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IMG Strategic Partnership Announced


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1 minute ago, Man of Kent said:

I read it as a profit/revenue share, which is different from PE just creaming off revenue - in return for upfront cash - regardless of results.

It's the same thing really though, he's saying they have bought into a commercial entity - which is basically what the RU deals are. The RU ones are dependent on results, although they will pretty much always have their investments covered. 

Davidson says no buy in has taken place. 

Edited by Dave T
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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

It's the same thing really though, he's saying they have bought into a commercial entity - which is basically what the RU deals are. The RU ones are dependent on results, although they will pretty much always have their investments covered. 

Davidson says no buy in has taken place. 

Yep. I assume Davidson is right and IMG is essentially selling its services in return a slice of future profits. 

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35 minutes ago, The Future is League said:

I have in the past suggesting having a pre season Super League 9's tournament in Spain, in an area where there are a lot of expats, but got shouted down, and with us leaving the EU i hear a lot of expats have returned to the UK due to losing benefits they received when they UK was part of the EU

Yep alot never bothered to register here. Plenty also claimed the winter fuel allowance whilst in the south of spain.  

Again though,  the point is not to sell to usual suspects.  If we did a weekend 9's event at cardiff arms Park, I am not trying to sell to people in Wigan,  I'm trying to sell to the millon people living within cardiff newport and bristol.  

If people dont think you could get 10k per day over a weekend for England Wales France plus one summer series they should be as far away as possible from promoting the sport. 

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1 hour ago, Dallas Mead said:

If Wakefield Metropolitan area is the answer then I’m not sure what the question is 🤷‍♂️

Wakefield has a larger population than Warrington and St Helens combined. I thought people were all for encouraging clubs in large urban areas instead of these small towns? Or does it depend how your club gets defined when doing it?

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30 minutes ago, M j M said:

Wakefield has a larger population than Warrington and St Helens combined. I thought people were all for encouraging clubs in large urban areas instead of these small towns? Or does it depend how your club gets defined when doing it?

Are you sure?

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41 minutes ago, M j M said:

Wakefield has a larger population than Warrington and St Helens combined. I thought people were all for encouraging clubs in large urban areas instead of these small towns? Or does it depend how your club gets defined when doing it?

It doesnt.  It is the same at best split between 3 teams.  Wakefield as a city should be doing better and hopefully redevelopement makes an impact but when you have cities like Sheffield York and Manchester staring you in the face It wouldnt be a priority area. 

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7 hours ago, Dave T said:

Of course that is prevented by money. 

That's not entirely true Dave.

We've played Scotland in Coventry and France in Avignon to good 5 figure crowds. We played Ireland in front of a full house at Huddersfield in a World Cup. The Knights, with minimal promotion, played to an over 7k crowd against Jamaica in Leeds. All within the last 10 years. 

Only a total lack of commercial belief and vision has seen those feats not repeated or built upon. And that is almost entirely down to an obsession with not just the Southern Hemisphere, but Australia and New Zealand specifically.

We have had commercial potential and chosen not to do anything with it to instead go for "safe" options...

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7 hours ago, Dave T said:

Of course that is prevented by money. 

I am confident the RFL have never once suggested such a product to anyone or broadcaster who would be interested in such a product or sponsoring it as a proof of concept. 

So it needs money but hasnt been prevented by it. 

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6 hours ago, M j M said:

Wakefield has a larger population than Warrington and St Helens combined. I thought people were all for encouraging clubs in large urban areas instead of these small towns? Or does it depend how your club gets defined when doing it?

Wakefield MDC might, but Wakefield itself certainly does not.

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Isn’t this the same group who used to bag TGG back in the 80s under its then boss Mark McCormack? Sure is.  

"There has never been a Challenge Cup semifinal of 65,000 either individually or combined" - Damien

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7 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

That's not entirely true Dave.

We've played Scotland in Coventry and France in Avignon to good 5 figure crowds. We played Ireland in front of a full house at Huddersfield in a World Cup. The Knights, with minimal promotion, played to an over 7k crowd against Jamaica in Leeds. All within the last 10 years. 

Only a total lack of commercial belief and vision has seen those feats not repeated or built upon. And that is almost entirely down to an obsession with not just the Southern Hemisphere, but Australia and New Zealand specifically.

We have had commercial potential and chosen not to do anything with it to instead go for "safe" options...

How much money did those games make?

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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11 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

A game that got more tv viewers than Eng vs Australia but that doesnt fit narrative of needing southern hemisphere so never to be repeated. 

