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Selling The Drama


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I have said before that I was never more excited and optimistic around a SL season than at the start of 2020.

The entry of Toronto Wolfpack.

The third coming of international dual code superstar SBW.

Israel Falou‚Äôs ahem second coming (he will like me calling it that ūüėÉ) another dual code superstar with still good years ahead.

Jimmy Maloney arriving at Catalan to give them true Premiership potential.

Of course, the world got turned upside down and I was left with what I thought was the most underwhelming season ever.

So what are the big stories to get me up for 2021 Super League? What is the drama that will draw new fans in and hold their engagement?

Edited by Sports Prophet
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Further to the World Cup, I’m hoping the likes of Warrington, Hull, Leeds, Catalans and Huddersfield close the gap with Saints and Wigan.

The table suggests otherwise but I thought they were comfortably the top two sides in Super League this year, with daylight between the rest. 

Will also be interesting to see if Leigh can stay up. Salford and Hull KR won’t have it easy. 

The Championship will also be highly competitive.

Not exciting, perhaps, but plenty to look forward to.

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7 hours ago, Steve13 said:

The world cup! A post Covid sports bonanza playing to packed houses and a thrilling win in the final for England over plucky Tonga!!!

I'd prefer a 40 point win over the Aussies in the final. Massive disappointment and shame followed by an AFL enquiry into the disaster 

Front page headlines on all papers of Gayle holding the cup....

A boy can dream

images.jpeg

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8 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I have said before that I was never more excited and optimistic around a SL season than at the start of 2020.

The entry of Toronto Wolfpack.

The third coming of international dual code superstar SBW.

Israel Falou‚Äôs ahem second coming (he will like me calling it that ūüėÉ) another dual code superstar with still good years ahead.

Jimmy Maloney arriving at Catalan to give them true Premiership potential.

Of course, the world got turned upside down and I was left with what I thought was the most underwhelming season ever.

So what are the big stories to get me up for 2021 Super League? What is the drama that will draw new fans in and hold their engagement?

Certainly not as many.

Leigh have made it to Super League. . . . that didn’t make many headlines outside of Wigan.

In Greg Inglis and Zane Tetevano we have a real SuperStar and current a New Zealand International who is a marquee player, they are rare Super League signings these days.

Do we have any other current internationals joining Super League? In a World Cup year it’d make sense to promote those players at the launch of Super League.

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7 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Further to the World Cup, I’m hoping the likes of Warrington, Hull, Leeds, Catalans and Huddersfield close the gap with Saints and Wigan.

The table suggests otherwise but I thought they were comfortably the top two sides in Super League this year, with daylight between the rest. 

Leeds won the Challenge Cup, what trophies did Wigan win?

Edited by Sir Kevin Sinfield
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To turn this on its head, what is the NRL selling itself on? What new teams do they need to sell their product? What superstars joining the comp do they need to push? 

In reality we have the same things to offer the UK sporting market relative to the NRL and the Aussie market. 

We have genuine World class athletes on show every week, we have top class entertainment, we have some of the players already mentioned, we have historic teams battling for historic tournaments, we have a battle for SL - can Toulouse earn a spot on the field? 

We have exactly what everyone else has. We just need to keep finding the angles, selling the stories, putting on a great show, working hard. 

And we finish the year with the cherry on top, the biggest World Cup ever. 

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Has to be the Euro XIII launch ūüôā.

But seriously Panthers were a joy to watch (Nathan Cleary's only 23 - makes you sick!), and Canberra also from an English perspective.

We really missed a trick as a sport not naming Joran Schoenmaker as the Golden Boot.... could still happen before Thursday  (?) and if it did that would be my highlight of the year.

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57 minutes ago, Dave T said:

To turn this on its head, what is the NRL selling itself on? What new teams do they need to sell their product? What superstars joining the comp do they need to push? 

In reality we have the same things to offer the UK sporting market relative to the NRL and the Aussie market. 

We have genuine World class athletes on show every week, we have top class entertainment, we have some of the players already mentioned, we have historic teams battling for historic tournaments, we have a battle for SL - can Toulouse earn a spot on the field? 

We have exactly what everyone else has. We just need to keep finding the angles, selling the stories, putting on a great show, working hard. 

And we finish the year with the cherry on top, the biggest World Cup ever. 

I agree with this.

Toronto is a missed opportunity no doubt and no offense to the original poster but we cannot build our sport around two Union players (one 35 and one only joining our game because he was sacked from the Wallabies) and the odd Australian player looking for a final pay day.

What we actually got in 2020 despite the unprecedented circumstances was two great games in the Challenge Cup and  Super League Finals.  Two games full of passion, courage and skill.  And these are the things we should be building our sport around and selling - the great players and great games they consistently produce.

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

To turn this on its head, what is the NRL selling itself on? What new teams do they need to sell their product? What superstars joining the comp do they need to push? 

