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Attendances (Multiple Merged Threads)


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2 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

People (not enough I know) seem to be willing for the very latter stages, at least the Final and SF. We'll see how the QFs do this weekend.

I think more people would take paying in advance for a game included in Season tickets, than would buy a one off cup game. It would remove that hurdle of paying for one off games that most currently don't do. 

But is that a failure of pricing, or is it a failure of product, positioning or promotion? It's most likely a combination of all four. 

I understand the argument that if the CC was bundled in to the season ticket, crowds would be stronger, but that certainly doesn't mean that the cup is more appealing or commercially viable. 

Including the cup into season tickets just seems like we're relying on inertia and apathy to make the cup feel more popular, rather than actually making the product on offer more valuable (whether in real terms or perception terms). That's not really a great strategy for any business, let alone one in the leisure and entertainment industry. 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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5 hours ago, theswanmcr said:

A season ticket isn’t really a season ticket currently though… it is in effect a League Match Ticket Book (LMTB as old Man United fans will remember).

You could include it with some clever pricing/marketing to make it feel like you are getting ‘free’ entry to all cup games as a bonus. Ideally though you need cross club agreement and losing league  loop fixtures.

Maybe you pay for two CC games and you could use these home or away? Anyone who uses at least one of those tickets gets half-price for Semi-Final - use both and you get a free ticket? Loads of ways you could try new ideas.

 

I think the issue here is that RL hasn't really adapted to reflect modern ticket buying habits. The clubs rely so heavily on a captive market that pays up front, struggles to appeal to more casual ticket buyers who might buy on a match-by-match basis and don't really want the commitment of a full season (and when you consider that it's now so easy to 'unbundle' so many other package deals - mobile phones, TV/Netflix, holidays, etc, that's a growing segment of society). Then, when we have "all pay" games, we struggle. 

The play-offs have the same problem. Why is it that fans of the so-called "the greatest game" are so unwilling to pay to watch the climax of the season amongst the best teams still standing? Is it that they don't want to, is it that the offer isn't good enough, or are we selling to people who can't buy it? Whatever it is, bundling in tickets to the season ticket just masks the real problem - the RL product isn't attracting people outside that core group, and that core group arguably bored and/or tired of being asked to buy a lot of RL that, in many cases, all looks exactly the same. 

If we're just going to start bundling in the cup, play-offs and anything else into one "all inclusive" subscription, is there really any point in having the cup and play-offs at all, aside from the two showpiece events? 

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2 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

I think the issue here is that RL hasn't really adapted to reflect modern ticket buying habits. The clubs rely so heavily on a captive market that pays up front, struggles to appeal to more casual ticket buyers who might buy on a match-by-match basis and don't really want the commitment of a full season (and when you consider that it's now so easy to 'unbundle' so many other package deals - mobile phones, TV/Netflix, holidays, etc, that's a growing segment of society). Then, when we have "all pay" games, we struggle. 

The play-offs have the same problem. Why is it that fans of the so-called "the greatest game" are so unwilling to pay to watch the climax of the season amongst the best teams still standing? Is it that they don't want to, is it that the offer isn't good enough, or are we selling to people who can't buy it? Whatever it is, bundling in tickets to the season ticket just masks the real problem - the RL product isn't attracting people outside that core group, and that core group arguably bored and/or tired of being asked to buy a lot of RL that, in many cases, all looks exactly the same. 

If we're just going to start bundling in the cup, play-offs and anything else into one "all inclusive" subscription, is there really any point in having the cup and play-offs at all, aside from the two showpiece events? 

Challenge cup until wire vs cat still got 70k plus.  We have a fanbase of mostly working class earners who have to pick and choose whilst same teams go to finals.  

We need events that appeal beyond are current markets.  Those events are internationals and have that interest filter into club game. 

I am not a fan of the semi being in same ground as i think it creates a half full stadium on tv. Final this year should sell out Regardless and rfl need to capture those world cup eventers to push the challenge cup back at wembley like mad. 

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22 hours ago, Anita Bath said:

Sad reflection on our game when folks are put off by 18quid admission price for QF of our world famous Cup competition.

