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Can IMG make Rugby League into a more successful sport?


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15 hours ago, steve oates said:

Not at all true.

On leaving the RFU Northern clubs became isolated in Yorkshire and Lancashire, as Soccer made great strides. The rest of the country either stuck with Union or went with Soccer.

Trevor Delaney set out all the near 50 welcomed attempts of the League game to expand across the country. What worked against these clubs was isolation, no local players, local fans happy with Union/soccer, lack of investment.

London, Sheffield and Newcastle are recent examples.  which "factions within the sport" are currently working against these clubs?? 

Although I tend to agree with your basic premise that RL shows more evidence of anti-expansion than the contrary your historical evidence is pants.

I still think that changing the attitude culture towards RL is key and that means making it more fashionable and go to in England at the very least.

A lot of the reasoning, suggestions and ideas remain simplistic, unrealistic nonsense.

Edited by Oxford

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Cake Tiger said:

If they could arrange for highlights of one of RL's showpiece occasion to be shown on TV in a rugby league watching country like New Zealand, that'll be a start. CC Final not shown anywhere in NZ and no highlights anywhere to be found yet. I subscribe to both sports channels in NZ.

I can, of course, find plenty of highlights of the RU European final, plus their second-tier "Challenge Cup" very easily on YouTube. I can also find reaction and interviews from Tottenham's stadium. 

I could buy a VPN and watch BBC coverage but really? Should I have to?

No and hopefully this is where IMG comes in. Media rights etc. 

It may be that IMG will look to package up content - Challenge Cup, Super League, internationals, womens, wheelchair - and sell it to untapped markets. Like New Zealand. 

Edited by Man of Kent
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9 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Of course growing the game is IMG’s remit but I’m not sure it’s about British expansion in the way discussed ad nauseam in this place.

It could be it’s more about taking stuff that already exists and putting it together in a more lucrative way, eg a serious international game, a world club tournament (mens and womens), monetising the wheelchair game etc.

There’s lots of humans out there in the world who want live sports content that IMG could facilitate and produce.

We have a great product, it just needs better packaging. 

It needs more than just better packaging, much more.

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11 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

It needs more than just better packaging, much more.

A top name sponsor would help. Seeing Batchelors peas on a sponsor board when players are being interviewed is a tad embarrassing to me anyway. Nothing against the company, or it's products, it just screams small sport.

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4 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

The pieces are there. They just need to be put together properly. 

No the pieces aren't there.  Those pieces conform to the negative stereotypes about the game, they're not a basis for growing the game or its revenue.  When Eric Pérez said that the game had maxed out the revenues available to it as it was before the Wolfpack and as again now, he was right.

2 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

No and hopefully this is where IMG comes in. Media rights etc. 

It may be that IMG will look to package up content - Challenge Cup, Super League, internationals, womens, wheelchair - and sell it to untapped markets. Like New Zealand. 

This is a naive view.  New Zealand is a market smaller than Ireland and it's halfway around the world, where British RL's big matches will be in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning their time.  There won't be a lot of revenue to be tapped there.

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1 minute ago, Chanter said:

A top name sponsor would help. Seeing Batchelors peas on a sponsor board when players are being interviewed is a tad embarrassing to me anyway. Nothing against the company, or it's products, it just screams small sport.

What top name sponsor do you think is going to back a sport whose "big" name clubs are all located in smallish towns which the public has either never heard of or doesn't consider the sort of places where big time major pro sport is played?

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2 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

What top name sponsor do you think is going to back a sport whose "big" name clubs are all located in smallish towns which the public has either never heard of or doesn't consider the sort of places where big time major pro sport is played?

That's the attitude the governing body of this great sport probably think too. Think small act small 

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3 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

No the pieces aren't there.  Those pieces conform to the negative stereotypes about the game, they're not a basis for growing the game or its revenue.  When Eric Pérez said that the game had maxed out the revenues available to it as it was before the Wolfpack and as again now, he was right.

Is that Toronto, Ottawa, Bradford and Cornwall’s Eric Perez? 

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1 minute ago, Man of Kent said:

Is that Toronto, Ottawa, Bradford and Cornwall’s Eric Perez? 

Do we know of another?  The fact that Toronto didn't work as he conceived it doesn't prove that his statement about the game's revenue was wrong though.

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1 minute ago, Big Picture said:

Do we know of another?  The fact that Toronto didn't work as he conceived it doesn't prove that his statement about the game's revenue was wrong though.

Well, he was wrong. He wasn’t thinking about the international game and the international audience. The big picture.

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Just now, Chanter said:

A top name sponsor would help. Seeing Batchelors peas on a sponsor board when players are being interviewed is a tad embarrassing to me anyway. Nothing against the company, or it's products, it just screams small sport.

That's where the sport is. Blue chip brands want to associate themselves with blue chip events/sports that attract "blue chip" crowds. Sponsors aren't stupid, they know what the market RL currently appeals to is and what audience they can reach through sponsorship in the sport. 

The reality is that some brands will look and just think they aren't interested. The most stark comparison is of course with RU. Despite its club game being largely in line with RL in terms of following etc, their audience is deemed more valuable to sponsors. Land Rover vs Dacia or Izuzu, Dyson or O2 vs Cash Converters, Home Bargains or Ronseal.

Once a corporate sponsorship market has that opinion of you and your audience, it is very hard to shake. 

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15 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

What top name sponsor do you think is going to back a sport whose "big" name clubs are all located in smallish towns which the public has either never heard of or doesn't consider the sort of places where big time major pro sport is played?

RU has plenty of examples of just that. 

The key is to work out how to overcome the limitations of your current position as effectively as possible; minimising the negatives and maximising the positives.