I think expanding European international rugby is possible, and desirable, but we shouldn't make claims in its favour without context either: that Eng v Scot game was part of a 4 Nations tournament anchored by Aus and NZ, and was probably the peak heritage team Scotland have put out in recent years. Nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't mean that a European 5 nations is suddenly an attractive and sustainable product for broadcasters. It'll need building up and investing in, and buy in from Aus for heritage players. If IMG have that on their list, great. But it wasn't a viable option before.

I also dont believe were obsessed with the southern hemisphere - why wouldn't we want to play them regularly? - they're the best, and I include Tonga and Samoa in that, and the World Cup will be a wonderful showcase of that. We need to add European international rugby to that, not replace. 

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I can’t believe people are still prattling on about expansion 26 years after superleagues birth , the eyes don’t lie look at the crowds then and now throughout the board not just at a couple of clubs . Plonking some players from Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire in other areas isn’t expansion . Whether you like it or not rugby league is a regional sport and part of the culture. If you want to grow the sport stabilise your strengths then think about spreading further a field but from grassroots not taking players from the said regions and saying it’s expansion. Put the money into clubs like Wakefield, Featherstone, castleford , Bradford, Halifax, Widnes , barrow etc , what made rugby great was the atmosphere from rivalries and the physical nature of the sport , both have been removed and the sport is a sanitised version of itself . The super league is like the Scottish premier league which is what happens when self serving greed rules. Cut out the heart and the body will die , as we are seeing before our very eyes.

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27 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

How much money did those games make?

More than the World Cup did last year when Australia decided it didn't want to turn up... 

They were foundations to build on. The 3 senior games were all broadcast on the BBC, and for the first time in 60 years showed where the future of competitive games for England could come from outside of the Southern Hemisphere. Scotland in particular saw very good TV viewership and of course was highly competitive as a match too. All achieved 5 figure crowds. Vs Scotland achieving that in Coventry is almost "in spite of". 

Our failure to build on opportunities as exemplified has resulted in ourselves being left behind by the Southern Hemisphere and those opportunities themselves being diminished. That is entirely unsurprising.

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9 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I think expanding European international rugby is possible, and desirable, but we shouldn't make claims in its favour without context either: that Eng v Scot game was part of a 4 Nations tournament anchored by Aus and NZ, and was probably the peak heritage team Scotland have put out in recent years. Nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't mean that a European 5 nations is suddenly an attractive and sustainable product for broadcasters. It'll need building up and investing in, and buy in from Aus for heritage players. If IMG have that on their list, great. But it wasn't a viable option before.

I also dont believe were obsessed with the southern hemisphere - why wouldn't we want to play them regularly? - they're the best, and I include Tonga and Samoa in that, and the World Cup will be a wonderful showcase of that. We need to add European international rugby to that, not replace. 

A single good Tongan team caused the NRL to rethink its entire internationals strategy, implement a new competition and even adapt its own eligibility rules for Origin.

We played Scotland once, got a very healthy crowd, were losing at half time, then continued to complain that no one in the Northern Hemisphere is worth us playing.

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7 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Yep. I assume Davidson is right and IMG is essentially selling its services in return a slice of future profits. 

That was my assumption, and maybe Mascord has made some assumptions based on other sports. 

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8 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

More than the World Cup did last year when Australia decided it didn't want to turn up... 

You could just say, "I don't know."

We obviously need internationals to raise the profile of the game. It's the shortcut to the general public that works for every sport.

If IMG can work out how we can find enough players for enough European teams for a regular, decent tournament then good luck to them. It appears to have defeated everyone else - although that's mostly because no one can be bothered. I'm not sure they will either, TBH.

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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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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

That's not entirely true Dave.

We've played Scotland in Coventry and France in Avignon to good 5 figure crowds. We played Ireland in front of a full house at Huddersfield in a World Cup. The Knights, with minimal promotion, played to an over 7k crowd against Jamaica in Leeds. All within the last 10 years. 

Only a total lack of commercial belief and vision has seen those feats not repeated or built upon. And that is almost entirely down to an obsession with not just the Southern Hemisphere, but Australia and New Zealand specifically.

We have had commercial potential and chosen not to do anything with it to instead go for "safe" options...

 

1 hour ago, ShropshireBull said:

I am confident the RFL have never once suggested such a product to anyone or broadcaster who would be interested in such a product or sponsoring it as a proof of concept. 

So it needs money but hasnt been prevented by it. 

We have played a lot of games over the last decade or so against the lower teams and every one of them has been a tough sell commercially, crowd-wise and to broadcasters. 

We did a tri-nations with Wales and France 10 years ago and people weren't interested - despite it being on the BBC. No sponsors and low crowds. 

European nations have played regular Euro Cup games, with little commercial value and no broadcasters interested (despite some great battles). 