 

Problem is once teams do discounted prices for the cup it becomes expected/the norm. We are now in a downward spiral for cup prices . . . well done RFL. 

The game is in a bit of a rut really, fans are so used to just paying for a season ticket and are reluctant and loathe to pay for anything else.

Without wanting to cheapen the game even more, we need to find a way to include cup and play off games in these season tickets.

I actually spoke to some Giants fans who when they found out the price said "F-that"!

An idea I thought of was that a season ticket couod be used for cup games if that ticket hasn't already been used for a league match, I've missed 2 league games already this year due to other commitments, so why not use my season ticket for a cup game instead?

I realise of course that gates and takings are split 3 ways so the Giants don't gain much, but could be worth looking at?

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39 minutes ago, meast said:

The game is in a bit of a rut really, fans are so used to just paying for a season ticket and are reluctant and loathe to pay for anything else.

Without wanting to cheapen the game even more, we need to find a way to include cup and play off games in these season tickets.

I actually spoke to some Giants fans who when they found out the price said "F-that"!

An idea I thought of was that a season ticket couod be used for cup games if that ticket hasn't already been used for a league match, I've missed 2 league games already this year due to other commitments, so why not use my season ticket for a cup game instead?

I realise of course that gates and takings are split 3 ways so the Giants don't gain much, but could be worth looking at?

But isn't the more important thing to understand why, when it comes to the cup and play-off games, people's reaction to being asked to pay £18 is "f--- that"? In the wider context of sports tickets and even tickets to other forms of entertainment, is £18 that outlandish?

If the product on offer isn't worth £18, surely that's the issue to fix? Rather than trying to find ways to work a product that people don't feel has value into yet another bundle of tickets? 

And it's not as if RL is the only sport that has a largely working class audience. The difference is that other sports have found ways to engage other audiences in addition to that working class core - something that RL seems particularly bad at. 

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6 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

But isn't the more important thing to understand why, when it comes to the cup and play-off games, people's reaction to being asked to pay £18 is "f--- that"? In the wider context of sports tickets and even tickets to other forms of entertainment, is £18 that outlandish?

If the product on offer isn't worth £18, surely that's the issue to fix? Rather than trying to find ways to work a product that people don't feel has value into yet another bundle of tickets? 

And it's not as if RL is the only sport that has a largely working class audience. The difference is that other sports have found ways to engage other audiences in addition to that working class core - something that RL seems particularly bad at. 

Well only one sport has done that and football is a global sport.  It was noticeable crowds at even prem games were down because the real market  (international tourists) couldnt visit. 

I just think theres a crisis of confidence in the sport and almost defeatism amoungst its leadership.  I have never come away from an interview of Ralph feeling anything other than disheartened.  

It is a great product which has internationals  (a proven market) staring It in the face but still these wonderfully intense rivalries to share.

Many clubs are improving their infrastructure. People wanted a team in Manchester so them and Sheffield could really grow.  Thats another potential million in your tv catchment box and for sponsors. 

Plus we are a summer sport . We just need to get an international summer tournament for Sky that they can get excited about and promote then fta end of season tournament . 

I dont share the negative attitude of many here and think the but that might be because I am not a heartland supporter and think many people prefer the comfort blanket of 'regional sport' rather than the reality that We are massively underselling the product. 

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Bottom line is a SL fan needs about £70 to watch their team progress to the CC final if they get 2 home ties and a semi final , I'd guess some will spend more than that on beer at the final ( given its 9 quid a pint ) , it really shouldn't be an issue 

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15 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

But is that a failure of pricing, or is it a failure of product, positioning or promotion? It's most likely a combination of all four. 

I understand the argument that if the CC was bundled in to the season ticket, crowds would be stronger, but that certainly doesn't mean that the cup is more appealing or commercially viable. 

Including the cup into season tickets just seems like we're relying on inertia and apathy to make the cup feel more popular, rather than actually making the product on offer more valuable (whether in real terms or perception terms). That's not really a great strategy for any business, let alone one in the leisure and entertainment industry. 

I don't think there is anything wrong with accepting that the early rounds of the cup aren't that attractive for one off purchases for many fans. We have literally decades of evidence for this and it isn't a phenomenon unique to RL either. Though, of course it has fundamental RL problems on top of that, fundamentally being that demand isn't outstripping supply.

