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3 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Unfortunately, I don't think a RL equivalent of Leicester City would make any noticeable impact on mainstream media attention whatsoever. Castleford's and Salford's successful recent seasons didn't capture the imagination of the wider public or mainstream media. Domestic RL unfortunately just isn't relevant to the vast majority of the country. The same could arguably be said of domestic cricket and rugby union - how many people off the street could name last year's cricket and RU domestic winners? I'd hazard a guess and say not many. But I bet loads more could name Liverpool as having won the Premier League.

Conversely, if you switched the focus on to the England cricket and RU teams, then I expect far more people would have an awareness. Domestic RL would see the biggest knock-on effects in terms of increased media attention come from a far more extensive international calendar and a higher profile national team -  it's the only thing that is going to capture the imagination of the wider public IMO.

Changes to SL and other domestic competition structures might have some interest for those of us who already follow the sport. But in terms to trying to create a more attractive product for the wider public, it's akin to moving deckchairs on the Titanic.

Exactly.

Who wins Super League is of next door to no interest to most people. There's just too much explaining to be done and too little casual interest.

England winning a World Cup would be transformative.

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I hope not, a ten team SL (or championship) would be woeful. 

2x10 just smacks of trying to please everyone, whilst at the same time not really pleasing anyone.  For starters, calling it "SL2" just cheapens the Super League brand. You may as well call it "S

This. I want 14 and a bit of variety. 10 just doesnt do it for me.

1 minute ago, gingerjon said:

Exactly.

Who wins Super League is of next door to no interest to most people. There's just too much explaining to be done and too little casual interest.

England winning a World Cup would be transformative.

And of the people who knew the sport existed most people would assume it was Leeds, Wigan or maybe Saints anyway.

People across the country don't tend to care about regional oddities. Why would someone in Newcastle or Bristol care about Leeds vs Castleford? England on the other hand, gives something to buy into.

Internationals, internationals, internationals.

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12 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

Said it all along , RL needs a ' Leicester City ' to give it some mainstream media attention , unfortunately the way we run our competition also makes that less likely , we saw a build up for several months as they hit the top and managed to stay there , Linekar stating he'd do MOTD in his undies , everybody in the country ' rooting ' for them ( for our Aussie friends who have a different meaning of that word , it means supporting them , hoping they can do it ) , all the non sport anchors/reporters mentioning it , the whole country talking about it 

But if say Salford or Wakey finished top , we know they'd still lose in the GF if they got there , and the usual suspect would win from 5th 

No, football needed a Leicester City. RL through its salary cap has been trying to force its way to Leicester City for 20 years. edit: And failing to do so!

RL needs a Manchester City or Chelsea. An outside club(s) with money that forces the big dogs to up their game. Of course it also needs the environment for that to be allowed.

It also desperately needs regular, often, and visible internationals.

edit: Football needed a Leicester to show it wasn't all about money. RL needs a Man City to show that money can change the established order.

Edited by Tommygilf
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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

And of the people who knew the sport existed most people would assume it was Leeds, Wigan or maybe Saints anyway.

People across the country don't tend to care about regional oddities. Why would someone in Newcastle or Bristol care about Leeds vs Castleford? England on the other hand, gives something to buy into.

Internationals, internationals, internationals.

Agree 100%.

We sometimes forget just how juiced up people got about something as random as Curling as long as there’s the opportunity to celebrate a winner.

England/Britain loves an underdog as well if it wins.

I think to the broadcasters are crying out for England RL content because they know ‘England’ sells.  The marketing is hard wired in most people here.

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1 hour ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I’m glad you’ve mentioned how poor the online offering is and how difficult it is to track the progress of your favourite team or players through those means.

We’re very much stuck in the 1990’s in that regard in that we still seem to have a predominant model of people watching live/on tv and then hoping they’ll pick up a hard copy of match reports/news on a selected day, the rest of the online service seems an afterthought compared to other sports leagues.

Even if we could come up with the most brilliant marketing in the world to get people to tune into or even come to a rugby league event who normally wouldn’t, I think we’d struggle to retain them without a steady dripfeed of available news and highlights in between game rounds available online to deepen an attachment to players or teams.

We’re very much just catering to the older hardcore fan and that’s not a healthy situation.

Digital access to the sport is one of my main gripes, especially so given it's not massively expensive to get right these days (aside from live streaming and in-house production). OurLeague was a start but it looked dated from the day it was released, hasn't always been particularly reliable and hasn't really been expanded on or been part of any discernable digital strategy either.

Getting access to RL data for digital use is nigh on impossible, stats are hidden away and minimal even on our own platforms. Our premier competition (and clubs) don't have any sort of mobile offering and half of our club websites are incredibly difficult to consume on mobile.

As a side note though, Saints and Wigan are going to be part of the launch of a new fan engagement platform/app later this year (Iqoniq - Wigan's shirt sponsor) so hopefully that's a sign of a change in thinking.

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1 minute ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Agree 100%.

We sometimes forget just how juiced up people got about something as random as Curling as long as there’s the opportunity to celebrate a winner.

