few times), what we're doing wrong but, WTF are we going to do about it? 

I'm not employed by a club or Elstone so, frankly, I'm not going to do anything. If they want my services then fine - a few of them have my number. But I've got enough work to keep me busy and to keep my work-life balance in check.

But as a fan, I can comment on what I think is and isn't working and how I think it needs to change. People can choose whether to listen and people can decide whether they agree or not.

A lot of what I suggest goes beyond what one bloke with a few ideas can do and this is where I do have a bit of sympathy for Elstone. He has been installed by a group of stakeholders who I think have a misunderstanding of what the problem is, with those same owners in a position where they can either hamper him, undermine him or ignore him without consequence when he actually does try to address the real issues. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

I’d love it it Wigan got back to a 15-16k average, with 20 in for the big games, we need clubs like that and the same goes for Leeds. 

I'd also say that if Hull could have a period of sustained success we could average 15k. Would be great for the game to have 3 clubs averaging over 15k with several others over 10k.

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