We also have the challenge that to step these games up a level Southern Hemisphere heritage players are needed, increasing costs significantly. 

People often quote the England v Scotland game as evidence that we can do well, but that ignores the fact that it was played in the context of a major tournament with Eng, Aus, NZ. We are still doing this now with World Cups and England play Greece live on the BBC this year. Unfortunately the Aussies scrapped the successful 4N.

Wales, Scotland and Ireland are as weak as ever, I see little evidence of real commercial value in a Euro Nations - in reality it would be a series of low key games with 5 to 7k in and giving TV rights away to anyone who would show them, maybe even Our League. 

I say all the above as someone who supports Scotland as well as England and have followed Wales in the past - I'd love it to be a goer, but in reality I expect it would be a money pit. 

The 9s thing is a cost. 

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14 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

You could just say, "I don't know."

We obviously need internationals to raise the profile of the game. It's the shortcut to the general public that works for every sport.

If IMG can work out how we can find enough players for enough European teams for a regular, decent tournament then good luck to them. It appears to have defeated everyone else - although that's mostly because no one can be bothered. I'm not sure they will either, TBH.

Well done

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

We have played a lot of games over the last decade or so against the lower teams and every one of them has been a tough sell commercially, crowd-wise and to broadcasters. 

We did a tri-nations with Wales and France 10 years ago and people weren't interested - despite it being on the BBC. No sponsors and low crowds. 

European nations have played regular Euro Cup games, with little commercial value and no broadcasters interested (despite some great battles). 

We also have the challenge that to step these games up a level Southern Hemisphere heritage players are needed, increasing costs significantly. 

People often quote the England v Scotland game as evidence that we can do well, but that ignores the fact that it was played in the context of a major tournament with Eng, Aus, NZ. We are still doing this now with World Cups and England play Greece live on the BBC this year. Unfortunately the Aussies scrapped the successful 4N.

Wales, Scotland and Ireland are as weak as ever, I see little evidence of real commercial value in a Euro Nations - in reality it would be a series of low key games with 5 to 7k in and giving TV rights away to anyone who would show them, maybe even Our League. 

I say all the above as someone who supports Scotland as well as England and have followed Wales in the past - I'd love it to be a goer, but in reality I expect it would be a money pit. 

The 9s thing is a cost. 

Its perfectly reasonable to use major tournaments to build up what on paper are non marquee fixtures. 

The point is were these built upon? No.

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

Well done

I could also have pointed out that it's not the RFL, Super League, the new venture, or IMG's responsibility in any way shape or form to develop the game in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France or anywhere else so expecting or wanting them to do things at their own expense in that regard is a delightful fantasy.

Scotland featured one Scottish national in that 2016 tournament. That's the biggest barrier to playing them in Coventry, or anywhere else, regularly.

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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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Just now, gingerjon said:

I could also have pointed out that it's not the RFL, Super League, the new venture, or IMG's responsibility in any way shape or form to develop the game in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France or anywhere else so expecting or wanting them to do things at their own expense in that regard is a delightful fantasy.

Scotland featured one Scottish national in that 2016 tournament. That's the biggest barrier to playing them in Coventry, or anywhere else, regularly.

Well done.

"Its not our responsibility" has been the RFL response for basically everything bar collapsing heartland clubs they have a vested interest in.

New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, PNG etc aren't the Australians responsibility either but even the most one eyed internal looking organisation sees the bigger picture.

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11 minutes ago, Dave T said:

The 9s thing is a cost. 

And interest.

Just as I don't see a 9s match being the answer when it comes to the Challenge Cup final at Wembley then I certainly don't see a 9s European tournament as the answer to any failings with SL or RL in this country.

There are so many important,  fundamental things the sport needs to get right that 9s shouldn't even be on the list.

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35 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

More than the World Cup did last year when Australia decided it didn't want to turn up... 

They were foundations to build on. The 3 senior games were all broadcast on the BBC, and for the first time in 60 years showed where the future of competitive games for England could come from outside of the Southern Hemisphere. Scotland in particular saw very good TV viewership and of course was highly competitive as a match too. All achieved 5 figure crowds. Vs Scotland achieving that in Coventry is almost "in spite of". 

Our failure to build on opportunities as exemplified has resulted in ourselves being left behind by the Southern Hemisphere and those opportunities themselves being diminished. That is entirely unsurprising.

You are being very selective there. Aus v NZ at Anfield got 40k that year, the first version of that game had to be thrown in to get 21k at Coventry. 

The two other Scotland games got absolutely rubbish crowds. 

England v Aus/NZ always draws strong crowds and will attract sponsors, we can't say the same for the lower games. 

I'm all for supporting these nations more, we don't need to overstate it. 

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