England/Britain loves an underdog as well if it wins.

I think to the broadcasters are crying out for England RL content because they know ‘England’ sells.  The marketing is hard wired in most people here.

Those things show what a difference a bit of publicity and coverage makes too. It fuels interest and support,

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1 hour ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I’m glad you’ve mentioned how poor the online offering is and how difficult it is to track the progress of your favourite team or players through those means.

We’re very much stuck in the 1990’s in that regard in that we still seem to have a predominant model of people watching live/on tv and then hoping they’ll pick up a hard copy of match reports/news on a selected day, the rest of the online service seems an afterthought compared to other sports leagues.

Even if we could come up with the most brilliant marketing in the world to get people to tune into or even come to a rugby league event who normally wouldn’t, I think we’d struggle to retain them without a steady dripfeed of available news and highlights in between game rounds available online to deepen an attachment to players or teams.

We’re very much just catering to the older hardcore fan and that’s not a healthy situation.

Our content and Super League website is ####. And that’s being polite. We don’t even have a proper match report from the Grand Final on the Super League website. Not in the traditional sense anyway. We have this; 

https://www.superleague.co.uk/article/1767/grand-final-last-gasp-saints-go-back-to-back

The stats page on the Super League page is almost unworkable. It’s as user friendly as a grenade with no pin. I appreciate that statistics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s impossible to view player stats, you can’t see historic stats from years gone by, stats seemed to not be recorded during the Super 8’s/bottom 8’s years and results faced the same problem.

That’s before you mention Super League’s use of social media. It’s boring and it’s stale. I see better content from non-league football clubs than Super League and their accounts are run by volunteers/students. 

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4 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

No, football needed a Leicester City. RL through its salary cap has been trying to force its way to Leicester City for 20 years.

RL needs a Manchester City or Chelsea. An outside club(s) with money that forces the big dogs to up their game. Of course it also needs the environment for that to be allowed.

It also desperately needs regular, often, and visible internationals.

There’s some evidence for this in that Wigan is synonymous with Rugby League amongst older generations who don’t follow the sport.

They watched Challenge Cup finals and saw exceptional quality even if they didn’t always see great competition between two sides.

Theres something to be said in all sports for brilliance attracting all kinds of casual fans/observers.

 

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5 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Agree 100%.

We sometimes forget just how juiced up people got about something as random as Curling as long as there’s the opportunity to celebrate a winner.

England/Britain loves an underdog as well if it wins.

I think to the broadcasters are crying out for England RL content because they know ‘England’ sells.  The marketing is hard wired in most people here.

I simply cannot believe that in the 25 years of Summer Rugby League we have not used summer to sell a regular international window between England and our neighbours. We introduced a French and Welsh Club sides into the game to boost their national team but seemed to forget entirely about playing them 90% of the time

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10 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

No, football needed a Leicester City. RL through its salary cap has been trying to force its way to Leicester City for 20 years.

RL needs a Manchester City or Chelsea. An outside club(s) with money that forces the big dogs to up their game. Of course it also needs the environment for that to be allowed.

It also desperately needs regular, often, and visible internationals.

This is it in a nutshell and it is what RL desperately needs. The trouble is anytime it is on the horizon, and the status quo gets threatened, the wagons get circled. We saw it with Salford when Koukash took over and we saw it at Toronto. Ambition is all too often a nasty word in RL.

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

I simply cannot believe that in the 25 years of Summer Rugby League we have not used summer to sell a regular international window between England and our neighbours. We introduced a French and Welsh Club sides into the game to boost their national team but seemed to forget entirely about playing them 90% of the time

We did. Sort of. It was executed abysmally by everyone involved from the international governing body to Super League to the Super League clubs to the players to the fans. As was the Exiles. 

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14 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

People across the country don't tend to care about regional oddities. Why would someone in Newcastle or Bristol care about Leeds vs Castleford? England on the other hand, gives something to buy into.

Internationals, internationals, internationals.

Exactly. The fact that England RU were always going to beat Italy at the weekend, didn't stop them trumpeting it and plastering footage of Jonny May's try finish all over social media.

We've got to get over the fact that England RL are pretty good and are likely to comfortably beat France and the other Euro nations most times we play them -  instead we need to be bigging up everything England do instead of calling it a waste of time. Otherwise we're operating from the Gerald Ratner sales playbook.

But instead of a proper international, it again looks like England are going to be playing a contrived Exiles team this year, that has no relevance to the wider public. It does my nut in.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

I simply cannot believe that in the 25 years of Summer Rugby League we have not used summer to sell a regular international window between England and our neighbours. We introduced a French and Welsh Club sides into the game to boost their national team but seemed to forget entirely about playing them 90% of the time

Yes, people make plans and generally are creatures of habit.

I don’t watch it but I know that every year there is a Six Nations tournament and I know the format if not the exact fixtures.

That tradition helps builds prestige and makes it a calendar event.

I would like there to be some similar events in international rugby league that people will know will always get played and can look forward to.