The culture of the majority of ticket purchasing in RL, for everything but the finals and games at neutral stadiums, is to have a lump sum written off prior to the season starting. There simply isn't the demand beyond that to justify the expenditure for many fans. 

I think the benefits of presenting a least a more vibrant and well attended cup outweigh the negatives of relying on inertia and commercial value etc. I think that is idealism taken too far. The sport (clubs) needs to focus on increasing demand for every game and event of course.

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mmm so may aspects to consider with regard attendances, especially he Challenge Cup.

For us, well my wife, the product offering has got to overcome the inertia or reluctance to make the effort. For example we are fortunate in that often offered free invites to away games by business colleagues.  Yet often my wife will give reasons why she won't, these include depending upon ground:

Travel,  Parking, facilities not least the toilets, fans unfriendly attitude towards noticing we are away fans (this is normally drunken and incudes swearing sometimes leading to threatening behaviour which happens at all grounds - note its normally drunken women) but nowt to do with the offering on the field.

Now my wife is from inner Liverpool as in Liverpool 8 nowadays known as Toxteth when it was a particular rough place to live so she is no shrinking violet.

So basically its the overall product of which at most ground (not all) doesn't lend itself to overcoming the inertia/reluctance of years of  poor experience. 

 

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6 minutes ago, redjonn said:

mmm so may aspects to consider with regard attendances, especially he Challenge Cup.

For us, well my wife, the product offering has got to overcome the inertia or reluctance to make the effort. For example we are fortunate in that often offered free invites to away games by business colleagues.  Yet often my wife will give reasons why she won't, these include depending upon ground:

Travel,  Parking, facilities not least the toilets, fans unfriendly attitude towards noticing we are away fans (this is normally drunken and incudes swearing sometimes leading to threatening behaviour which happens at all grounds - note its normally drunken women) but nowt to do with the offering on the field.

Now my wife is from inner Liverpool as in Liverpool 8 nowadays known as Toxteth when it was a particular rough place to live so she is no shrinking violet.

So basically its the overall product of which at most ground (not all) doesn't lend itself to overcoming the inertia/reluctance of years of  poor experience. 

 

Away fans don't count 😉, it's up to the home club to fill it's stadium 👍

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On 08/04/2022 at 19:12, whatmichaelsays said:

I think the issue here is that RL hasn't really adapted to reflect modern ticket buying habits. The clubs rely so heavily on a captive market that pays up front, struggles to appeal to more casual ticket buyers who might buy on a match-by-match basis and don't really want the commitment of a full season (and when you consider that it's now so easy to 'unbundle' so many other package deals - mobile phones, TV/Netflix, holidays, etc, that's a growing segment of society). Then, when we have "all pay" games, we struggle. 

The play-offs have the same problem. Why is it that fans of the so-called "the greatest game" are so unwilling to pay to watch the climax of the season amongst the best teams still standing? Is it that they don't want to, is it that the offer isn't good enough, or are we selling to people who can't buy it? Whatever it is, bundling in tickets to the season ticket just masks the real problem - the RL product isn't attracting people outside that core group, and that core group arguably bored and/or tired of being asked to buy a lot of RL that, in many cases, all looks exactly the same. 

If we're just going to start bundling in the cup, play-offs and anything else into one "all inclusive" subscription, is there really any point in having the cup and play-offs at all, aside from the two showpiece events? 

I take on board all of your points, but subscription models are here, and valid. 

I made the point earlier that Netflix don't charge you more for a big premiere. 

We have made it more expensive for these games (they used to be included or heavily subsidised) and made it easier to sit at home and watch on TV, with more games than ever being shown. 

Wire get more vs Wakefield in the league than they do versus Wigan in the Cup. That isn't because the Wakefield game is the more attractive event. 

We can't ignore what is happening in front of us. We have spent decades building up a fan base on subscription models (season tickets spread over direct debits or bought for Christmas) and then we act surprised when those same fans watch on TV instead of getting their wallet out again for a game. 

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On 09/04/2022 at 10:29, Tommygilf said:

What was the attendance at KR last night?