In reality we have the same things to offer the UK sporting market relative to the NRL and the Aussie market. 

We have genuine World class athletes on show every week, we have top class entertainment, we have some of the players already mentioned, we have historic teams battling for historic tournaments, we have a battle for SL - can Toulouse earn a spot on the field? 

We have exactly what everyone else has. We just need to keep finding the angles, selling the stories, putting on a great show, working hard. 

And we finish the year with the cherry on top, the biggest World Cup ever. 

Why do you have to turn into a SL v NRL debate?

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27 minutes ago, The Future is League said:

We really need a massive marketing campaign to get the disaffected back watching the game again for 2021.At the moment we seem in declivity mode

In defence of SL and the RFL, it's a difficult situation at the minute. Who knows when fans are going to be allowed in stadiums again? There certainly won't be any full houses for the start of the season unfortunately. 

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46 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Why do you have to turn into a SL v NRL debate?

It isnt meant to be a debate, it is using a benchmark to give my answer that we do what other comps do. 

I haven't a clue what the 'story' is of this years RU Prem season, or The FA Prem League, or the Pro14, or whatever, they are all comps like SL that will sell itself on the sport, the entertainment, the battles, the heroic efforts and so on. We are no different. 

What we need to focus on is consistently doing the right things, investing in the right areas, head down working hard. Have quality social media presence, great work in the community, be fully engaged with clubs and schools, present our shows well, deliver top branding, merchandise, marketing, sales processes, hospitality, catering, scheduling, sponsorhip/client management and all the other small things that make a successful club that are often sporadic at best in RL. 

No doubt the marketing dept will come up with a catchy slogan, that isn't a problem or an issue, there doesn't need to be a huge 'story' or narrative, it is all about doing it well, whatever angle they go with. 

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I thought there were a lot of really entertaining SL games on TV this year, and I'd assume quite a lot of people in lockdown watched them who might not have under normal circumstances. Especially when the season resumed ahead of many other sports. I certainly saw plenty of positive social media comments over the season.

Edited by Futtocks
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13 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

We just don't have the same things as the NRL or anyone else has though, not even close. There's pretty much no recognisable players for a start.  RL in its popular areas in Australia gets coverage, profile, TV ratings that RL in England can only dream about. 

You may see it as historic teams battling for historic trophies (which is true) but most people aren't aware and don't care. This is why RL can't just sit back look at what others *don't* do, it is starting from a position of weakness.

The PL don't need to do any big announcement that the season is starting because many many people are all over it regardless. You don't start a band and just say 'oh well The Beatles aren't playing this crappy venue, so we won't' When you are not top dog you have to fight for scraps. This is the reality for RL.

My point is that seasons don't need a story as such. That isn't something that sports do. I suggest you wouldn't be able to tell me any of the UK league's 'story' for this season. 

SL has plenty to sell itself on, and they will generally be the same things other sports sell themselves on. We might make out we are different, but we aren't. 

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23 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

I thought there were a lot of really entertaining SL games on TV this year, and I'd assume quite a lot of people in lockdown watched them who might not have under normal circumstances. Especially when the season resumed ahead of many other sports. I certainly saw plenty of positive social media comments over the season.

There are many who refused to enjoy it, and I don't think it was due to the sport that was on show. 

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23 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

We just don't have the same things as the NRL or anyone else has though, not even close. There's pretty much no recognisable players for a start.  RL in its popular areas in Australia gets coverage, profile, TV ratings that RL in England can only dream about. 

You may see it as historic teams battling for historic trophies (which is true) but most people aren't aware and don't care. This is why RL can't just sit back look at what others *don't* do, it is starting from a position of weakness.

The PL don't need to do any big announcement that the season is starting because many many people are all over it regardless. You don't start a band and just say 'oh well The Beatles aren't playing this crappy venue, so we won't' When you are not top dog you have to fight for scraps. This is the reality for RL.

All we need is a hype video or two. Anything else is overthinking.

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10 minutes ago, Dave T said:

My point is that seasons don't need a story as such. That isn't something that sports do. I suggest you wouldn't be able to tell me any of the UK league's 'story' for this season. 

SL has plenty to sell itself on, and they will generally be the same things other sports sell themselves on. We might make out we are different, but we aren't. 

Which means we'll get the interest and coverage we deserve then...

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

Which means we'll get the interest and coverage we deserve then...

I'm not sure of your point. There is nothing controversial in my statement. 

For every value we have or thing we do as a sport, many others can point to doing the same things. We can talk about being embedded in the community and so on (and we do, and should talk about this), but so are all the other sports, the issue is how we get the message out. 

My point is that the stories and everything else is just the same as other sports. We all have heroic efforts, great battles, controversy etc. the story ain't that important, what's important is doing all the small things I listed in my earlier post. 

The best sports with the best stories aren't always the most popular. 

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