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I think perception is key and a little hype, glitz and glamour wouldn't go amiss. There is little wrong with the product on the field, although I do think tidying up of things like the play the ball would help. The game and sky can do an awful lot off the field though and that should be a mutually beneficial partnership.

For me Football during the lockdown shows just how much the hype, full houses and atmosphere influences perception and masks a lot. Strip all that away and Football certainly doesn't seem the same and it is a notably worse product to watch.

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9 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

Sorry, but I disagree with this. 

There's a lot of people bringing up Toronto, but it's an unhealthy distraction from the real issue. 

The truth is that the sport hasn't done enough to broaden its appeal to people outside of the 'core' supporter demographic, hasn't done enough to modify itself for modern TV viewing and hasn't done enough to engage the media and enhance it's relevance with the wider public. You can try and argue that this is all stuff that the sport can't afford to do but the reality is that this is the cost of doing business and the cost of not doing it will be reflected in future TV contracts, sponsorships and ticket sales. 

We know for instance that loop fixtures are unpopular, yet the clubs persist with them because they argue that they "need them". Yet the reason they "need them" is because there has been so little research and effort in providing an alternative that people actually want to buy - something that might actually be more popular and more profitable. So what loop fixtures are is essentially a product people buy through compulsion - they're bundled in to artificially uphold the value of the season ticket. But the world has moved on. The reason why TV streaming services are so popular is because they allow people to buy what they actually want - not to be forced into paying for bloated bundles of ###### from Sky or Virgin because it's the only way to buy the one thing they want. Sport needs a similar mindset. The real value is in increasing the percieved value of the sport and what people are willing to pay for it - not bundling in more ###### that we know they don't want. 

This work should have started on this the moment the ink dried on the last TV deal but what has happened since then is, frankly, a lot of faffing around with concepts and arguments that distract from the real problems. Now the sport is trying frantically to get it's homework finished before the due date. Unsuprisingly, the teacher marking that homework (in this case, Sky) thinks it's ill-thought out and sloppy and is saying "C- Must try harder". 

I do tend to go along with a lot of that.   I do not agree with loop fixtures, but in other ways some individual clubs are looking to modernise themselves.  But of course as soon as say there is wind of Hull KR talking about their marketing and image then the backwoodsmen on here start to sneer.  Wigan have a good operating base next to the stadium and are producing young players far and wide.  It's called investment. 

The League does need to come into the modern world, and some are trying to.  But Sky's production can be improved as well.  And in addition, why cannot it offer a  magazine programme during the week.  Preferably with cogent analysis. 

 

But in response to some other comments... The idea that a half baked entrance by Toronto is the way forward, and that the big problem is we are 'regional', well it's rubbish.  As I regularly repeat, Wales is confined to South Wales, Scotland is being marginalised and England's leading clubs are themselves regional. And they still need to import international players... even in their national teams.

There is nothing wrong with us being regional...  what's wrong is we are not a vibrant regional game.  We need to put that right first.  We broke away.  That's why we are regional.  And our huge disadvantage is that we have a low international profile.

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7 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

 Rugby League is there to put on the show, Sky is there to give it the platform. If the show we're putting on looks like it has been put together on the cheap with no real thought as to how it comes across to the audience, that's not Sky's problem to fix. 

I think your earlier point about commentators and pundits underestimates their effect on the quality of the show RL is able to put on. Other sports do have some awful ones, but ours are uniquely awful. If you combined Sky`s commentators and pundits with NRL-standard visuals, would it really make much difference?

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10 minutes ago, Damien said:

I think perception is key and a little hype, glitz and glamour wouldn't go amiss. There is little wrong with the product on the field, although I do think tidying up of things like the play the ball would help. The game and sky can do an awful lot off the field though and that should be a mutually beneficial partnership.

For me Football during the lockdown shows just how much the hype, full houses and atmosphere influences perception and masks a lot. Strip all that away and Football certainly doesn't seem the same and it is a notably worse product to watch.

I think there has been some effort with the game day presentation to be fair, thinking things like the fire and light shows that some clubs have had on, plus the entrance into the stadium etc has been modernised and a bit more professional. 

With Sky, I think if they offloaded Baz and Tez they would be 80% there. I enjoyed watching the games last year as they had more varied guests on, I hope they keep it up. They have also modernised the branding (twice in a year in fact) so I don't think it's as bad as some make out. I'd prefer to see a bit more innovation again, but I dont think we are a million miles off tbh. 

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

I think there has been some effort with the game day presentation to be fair, thinking things like the fire and light shows that some clubs have had on, plus the entrance into the stadium etc has been modernised and a bit more professional. 

With Sky, I think if they offloaded Baz and Tez they would be 80% there. I enjoyed watching the games last year as they had more varied guests on, I hope they keep it up. They have also modernised the branding (twice in a year in fact) so I don't think it's as bad as some make out. I'd prefer to see a bit more innovation again, but I dont think we are a million miles off tbh. 

Some relatively quick wins I think SL could do that would make the game more pleasing on the eyes and ears and yes they're all NRL adoptions...