7,000, and to be fair to Cas they brought a decent number over - especially given it was Friday. When you look at Rovers long-term crowd trends that’s genuinely a great audience, and with the atmosphere, product and as a cherry on top the result I think any new people will have been impressed. 

 

Of the 4 P’s referenced above the issue isn’t really price, as Rovers have shown, it’s the games lack of desire (and inability) to sell itself…

 

As a starting point a optimistic tone of communication is needed, as we’re finding, and people will buy in. That’s the positioning bit. Bolt onto that greater thought into how to then market unique aspects of specific events, and you can build an audience. That’s the promotion bit.
 

We have the subject the wrong way around. The Cup offers an opportunity to bring new people into the game, using different stories, to create new prospects we can then try and add to the long-term membership pool afterwards. We should look at it through this lense as an opportunity, not a challenge. A 7,000 crowd with 1,000 new “samplers” is much more valuable to the club in the medium term than an 8,000 crowd made up of members and regular on-the-gate payers. Things like the Challenge Cup, or Channel 4 being in town, or A, B or C other “special” factor are crucial moments in the season for clubs to take advantage of, not for them to fear. 

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47 minutes ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:

7,000, and to be fair to Cas they brought a decent number over - especially given it was Friday. When you look at Rovers long-term crowd trends that’s genuinely a great audience, and with the atmosphere, product and as a cherry on top the result I think any new people will have been impressed. 

 

Of the 4 P’s referenced above the issue isn’t really price, as Rovers have shown, it’s the games lack of desire (and inability) to sell itself…

 

As a starting point a optimistic tone of communication is needed, as we’re finding, and people will buy in. That’s the positioning bit. Bolt onto that greater thought into how to then market unique aspects of specific events, and you can build an audience. That’s the promotion bit.
 

We have the subject the wrong way around. The Cup offers an opportunity to bring new people into the game, using different stories, to create new prospects we can then try and add to the long-term membership pool afterwards. We should look at it through this lense as an opportunity, not a challenge. A 7,000 crowd with 1,000 new “samplers” is much more valuable to the club in the medium term than an 8,000 crowd made up of members and regular on-the-gate payers. Things like the Challenge Cup, or Channel 4 being in town, or A, B or C other “special” factor are crucial moments in the season for clubs to take advantage of, not for them to fear. 

I agree with the general principle of your post, but I think there are too many Hollow points and soundbites in it. 

Let's say Wire went all out and attractes 2k brand new fans to that last cup game vs Wakey. Our crowd would have been 4.5k and they'd have been massively underwhelmed. 

Now had we included it for members, we'd have had 7 or 8k standard plus 2k new fans making a decent event. 

Getting a good cup crowd on optimism and playing well is good, but not everyone can be in that position. 

We have a well established sales process and window where we make the majority of our sales. At Warrington we have probably sold 78k match tickets for the year out of our total expected crowd of 100-130k for the year before the season starts. 

I don't know why we make it hard for ourselves and try and sell thousands of tickets for games at short notice that are on TV. 

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1473 announced for Cornwall. Didn’t think it would be quite that high from watching the stream but never the less there were clearly plenty of people there enjoying the game.

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4 minutes ago, fevtom said:

1473 announced for Cornwall. Didn’t think it would be quite that high from watching the stream but never the less there were clearly plenty of people there enjoying the game.

That's great.

They did remember to remove the union crowd calculator algorithm from the gate before counting didn't they?! 😂

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47 minutes ago, fevtom said:

1473 announced for Cornwall. Didn’t think it would be quite that high from watching the stream but never the less there were clearly plenty of people there enjoying the game.

I know the Memorial Ground well and (honestly) guessed there were about 1300/1400 in. As it goes, the grass bank below the camera is one of the best places to watch from, and there were plenty there 

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4 minutes ago, ChristianB said:

I know the Memorial Ground well and (honestly) guessed there were about 1300/1400 in. As it goes, the grass bank below the camera is one of the best places to watch from, and there were plenty there 

Hopefully a lot of them will come back for the next game. I expect the numbers might drop off a little now that the first games out of the way but even if half come back that’ll make them one of the best supported teams in the league.

