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Let's Do The RFL's Job For Them - Challenge Cup 2023


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I'll go first - 2023 return to Wembley 90,000 seats to fill

Challenge Cup - Oldest Rugby Competition in the World

Theme - 1990s

  • Finalists play in 1990s heritage strip
  • DJ playing 1990s music (maybe even Pat Sharp lol)
  • Pre match show (light ££) - 1990s pop acts like Heather Small, Chesney Hawkes, Right Said Fred signing one or two of their bangers.
  • Parade of 1990 legends - vehicles around the stadium - Offiah, Davies, Schofield, Aston, Hanley, Goulding, Newlove, Crooks, Farrell, Robinson, Morley, Paul, Edwards etc.
  • Extend half time to 25 minutes
  • Half-time show (big investment ££) - 1990s act like Take That or Boyzone or Liam Gallagher or Erasure (15 mins)
  • 1990s themed entertainment/games/concessions outside

Sell the hell out of it to neutrals as a celebration event of our great game with a recognisable theme. Announce this #### early!

30,000 more tickets than 2022 is worth £1.2m to £1.6m

Aim of the day is to get people there early, enjoying themselves and something for everyone. For the purists, the rugby will always provide the entertainment on the pitch. We have history, we have culture - we should use it! But the key is we have to invest to stop the decline and make people want to come. Could do 2000s in 2024.

I'm sure there are many ways to skin a cat. Anyone got other ideas?

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Build a train station in Leigh, they'll come in their thousands i'm sure!!

 

Seriously though i like that idea, but that would be way too hard and busy for the RFL to organise, probably do it cheap and get simmonds to play 'now thats what i call music 36' with a few tamagotchis dotted around.

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1 minute ago, daz39 said:

Build a train station in Leigh, they'll come in their thousands i'm sure!!

 

Seriously though i like that idea, but that would be way too hard and busy for the RFL to organise, probably do it cheap and get simmonds to play 'now thats what i call music 36' with a few tamagotchis dotted around.

It was just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are many equally creative ideas. In the end to buck the trend we need to give lapsed fans, new RL fans and general event goers a reason to attend the big showpiece occasions. That requires bloody effort and planning. Going back to the same well again and again and asking for loyalty is only going to go one way sadly - probably the CC final at at 40k northern stadium (and not even filling that). It can be done.

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They need to target the locals, presuming it's back at Wembley, first and get it known about in London/South before letting the filthy northerners buy any, if Londoners know it's happening well in advance there would be plenty of time to hammer it in to them.

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7 hours ago, Scubby said:

I'll go first - 2023 return to Wembley 90,000 seats to fill

Challenge Cup - Oldest Rugby Competition in the World

Theme - 1990s

  • Finalists play in 1990s heritage strip
  • DJ playing 1990s music (maybe even Pat Sharp lol)
  • Pre match show (light ££) - 1990s pop acts like Heather Small, Chesney Hawkes, Right Said Fred signing one or two of their bangers.
  • Parade of 1990 legends - vehicles around the stadium - Offiah, Davies, Schofield, Aston, Hanley, Goulding, Newlove, Crooks, Farrell, Robinson, Morley, Paul, Edwards etc.
  • Extend half time to 25 minutes
  • Half-time show (big investment ££) - 1990s act like Take That or Boyzone or Liam Gallagher or Erasure (15 mins)
  • 1990s themed entertainment/games/concessions outside

Sell the hell out of it to neutrals as a celebration event of our great game with a recognisable theme. Announce this #### early!

30,000 more tickets than 2022 is worth £1.2m to £1.6m

Aim of the day is to get people there early, enjoying themselves and something for everyone. For the purists, the rugby will always provide the entertainment on the pitch. We have history, we have culture - we should use it! But the key is we have to invest to stop the decline and make people want to come. Could do 2000s in 2024.

I'm sure there are many ways to skin a cat. Anyone got other ideas?

