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Are you worried about attendances?


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Just now, Johnoco said:

Then beyond that….what? We’ve seen several examples of games with free attendance, it rarely amounts to anything if not backed up with something. 
It’s pointless letting everyone in free on 7th July and expecting things to change by the 14th. 

Yes , of course you ' back it up ' , data collect , free tickets through schools, community clubs and other sports organisations , it isn't realistic to just open doors these days 

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4 hours ago, THE RED ROOSTER said:

And I thought I was depressed....

Yes, the quality of Super League is not as good and there are few , if any star names in the game but consider these reasons.

Playing matches on top of each other and cramming the games in playing at odd days in the week. Rugby Leagues adminstrators never seem to understand - less is more. The economy may be growing at its fastest for 80 years but at lot of people have lost their jobs and money is tight so they will picjand choose when to attend.

The enforced COVID break has meant may former Season ticket holders have found something different to do. Yes posters like myself have had enough of the monkey business at my club but that's not the case elsewhere, so I do think familer have found other leisure activities, and need something from their club to lure them back.

The aging Rugby League fanbase is another factor, sadly the older the fanbase gets the more fans die of natural causes. This is why all sports seek to reinvent themselves in one way or another to entice the next generation of supporters, Unfortunately League has a habit of trying to turn the clock back not forward

Finally, media coverage, outside the M62, it is like the game has fallen off the proverbial cliff. In the Murdoch era when SKY had some Aussies who were also leaguies. The Murdoch press publicised the game. Now under COMCAST / NBC it does not. Not sure there is anything that can be done there.

 

 

Some excellent points there.

I put a post up the other day suggesting that the RFL look at cricket and what they have done regarding limited overs which gets asses on seats as it is entertaining and fast.I suggested a 9s format where I guess in theory at least if the ball is thrown out more and we see plenty of tries from both sides with fast flowing rugby it might just arouse interest. And I suggested a 60 minute game as opposed to 80 minutes with a double header ie the ladies game first then the men’s game of course with the same ticket being valid for both.

 And yes I suggested a franchise type competition like some County cricket clubs have with T20 where they call themselves Birmingham Bears but of course they are still part of Warwickshire CCC.

Now maybe all I have suggested might not be right but it is in my opinion time the game thinks outside of the box and is radical and bold because frankly the game here is dying a slow,painful death.

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7 hours ago, sweaty craiq said:

anything free has no value

Nobody has paid to read this opinion.

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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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10 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

Yes , of course you ' back it up ' , data collect , free tickets through schools, community clubs and other sports organisations , it isn't realistic to just open doors these days 

People are suggesting give out free tickets, how would It sit with season ticket holders who’ve paid full price for 2 years while hardly been allowed to go to any games, for others who have contributed nothing to be let in for free now restrictions have gone? 
You can market and sell your product without giving it away for free.

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14 hours ago, sweaty craiq said:

Giving tickets away can only ever be a short term policy, somebody must pay the players staff etc. The issue is after being let in for free you set the price expectations, you then charge a reasonable rate and its deemed too expensive. This has been the downfall of RL since SL started.

The quality of the entertainment (game) and the matchday experience are what matters.

 

 

I accept what you’re saying, but Barrow and Rochdale are at least getting people in, so they know there’s a RL club on their doorstep, especially important with kids as all we ever hear about is the ageing demographic. 

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2 minutes ago, Eddie said:

I accept what you’re saying, but Barrow and Rochdale are at least getting people in, so they know there’s a RL club on their doorstep, especially important with kids as all we ever hear about is the ageing demographic. 

Free admission is probably the right rate for many C1 games, OK a fiver at best.

Barrows fan base has held up pretty well in recent years especially when compared to other Cumbrian clubs - is it because Barrow is really in Lancashire?

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When we discuss these things I think we often get a bit too bogged down and critical of the detail. 

Free tickets can work as part of a sales/marketing strategy. Cheap tickets can work. Fanzones can work. and so on.

What doesn't work is doing nothing.

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Whilst this may not sound too ambitious, I think we are in a bit of damage limitation this year. We are clearly struggling getting games on, and we have some hesitancy from fans to return. I think we need to get through the year as best we can, maybe focus on the two major events on Magic and the Grand Final - and hopefully lead into a great World Cup. 

We then have the start of the new TV deal, which may involve a terrestrial deal, and certainly OurLeague coverage - I think that is a prime time for us to really re-launch the comp - then is the time for a few new innovations, all out promotion and making some noise. 

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I was wondering (and this might have been addressed, so apologies if so) - how easy is it to get a refund if the game is cancelled (or postponed) at short notice? If it was a pain, then that would put me off buying tickets at the minute.