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Cats v Saints.  8624

Hudds v Hull.   3637

Hull KR v Cas.  not given

Wakefield v Wigan.  3756

................

Sheffield v Whitehaven.    150

.............

Bradford v Barrow.     3258

....................

Newcastle v Widnes.       1835

..............

Cornwall v Midlands.        1473

Doncaster v Swinton.       1015

London Skolars v North Wales.      186

Oldham v West Wales.     651

Rochdale v Hunslet      415

 

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10 minutes ago, johnh1 said:

Cats v Saints.  8624

Hudds v Hull.   3637

Hull KR v Cas.  not given

Wakefield v Wigan.  3756

................

Sheffield v Whitehaven.    150

.............

Bradford v Barrow.     3258

....................

Newcastle v Widnes.       1835

..............

Cornwall v Midlands.        1473

Doncaster v Swinton.       1015

London Skolars v North Wales.      186

Oldham v West Wales.     651

Rochdale v Hunslet      415

 

I would love to know how Doncaster arrived at that figure because there wasn't anywhere near that many people in the ground today. Makes you wonder how accurate any of the numbers given actually are.

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5 hours ago, Dave T said:

I agree with the general principle of your post, but I think there are too many Hollow points and soundbites in it. 

Let's say Wire went all out and attractes 2k brand new fans to that last cup game vs Wakey. Our crowd would have been 4.5k and they'd have been massively underwhelmed. 

Now had we included it for members, we'd have had 7 or 8k standard plus 2k new fans making a decent event. 

Getting a good cup crowd on optimism and playing well is good, but not everyone can be in that position. 

We have a well established sales process and window where we make the majority of our sales. At Warrington we have probably sold 78k match tickets for the year out of our total expected crowd of 100-130k for the year before the season starts. 

I don't know why we make it hard for ourselves and try and sell thousands of tickets for games at short notice that are on TV. 

No soundbites, I mean everything I say and do this for a living - maybe just simplified it for this forum, my bad if so. 

 

Subscription revenues, which is what memberships are, are the gold standard unit of sale and where you want to nudge all buyers eventually. But they’re not what people first purchase, all new customers for us will start as single games, aside from some existing members’ kids I guess. So they’re not a single panacea if we are to grow audience.
 

They’re just a discounted bundle eh, with unit price exchanged for certainty (and advancing cash flow). You can choose what to put in the bundle, sure. That could include cup games, I’m indifferent to that in theory. But just a couple of thoughts on why you may not: 1) you’re not guaranteed a home cup game so don’t know what size your bundle is, that’s a harder product to communicate; 2) your need to admit you’re choosing to put more product in your bundle for a lower (per unit) fee, surrendering the ability to sell that once-separate product to the same person on top of a bundle (when they’re already showing you they’re happy to buy without it included). We want these top-up revenues.
 

Members are already incentivised to attend cup games through priority sales windows, discounting, bring-a-friend cheap ticket offers and the like. We don’t “make it hard for ourselves”. For the Hull KR match, I had to press 3 clicks on my smartphone app to pay & add the match to my membership QR code. If I can leave my house to go to the game, I can do that… if the idea of leaving my house to attend is sold to me. 


Rather than give more price away, we should focus on working harder to get more to buy the cup match add-on like this (loads more we could do here), to provide extra revenue not give it away, and at the same time see the positive opportunity of a different, storied event in order to promote these to new fans as well. 
 

My guess is clubs front office operations have become very effective at building subscription sales strategies over the last 10 years, which was an important shift the sport needed to make, but alongside this they’ve lost some capability in the different facets required for spot event marketing. It’s a different strategy, requiring different tactics and team skill sets. Being better at both is best, that’s what I’d push for. 

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A true test as to why the CC attendances are down would be try different things to see what would entice people. Better still, ask them.

Cost: Would a much lower ticket price have fans coming out in large numbers? 
Attitude: Have fans got into the habit of not going to cup games for cost or other reasons and found TV a fine alternative? 
The product: Is the league the main focus and cup not so relevant, fans not too fussed about it anymore. 
 

Once reason(s) are found, solutions can be explored. Have any fan surveys been done on the CC? If RL keeps blindly doing the same thing, they will keep getting the same result or worse.

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