I'm not sure I'd go all in on a whole decade but it'll be 25 years since the Sheffield Eagles victory so part of the build up - in terms of pre match marketing and 'on the day' entertainment - should connect directly to that.

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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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7 hours ago, Scubby said:

I'll go first - 2023 return to Wembley 90,000 seats to fill

Challenge Cup - Oldest Rugby Competition in the World

Theme - 1990s

  • Finalists play in 1990s heritage strip
  • DJ playing 1990s music (maybe even Pat Sharp lol)
  • Pre match show (light ££) - 1990s pop acts like Heather Small, Chesney Hawkes, Right Said Fred signing one or two of their bangers.
  • Parade of 1990 legends - vehicles around the stadium - Offiah, Davies, Schofield, Aston, Hanley, Goulding, Newlove, Crooks, Farrell, Robinson, Morley, Paul, Edwards etc.
  • Extend half time to 25 minutes
  • Half-time show (big investment ££) - 1990s act like Take That or Boyzone or Liam Gallagher or Erasure (15 mins)
  • 1990s themed entertainment/games/concessions outside

Sell the hell out of it to neutrals as a celebration event of our great game with a recognisable theme. Announce this #### early!

30,000 more tickets than 2022 is worth £1.2m to £1.6m

Aim of the day is to get people there early, enjoying themselves and something for everyone. For the purists, the rugby will always provide the entertainment on the pitch. We have history, we have culture - we should use it! But the key is we have to invest to stop the decline and make people want to come. Could do 2000s in 2024.

I'm sure there are many ways to skin a cat. Anyone got other ideas?

Who are you targeting with that offer? 

To me that doesn't attract anyone under 40, nor anyone who's not already got a connection to rugby league. It doesn't speak to the London event market, or London's young, diverse demographic at all. 

It could however, revive some interest among existing older RL fans who've stopped going. A sort of 90s Fest/CCF day out. The 90sFest bit really does need to be top quality though to cut through, or it'll be naff. 

The BBC might like it too I suppose, if it's good enough quality. 

Don't expect to make a profit though, the quality needed will cost. 

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I've seen a bit of this extended half time idea. Was Maro Itoje talking about it in the other code? I do wonder, however, how it would affect the players? Obviously it seems that Itoje is happy with it, and I know they do it in the NFL, but that's a different sport. I wonder if it would be too much of a cool down for rugby players to come out all guns firing straight off the bat in the second half?

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2 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Who are you targeting with that offer? 

To me that doesn't attract anyone under 40, nor anyone who's not already got a connection to rugby league. It doesn't speak to the London event market, or London's young, diverse demographic at all. 

It could however, revive some interest among existing older RL fans who've stopped going. A sort of 90s Fest/CCF day out. The 90sFest bit really does need to be top quality though to cut through, or it'll be naff. 

The BBC might like it too I suppose, if it's good enough quality. 

Don't expect to make a profit though, the quality needed will cost. 

I thought 90s retro stuff was popular at the minute? Although I'm pretty sure the 90s was only 5 years ago... (*mumbles in old*)

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Scubby said:

I'll go first - 2023 return to Wembley 90,000 seats to fill

Challenge Cup - Oldest Rugby Competition in the World

Theme - 1990s

  • Finalists play in 1990s heritage strip
  • DJ playing 1990s music (maybe even Pat Sharp lol)
  • Pre match show (light ££) - 1990s pop acts like Heather Small, Chesney Hawkes, Right Said Fred signing one or two of their bangers.
  • Parade of 1990 legends - vehicles around the stadium - Offiah, Davies, Schofield, Aston, Hanley, Goulding, Newlove, Crooks, Farrell, Robinson, Morley, Paul, Edwards etc.
  • Extend half time to 25 minutes
  • Half-time show (big investment ££) - 1990s act like Take That or Boyzone or Liam Gallagher or Erasure (15 mins)
  • 1990s themed entertainment/games/concessions outside

Sell the hell out of it to neutrals as a celebration event of our great game with a recognisable theme. Announce this #### early!