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7 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

People are suggesting give out free tickets, how would It sit with season ticket holders who’ve paid full price for 2 years while hardly been allowed to go to any games, for others who have contributed nothing to be let in for free now restrictions have gone? 
You can market and sell your product without giving it away for free.

Because I would announce it as such at the beginning of the season , that there would be one game a year when the club would attempt to hit the stadium capacity , and that would include people being offered the chance to attend for free , I would happily supply my work ( club ) phone number to discuss it with anybody who had an issue with it 

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8 hours ago, Griff said:

As you're determined to make yourself look foolish, it's because Gubrats' point, though less factually correct, is STILL more valid than yours.

Correct , thank you 

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7 hours ago, Dave T said:

When we discuss these things I think we often get a bit too bogged down and critical of the detail. 

Free tickets can work as part of a sales/marketing strategy. Cheap tickets can work. Fanzones can work. and so on.

What doesn't work is doing nothing.

Yeah it's generally a combination of things that complement each other. Things generally aren't successful in isolation.

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22 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Yeah it's generally a combination of things that complement each other. Things generally aren't successful in isolation.

It's the difference between having a strategy and tactical stuff. 

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3 hours ago, Dave T said:

It's the difference between having a strategy and tactical stuff. 

Full military history nerd alert (I don't know if you listen to we have ways), but that is a very good point. 

Most super league clubs, and RL as a whole, are pretty capable on what would be the "operational level". They generally get by each year. Given the resources available, they do ok. In fact, Wakey making it through each season is a triumph of sorts. It also includes things like shot clocks, reduced interchanges, and an about turn on Liverpool to go back to Newcastle for magic.

On the equivalent of the "strategic level" however, the entire sport seems witless 90% of the time. It is at this level where we feel the pinch and long term problems that are harder to combat emerge. Declining youth engagement, a general retreat of the game inwards, England playing only a handful of home games (if any games) in the space between 2 world cup cycles, 9s still not being a Commonwealth sport, let alone in the Olympics, declining top end crowds at club level, lower end brand involvement across the sport: these are just some of the problems a failure (or indeed an unwillingness) of the sport and key stakeholders to work effectively and continuously on the Strategic Level has left us with. 

Undoubtedly the operational/tactical level is important, Covid and the response has shown that. But Covid has also exacerbated and/or laid bare the failings to deal with big issues. In history an equivalent term would be "the audit of war" - and right now RLs audit is saying "must improve rapidly".

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In answer to the original question: "Are you worried about attendances?"

the answer is: Yes, very worried.

The game is clearly closing broadcast revenue, which is the lifeblood of any professional sports League. As such, it desperately has to make it up with matchday income, which is primarily going to come from paying spectators, and also from these supporters' additional game day spend. 

I honestly think the game is in real trouble in England and has to react quickly. The stereotypical Rugby League fan is a dying breed, and younger fans have huge amounts of competition for their £. I really feel that the game needs a dramatic shift in image on order to pull in some younger fans. It is seen as some kind of regional curiosity (by those who even know it exists) and is perceived as anything but aspirational. I am no marketing expert, but perhaps a campaign pitching the SuperLeague as an affordable alternative to English football (which is extremely expensive) could be one approach to take. The competition for people's leisure time and cash that exists these days means that once fans are gone, they are unlikely to return without an incentive.

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It does feel like we are coming to a pivotal moment in the sport, which is one of the reasons I'm absolutely raging about the ARLC and NZRL and what they’ve done, however I actually think if the world cup goes ahead showing we have other nations that can step in could actually be a positive if marketed correctly.

I think there’s a good opportunity here to have a bit of a reset for next season.

In an ideal world id scrap relegation and make SL a 14 team competition (Toulouse and AN other) as I say may not be possible but that’s an ideal world.

no P&R for 2 years and existing clubs like Wakefield and Castleford need to sort their stadiums out otherwise a SL place would be in doubt.

Magic scrapped but have a 9s tournament instead, it could even be with different sides made up if regional teams where both Mens and Women’s teams play and both results count towards that sides points in the tournament (if that makes sense)

8 year rolling international plan England to play at least once throughout the year with a clear international weekend set in stone with no SL games on at the same time, the international weekend would have all the home nations playing and France and Jamaica.

couple of points on Marketing the game…

Market our players in some respects they are our biggest asset, get them on TV (not just sports programmes) this is essential IMO

 

Dont shy away from our history, some people almost  seem embarrassed about our roots and history, it’s an amazing story and shows the grit and  resilience of the sport.

 

but don’t let our history stop us expanding we have always been an inclusive sport expand on that.