  • Super League logo emblazoned on the field - makes the product easily identifiable 
  • Consistent pitch markings - yes I know i'm a little obsessed with all teams having 100m pitches and I also know that isn't possible but the mish mash we currently have is just confusing to new viewers IMO
  • Microphones that pick up the sound of the contact in the game - guess there's an argument to say that's the broadcasters job but noticably in the NRL it doesn't matter if it's on Channel 9, Fox, GEM it always has the same on-field sounds

The first couple would just make the game look more professional for me and the last is just to show off the game even more. 

Edited by hunsletgreenandgold
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2 hours ago, Damien said:

I think perception is key and a little hype, glitz and glamour wouldn't go amiss. There is little wrong with the product on the field, although I do think tidying up of things like the play the ball would help. The game and sky can do an awful lot off the field though and that should be a mutually beneficial partnership.

For me Football during the lockdown shows just how much the hype, full houses and atmosphere influences perception and masks a lot. Strip all that away and Football certainly doesn't seem the same and it is a notably worse product to watch.

Spot on.

Football since lockdown been generally dire, especially when compared to how well our boys got stuck in

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2 hours ago, Dunbar said:

How do we get from being an unfashionable sport to a fashionable one!

The `Simply The Best` campaign with Tina Turner really turned a sport that was bubbling along nicely over here amongst the Rugby League demographic into something that no one could ignore. Following it up by having the `right` players, by that I mean the handsome and articulate types and their glamorous partners appear at the right social events and therefore in the social pages brushed over the sometimes brutality of our game and showed another side to it.

Among certain classes it became ok to have a Rugby League team, even for those who probably really didn`t follow the sport. It became fashionable.

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3 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

The `Simply The Best` campaign with Tina Turner really turned a sport that was bubbling along nicely over here amongst the Rugby League demographic into something that no one could ignore. Following it up by having the `right` players, by that I mean the handsome and articulate types and their glamorous partners appear at the right social events and therefore in the social pages brushed over the sometimes brutality of our game and showed another side to it.

Among certain classes it became ok to have a Rugby League team, even for those who probably really didn`t follow the sport. It became fashionable.

Football and cricket get all the fit birds over here 

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Winning the World Cup would lift the profile of the sport like nothing else we can do or afford to do right now.

Nothing short of winning though.

But like a lot in Northern Hemisphere RL it’s a chicken and egg situation.  We basically need a superhuman effort by England to be the catalyst for everything else.

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4 hours ago, Mr Frisky said:

Its funny, I never counted Geordies as real Northerners because they didn't follow RL.... different breed.

At least you didn’t say we were Scots!

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14 hours ago, Dunbar said:

I agree and I don't want anything I have said on this thread to be perceived as negative to the product.  I think we have a great sport.

If I could sum up how I would want the sport and the broadcast partner to work together it is your last sentence. How do we get from being an unfashionable sport to a fashionable one!

Be aspirational for a start. And there’s a whole heap of means to do so but pandering to the lowest common denominator isn’t it. 

Then there’s the endless ‘this is a working class game’ churned out, which doesn’t appeal to large sections of society and certainly not a lot of sponsors who don’t want to be associated with it. I’m not saying we should ignore our roots but the world has moved on, pits are no longer around. Football and darts have successfully bridged the gap to the wider population and rugby league needs to wake up and do the same. We need to hone in on the next generation - insta moments, sell some decent beer to attract a wider audience (craft beer). I can’t really be bothered with going through everything so sorry for the late night incoherent rant but there’s so much the sport can do. Sadly the ruptures at the top, played out in public do little to help matters........which feeds into the fact there’s no vision for the sport. 

My only hope is that SL do something with the digital rights they look like extracting from the deal

Edited by DoubleD
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9 hours ago, hunsletgreenandgold said:

Some relatively quick wins I think SL could do that would make the game more pleasing on the eyes and ears and yes they're all NRL adoptions...

  • Super League logo emblazoned on the field - makes the product easily identifiable 
  • Consistent pitch markings - yes I know i'm a little obsessed with all teams having 100m pitches and I also know that isn't possible but the mish mash we currently have is just confusing to new viewers IMO
  • Microphones that pick up the sound of the contact in the game - guess there's an argument to say that's the broadcasters job but noticably in the NRL it doesn't matter if it's on Channel 9, Fox, GEM it always has the same on-field sounds

The first couple would just make the game look more professional for me and the last is just to show off the game even more. 

I do agree with the pitch markings, even watching some of the old games knocking around it looks much better with the nice logos and markings etc. I'm surprised we don't have the digital ones that are in the NRL yet. 

What I would say though is that I don't buy a new fan would be confused by the pitch markings. I don't think they consider them much at all. I like it for aesthetic reasons, but there are no numbers on a football pitch. 

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The best thing we could do if we want to catch the interest of a new generation is get some people involved from that generation. The biggest problem with any of this though a lot of what needs to be done to bring in younger fans will really REALLY annoy the older generation who are the mainstay of fans currently. Its going to be an incredibly difficult balancing act to find some middle ground.