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Just now, Damien said:

This is it in a nutshell and it is what RL desperately needs. The trouble is anytime it is on the horizon, and the status quo gets threatened, the wagons get circled. We saw it with Salford when Koukash took over and we saw it at Toronto. Ambition is all too often a nasty word in RL.

"Money is vulgar" attitude and all that, the sport in that sense hasn't really moved on since 1895 where payments were strictly controlled.

Salford could have been that club, Toronto certainly could have been, Leigh under Beaumont could be, we'll never know though because the "status quo"

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7 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

There’s some evidence for this in that Wigan is synonymous with Rugby League amongst older generations who don’t follow the sport.

They watched Challenge Cup finals and saw exceptional quality even if they didn’t always see great competition between two sides.

Theres something to be said in all sports for brilliance attracting all kinds of casual fans/observers.

 

Agreed. Not just in RL either. I bet there's loads of people who could name Usain Bolt and Tiger Woods at the peak of their careers, but might have struggled to name other sprinters or golfers.

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2 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

We did. Sort of. It was executed abysmally by everyone involved from the international governing body to Super League to the Super League clubs to the players to the fans. As was the Exiles. 

I remember 1 series, though that was in the Autumn against France and Wales with the "final" at Salford. I've said before and it probably warrants another thread, unless England are playing at Leeds or against Australia or New Zealand, they should not be playing in the heartlands

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3 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Agreed. Not just in RL either. I bet there's loads of people who could name Usain Bolt and Tiger Woods at the peak of their careers, but might have struggled to name other sprinters or golfers.

See also cycling and Froome / Wiggins / Cavendish. Yorkshire came to a standstill for the Grand Depart / Tour de France. Events get people's attention. 

Meanwhile, we're trying to flog two teams playing each other for the fifth time in six months. 

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5 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Exactly. The fact that England RU were always going to beat Italy at the weekend, didn't stop them trumpeting it and plastering footage of Jonny May's try finish all over social media.

We've got to get over the fact that England RL are pretty good and are likely to comfortably beat France and the other Euro nations most times we play them -  instead we need to be bigging up everything England do instead of calling it a waste of time. Otherwise we're operating from the Gerald Ratner sales playbook.

But instead of a proper international, it again looks like England are going to be playing a contrived Exiles team this year, that has no relevance to the wider public. It does my nut in.

Exactly, in a year where Wales and France are going to play in a World cup as equals with England too!

The May try is actually a very interesting separate discussion. It's clear RU is learning that in the professional and digital world, wow moments sell and attract eyeballs. RL knows this, but doesn't seem to sell it very well.

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7 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Yes, people make plans and generally are creatures of habit.

I don’t watch it but I know that every year there is a Six Nations tournament and I know the format if not the exact fixtures.

That tradition helps builds prestige and makes it a calendar event.

I would like there to be some similar events in international rugby league that people will know will always get played and can look forward to.

Summer is the slot for them imo. 3 weeks, 4 nations from Europe, qualified the autumn before (or after the first tournament the 4th placed team relegated). England to either play away, in Leeds, London, or non-heartland areas.

Autumn for World Cups, tours etc against Southern Hemisphere opposition.

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Exactly, in a year where Wales and France are going to play in a World cup as equals with England too!

The May try is actually a very interesting separate discussion. It's clear RU is learning that in the professional and digital world, wow moments sell and attract eyeballs. RL knows this, but doesn't seem to sell it very well.

Frustratingly we have many more wow moments!

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

The May try is actually a very interesting separate discussion. It's clear RU is learning that in the professional and digital world, wow moments sell and attract eyeballs. RL knows this, but doesn't seem to sell it very well.

As somebody mentioned earlier, the SL social media and YouTube platforms are woeful. Our sport has countless 'wow' moments, but seems to just expect the wider public to know about them. The SL YouTube channel has only recently started packaging player highlights videos from last season!! When I'm on the BBC website, I always see NFL plays of the week videos crop up, and will watch them. Why on earth are we not packaging a SL plays of the week video for various media platforms?? The NRL website has countless highlights videos to watch as soon as every round is finished. Very frustrating.

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5 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Frustratingly we have many more wow moments!

I know! Loads of comments, including from England RU head coach Eddie Jones said it was a play straight out of RL.

RL needs to work out what it wants to be and how to sell it to whom. The answer for many clubs might be the "can he do it on a cold Tuesday night in..." crowd, which is fine, but we need to reach that audience.

Edited by Tommygilf
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1 minute ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

As somebody mentioned earlier, the SL social media and YouTube platforms are woeful. Our sport has countless 'wow' moments, but seems to just expect the wider public to know about them. The SL YouTube channel has only recently started packaging player highlights videos from last season!! When I'm on the BBC website, I always see NFL plays of the week videos crop up, and will watch them. Why on earth are we not packaging a SL plays of the week video for various media platforms?? The NRL website has countless highlights videos to watch as soon as every round is finished. Very frustrating.

Maybe this is what Elstone wanted outside investment for (I doubt it, but its nice to be positive).

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