 

We need more scouts/school programs across the whole country.

 

Id even be open to a competition name change snd new branding at this point but not 100% sure on this one, would need to give it more thought.

 

what we do have (despite the moaning) is a fantastic product at every level of the sport, id like to see the people involved be s bit more positive, stop the constant ref bashing for a start and Im including the players going on twitter moaning about refs, it’s not a good look!

 

 

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Just to add, we meed all games in SL to have a VR and to be fully televised wether thats an extensive highlights show or an online payment thing where all games are available to buy to watch - an expansion on Our League maybe

 

the sport is simply hidden from view from its fans let alone casual sports fans

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14 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

Just to add, we meed all games in SL to have a VR and to be fully televised wether thats an extensive highlights show or an online payment thing where all games are available to buy to watch - an expansion on Our League maybe

 

the sport is simply hidden from view from its fans let alone casual sports fans

Next season all games will be recorded and likely available on a range of platforms as part of the new deal. Can't recall if they said vr's at all games or not. 

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10 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Full military history nerd alert (I don't know if you listen to we have ways), but that is a very good point. 

Most super league clubs, and RL as a whole, are pretty capable on what would be the "operational level". They generally get by each year. Given the resources available, they do ok. In fact, Wakey making it through each season is a triumph of sorts. It also includes things like shot clocks, reduced interchanges, and an about turn on Liverpool to go back to Newcastle for magic.

On the equivalent of the "strategic level" however, the entire sport seems witless 90% of the time. It is at this level where we feel the pinch and long term problems that are harder to combat emerge. Declining youth engagement, a general retreat of the game inwards, England playing only a handful of home games (if any games) in the space between 2 world cup cycles, 9s still not being a Commonwealth sport, let alone in the Olympics, declining top end crowds at club level, lower end brand involvement across the sport: these are just some of the problems a failure (or indeed an unwillingness) of the sport and key stakeholders to work effectively and continuously on the Strategic Level has left us with. 

Undoubtedly the operational/tactical level is important, Covid and the response has shown that. But Covid has also exacerbated and/or laid bare the failings to deal with big issues. In history an equivalent term would be "the audit of war" - and right now RLs audit is saying "must improve rapidly".

Massive nerd alert... 🤓 😉

Spot on though. Too much ostrich-like behaviour and squabbling over diminshing resource; rather than getting after the real issues and opportunities the game faces (on both sides of the globe).

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25 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Next season all games will be recorded and likely available on a range of platforms as part of the new deal. Can't recall if they said vr's at all games or not. 

This is a good move, I think I did read that VR will be at every game, ive been calling for this for years, it all looks a bit amateur if they aren't.

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8 hours ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

In answer to the original question: "Are you worried about attendances?"

the answer is: Yes, very worried.

The game is clearly closing broadcast revenue, which is the lifeblood of any professional sports League. As such, it desperately has to make it up with matchday income, which is primarily going to come from paying spectators, and also from these supporters' additional game day spend. 

I honestly think the game is in real trouble in England and has to react quickly. The stereotypical Rugby League fan is a dying breed, and younger fans have huge amounts of competition for their £. I really feel that the game needs a dramatic shift in image on order to pull in some younger fans. It is seen as some kind of regional curiosity (by those who even know it exists) and is perceived as anything but aspirational. I am no marketing expert, but perhaps a campaign pitching the SuperLeague as an affordable alternative to English football (which is extremely expensive) could be one approach to take. The competition for people's leisure time and cash that exists these days means that once fans are gone, they are unlikely to return without an incentive.

If we're worried about attendances *right now* - and I think we should be - then the immediate strategy has to be to get people who were going to games in 2019 (and therefore who we already know) to come back.

The rest is absolutely essential too but we have to prioritise getting people through the gates now for the games that are happening now.

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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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35 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

This is a good move, I think I did read that VR will be at every game, ive been calling for this for years, it all looks a bit amateur if they aren't.

With the ever-growing frustration towards VAR in football, I'd actually go the other way and make a point of stepping away completely from video referees and painting ourselves as a more 'authentic' sport that can be lived in the moment.

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31 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

If we're worried about attendances *right now* - and I think we should be - then the immediate strategy has to be to get people who were going to games in 2019 (and therefore who we already know) to come back.

The rest is absolutely essential too but we have to prioritise getting people through the gates now for the games that are happening now.

Where it is quite a challenge is spending a fair bit of money on trying to get these people back, and then the games being cancelled. 

We really need to get a grip of the cancellations and some of it will resolve itself. I know Wire have made a fair bit of effort on social media for tonight's game (probably those low hanging fruit you refer to) - will be interesting to see what that returns. 

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