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Superleague TV audience figures through the roof.


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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

The discussion is becoming a bit muddled tbh mate. 

I'm not illustrating my confidence levels on my point - I am simply trying to articulate that I don't believe that growth can only be achieved in brand new areas. I don't think we have an either/or position.

If I had to measure where I think we were in our existing heartlands, I'd probably say we were performing at maybe a 4 or 5 out of 10 - which to me means there is a lot of room for improvement - and if we nail that improvement, that means we can drive a lot of growth. In much the same way that the RU prem has delivered growth by improving the strength of its current clubs, rather than believing it needs clubs from across the Atlantic to do so. 

But if you were to ask me how we are doing on the expansion front I'd probably say we are at a 1 or 2 out of 10 - I don't go for the semantics around the French clubs being heartland or expansion - expansion in the context I am discussing here means widening the footprint of Super League - and Catalans and Toulouse absolutely do that (as did London and Paris originally). 

The challenge comes on how you get those scores up from 5 and 2, an where you focus your effort and money. In reality, you get more bang for your buck focusing on the warmer areas - to an extent it is a numbers game and we still have more than enough untouched population in existing areas - hence my belief that there is plenty of scope for growth here. But as a genuine expansion fan, I don't believe we can ignore the opportunities presented by tapping into new areas. I am more of the opinion this is through a slow burner of grassroots, educational bodies, youth organisations etc. with the view that we are planting the seeds for the future. 

But your overall point that we need to do things differently is spot on, and I don't really think anybody disagrees - in fact almost every thread on here is about doing things differently.

We do however need to add a dose of realism - we do do things differently all the time. Warrington didn't go from 3k at Wilderspool to 10k at the HJ by doing the same things, Saints didn't grow into one of the biggest clubs in the game by doing the same things, Bradford didn't grow (and then fall) by doing the same things. We didn't deliver the biggest World Cup in history in 2013 by doing the same things (and likely to be far bigger next year!), Catalans didn't come into the league by accident, nor Toulouse, Newcastle are growing by doing things differently. 

We need to be careful that we don't repeat a false narrative. Things are happening - but I do understand your pessimism when we look at some of the rubbish parts!

Very good points. 👍🏻

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

I think that is right about some people. But I pretty much guarantee that if you got external 'experts' in and said we have £10m to spend what should we do with it to get the best return - they would not say spend it on non-RL areas. You would get the best return squeezing the likes of Leeds more. 

On your 2nd question - a perfect example of focusing on the North is the 2021 World Cup. the geographical footprint is vastly reduced from 2013, and by all current indicators it will smash that tournament out of the park.

An example of how weak we still are in our heartlands is when England played NZ at Elland Road a couple of years ago - we spent the day in Leeds City Centre. There was an England RU game that weekend in London, yet all the Leeds pubs had RU branding all over them, and many pubs were advertising the RU, with no mention of the RL game happening a mile up the road. We have a long way to go in the heartlands - there is plenty growth to be had.

I don't doubt that there are gains to be made in the heartlands. I think you are probably right with saying that it is 5/10 in terms of grading. I would however be more inclined to give Coventry,  skolars, or crusaders £10m than Keighley or Oldham. I wonder how many potential fans there are in the heartlands who do not know the game exists. I am certain there are lots of potential fans in none heartland areas.

Good point, the RLWC is focusing on the heartlands. Yet still some people complain about how the heartlands are being neglected for expansion teams. How much more focus do they want?

I hope that the world cup does blow the previous one out of the water, I personally have many more tickets for this. However I think that the last one offered opportunities that were failed to be taken. I hope that they don't make the same mistakes again.

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On 23/09/2021 at 13:24, Davo5 said:

Well I suppose this can be cross referenced to the thread on 'should we be worried by the fall in attendances' well no as everyone is watching from home it would seem

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