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9 minutes ago, dkw said:

The best thing we could do if we want to catch the interest of a new generation is get some people involved from that generation. The biggest problem with any of this though a lot of what needs to be done to bring in younger fans will really REALLY annoy the older generation who are the mainstay of fans currently. Its going to be an incredibly difficult balancing act to find some middle ground.

This is a very good point. The NFL in the UK does this, I’ve noticed. They have influencers and various sports people promoting the sport on their social media channels. 

This is what I mean about not knowing what to do with the content we have or how to create engaging content. 

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

I do agree with the pitch markings, even watching some of the old games knocking around it looks much better with the nice logos and markings etc. I'm surprised we don't have the digital ones that are in the NRL yet. 

What I would say though is that I don't buy a new fan would be confused by the pitch markings. I don't think they consider them much at all. I like it for aesthetic reasons, but there are no numbers on a football pitch. 

You're probably right re pitch markings to new/casual fans - I just know when my missus see's me watching mainly NRL, SL and RU she can usually pick out when it's NRL or RU but seems to always ask 'which one is it?' when it's SL! 

Yeah we've seen sprinkles of the digital logos/advertising in the play offs and GF - not sure what stops them being used week in week out, aside from cost presumably?

Edited by hunsletgreenandgold
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13 hours ago, Dave T said:

I think there has been some effort with the game day presentation to be fair, thinking things like the fire and light shows that some clubs have had on, plus the entrance into the stadium etc has been modernised and a bit more professional. 

With Sky, I think if they offloaded Baz and Tez they would be 80% there. I enjoyed watching the games last year as they had more varied guests on, I hope they keep it up. They have also modernised the branding (twice in a year in fact) so I don't think it's as bad as some make out. I'd prefer to see a bit more innovation again, but I dont think we are a million miles off tbh. 

I agree with you in the sense that it's important not to throw the baby out with the bath water on a lot of this sort of thing. As much as I think a lot does need to change, I also recognise that there is a lot that RL does pretty well. 

I've linked to this before but I think it's an exagerated, if not entirely unfair, analogy for how RL is often sold in this country - a brilliant piece of content that's sold in a rather uninviting, slapdash and "cheap" way that makes the whole thing seem like it's not going to be particuarly good. 

TLDR: Shouting "TGG" at people whilst at the same time, handing out Groupon vouchers because you can't sell the ground out just doesn't add up - people won't believe that what you're selling is any good if you can't even sell it cheaply. The same principle applies when you're dressing the sport for TV. 

For me the question that nobody in the games seems to know the answer to (if indeed they're even asking) is what do we offer the punter who might be tempted to watch the sport (be that in person, on TV or online), but isn't interested in the "full fat" version. How does RL look in the multi-channel, YouTube and Instagram era where first impressions and instant gratification is key? In a world where there are more than 30+ versions of Coca Cola in your local supermarket, can the sport afford to only ever offer 'Original'? 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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39 minutes ago, dkw said:

The best thing we could do if we want to catch the interest of a new generation is get some people involved from that generation. The biggest problem with any of this though a lot of what needs to be done to bring in younger fans will really REALLY annoy the older generation who are the mainstay of fans currently. Its going to be an incredibly difficult balancing act to find some middle ground.

Quite. I've said before how I think a lot of what RL offers (and a lot of cricket too) requires a certain maturity of outlook to appreciate on its own.

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

I do agree with the pitch markings, even watching some of the old games knocking around it looks much better with the nice logos and markings etc. I'm surprised we don't have the digital ones that are in the NRL yet. 

What I would say though is that I don't buy a new fan would be confused by the pitch markings. I don't think they consider them much at all. I like it for aesthetic reasons, but there are no numbers on a football pitch. 

Do we have a logo that is recognisable by the general public ? Most major sporting organisations have a logo that is recognised by people who might only have a passing interest in the sport.

With clubs being encouraged to rebrand maybe the whole comp needs to follow suit.

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10 minutes ago, Davo5 said:

Do we have a logo that is recognisable by the general public ? Most major sporting organisations have a logo that is recognised by people who might only have a passing interest in the sport.

With clubs being encouraged to rebrand maybe the whole comp needs to follow suit.

Agreed - we probably don't at the minute but surely that's more of a reason to have it front and centre every game. It's a huge part of how organisations like the NFL and NRL established their brands. 

Edited by hunsletgreenandgold
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4 minutes ago, hunsletgreenandgold said:

Agreed - we probably don't at the minute but surely that's more of a reason to have it front and centre every game. It's a huge part of how organisations like the NFL and NRL established their brands. 

Yes it is but we need a decent design,I’d also have a sponsor free logo on the front of shirts similar to the NRL and on all training/leisure gear.

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17 minutes ago, Davo5 said:

Do we have a logo that is recognisable by the general public ? Most major sporting organisations have a logo that is recognised by people who might only have a passing interest in the sport.

With clubs being encouraged to rebrand maybe the whole comp needs to follow suit.

It did. 

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3 minutes ago, Davo5 said:

Yes it is but we need a decent design,I’d also have a sponsor free logo on the front of shirts similar to the NRL and on all training/leisure gear.

One million percent! 

As far as the logo goes - I don't think the latest iteration is too bad personally, if it was just the 'S' logo that was used. 

 

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