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19 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Sure. To be clear, I mean we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We have all the ingredients.

I'd think we're short a couple of ingredients tbh. But we can work to put those in place in the short to mid term future.

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19 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

RU has plenty of examples of just that. 

The key is to work out how to overcome the limitations of your current position as effectively as possible; minimising the negatives and maximising the positives.

RU is based in London though, and it reaches a much broader and more prosperous demographic than RL does.

The trouble with your second point is that there are are many negatives and few positives available to maximize.

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1 minute ago, Big Picture said:

RU is based in London though, and it reaches a much broader and more prosperous demographic than RL does.

The trouble with your second point is that there are are many negatives and few positives available to maximize.

In general terms though, there is no major material difference in terms of the status of clubs and locations. Gloucester, Exeter, Northampton, Worcester and Bristol carry no more prestige in the English sporting consciousness than comparative RL clubs.

The London presence, particularly the social strata of that presence (public schools rather than the club game particularly), is important to the point you are making. The clubs growing will help that sport broaden their commercial appeal even more.

It will be difficult to deal with a sport with 100 years of baggage, but it is not impossible - and it is critical that the sport is adaptive and responsive to the future.

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33 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

In general terms though, there is no major material difference in terms of the status of clubs and locations. Gloucester, Exeter, Northampton, Worcester and Bristol carry no more prestige in the English sporting consciousness than comparative RL clubs.

Prestige is not the issue though acceptability is ..... Salford is not as digestible or as marketable but this is in the heads of the market and those that market.

This is not just a thing about those outside the game as it is often something expressed on these pages.

It may be that those towns you mentioned and their prestige is to do with connection to public schools within their area, and the fact that they remained largely intact and unspoiled Midsummer postcards.

 

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Oxford said:

Prestige is not the issue though acceptability is ..... Salford is not as digestible or as marketable but this is in the heads of the market and those that market.

This is not just a thing about those outside the game as it is often something expressed on these pages.

It may be that those towns you mentioned and their prestige is to do with connection to public schools within their area, and the fact that they remained largely intact and unspoiled Midsummer postcards.

That wasn't BPs point however.

BP said that our sport suffered because our clubs were not in cities that people associate with top level sport. I pointed out that this wasn't true for RU either.

Acceptability isn't as if we're talking Bridgerton or Downton Abbey. In fact, places like Gloucester and Bristol would be distinctly negatively viewed in those circles. Our problem is that we are viewed as, and I assume the facts back this up, a low GDP per capita sport stuck in a small pockets that aren't cultural drivers.

That isn't "Acceptability", its economics.

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

That's where the sport is. Blue chip brands want to associate themselves with blue chip events/sports that attract "blue chip" crowds. Sponsors aren't stupid, they know what the market RL currently appeals to is and what audience they can reach through sponsorship in the sport. 

The reality is that some brands will look and just think they aren't interested. The most stark comparison is of course with RU. Despite its club game being largely in line with RL in terms of following etc, their audience is deemed more valuable to sponsors. Land Rover vs Dacia or Izuzu, Dyson or O2 vs Cash Converters, Home Bargains or Ronseal.

Once a corporate sponsorship market has that opinion of you and your audience, it is very hard to shake. 

This is absolutely correct and can only change if RL make a conscious decision to change it. And that will cost in the short term. There are many companies who simply would not wish to join a portfolio that includes Batchelors Mushy Peas or in the past Big Soup. RFL can't even just get Batchelors for goodness sake who would be infinitely better. For many blue chip sponsors it would go against all their values and you wouldn't even be able to get them to do it for free, it would be that negative for them.

The RFL should be looking at things like the World Cup to kick start this and start new sponsorships with more premium sponsors on the back of it. Hook one premium sponsor and others start to want to be associated. I'm guessing it's not even been a consideration and we are already tied in so can't take advantage.

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21 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

That wasn't BPs point however.

BP said that our sport suffered because our clubs were not in cities that people associate with top level sport. I pointed out that this wasn't true for RU either.

Acceptability isn't as if we're talking Bridgerton or Downton Abbey. In fact, places like Gloucester and Bristol would be distinctly negatively viewed in those circles. Our problem is that we are viewed as, and I assume the facts back this up, a low GDP per capita sport stuck in a small pockets that aren't cultural drivers.

That isn't "Acceptability", its economics.

I understand your distinction here Gloucester, Bristol etc are less tainted by the portrayal of them than RL towns. I don't believe for one minute they're seen in the same light as RL cities and towns.

The point about professional sport is logical though.

Economics and acceptability are part and parcel of fashions, trends and the opening of envelopes; cultural drivers essentially  means capital cities, the media connected to them and attitudes they bring to work for those things they value and how they denegrate and dismiss those they do not.

 

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Damien said:

This is absolutely correct and can only change if RL make a conscious decision to change it. And that will cost in the short term. There are many companies who simply would not wish to join a portfolio that includes Batchelors Mushy Peas or in the past Big Soup. RFL can't even just get Batchelors for goodness sake who would be infinitely better. For many blue chip sponsors it would go against all their values and you wouldn't even be able to get them to do it for free, it would be that negative for them.

The RFL should be looking at things like the World Cup to kick start this and start new sponsorships with more premium sponsors on the back of it. Hook one premium sponsor and others start to want to be associated. I'm guessing it's not even been a consideration and we are already tied in so can't take advantage.

The World Cup will mostly be played in the same unfashionable towns which host League and Cup matches though, so how would that interest those top name sponsors?

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3 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

The World Cup will mostly be played in the same unfashionable towns which host League and Cup matches though, so how would that interest those top name sponsors?

National FTA coverage and played in some of the finest stadiums in the country. We've already seen that World Cups attract more premium sponsors than what RL normally attracts 

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