30,000 more tickets than 2022 is worth £1.2m to £1.6m

Aim of the day is to get people there early, enjoying themselves and something for everyone. For the purists, the rugby will always provide the entertainment on the pitch. We have history, we have culture - we should use it! But the key is we have to invest to stop the decline and make people want to come. Could do 2000s in 2024.

I'm sure there are many ways to skin a cat. Anyone got other ideas?

Top ideas Scubby. ✔️

It does not matter what decade, what theme, but making the Cup Final into even more of an event should be a given.

RL really has one over other sports (bar wendyball) in the two big domestic cup finals.

To develop it even more in a contemporary fashion should be something the RFL and IMG should be looking at.

So music, performance, personality, colour, modernity and tradition. 

 

Edited by idrewthehaggis
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1 hour ago, Toby Chopra said:

Who are you targeting with that offer? 

To me that doesn't attract anyone under 40, nor anyone who's not already got a connection to rugby league. It doesn't speak to the London event market, or London's young, diverse demographic at all. 

It could however, revive some interest among existing older RL fans who've stopped going. A sort of 90s Fest/CCF day out. The 90sFest bit really does need to be top quality though to cut through, or it'll be naff. 

The BBC might like it too I suppose, if it's good enough quality. 

Don't expect to make a profit though, the quality needed will cost. 

Families, it is not the artists it's the songs and the themes. My kids were at uni and went to nostalgia things all the time like 70s and 80s nights. Spotify means famous songs are just songs.

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2 hours ago, gingerjon said:

I'm not sure I'd go all in on a whole decade but it'll be 25 years since the Sheffield Eagles victory so part of the build up - in terms of pre match marketing and 'on the day' entertainment - should connect directly to that.

We have to do something big IMO - the decline is steep and almost terminal but I get where you are coming from.

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26 minutes ago, idrewthehaggis said:

Top ideas Scubby. ✔️

It does not matter what decade, what theme, but making the Cup Final into even more of an event should be a given.

RL really has one over other sports (bar wendyball) in the two big domestic cup finals.

To develop it even more in a contemporary fashion should be something the RFL and IMG should be looking at.

So music, performance, personality, colour, modernity and tradition. 

 

Yep the idea doesn't really matter mate. There are tonnes of ideas.

I'm not wedded to this just came up with it and I'm sure there are dozens of other workable things. The key is the scale and the intent.

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Have we got a date yet for the 2023 Challenge Cup? I googled but didn't come across one. When it come to selling to people who went this year it kind of helps to have the details in place for next and to strike when the irons hot. I think we should be heavily incentivising fans to go again and trying to shift tickets early from the moment this year's final is finished. If people have a good time this year and receive a good value offer then they will go again. Give it 6 months when it has faded and they may not be so receptive.

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8 minutes ago, Damien said:

Have we got a date yet for the 2023 Challenge Cup? I googled but didn't come across one. When it come to selling to people who went this year it kind of helps to have the details in place for next and to strike when the irons hot. I think we should be heavily incentivising fans to go again and trying to shift tickets early from the moment this year's final is finished. If people have a good time this year and receive a good value offer then they will go again. Give it 6 months when it has faded and they may not be so receptive.

Do we even know what month it is? I want to say it reverts back to July but a quick Google doesn’t really tell me much. 

Ordinarily, I think there are emails and offers sent out on the Monday after the final for those who bought through The RFL. 

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9 hours ago, daz39 said:

Build a train station in Leigh, they'll come in their thousands i'm sure!!

In fairness, you have touched on a theme there. After seeing the prices for the semi final and then throw in the cost of attending the final, it's more than understandable if fans are struggling to afford one of the events, never mind both.

Short notice for hiring coaches is often seen as a drawback for clubs organising travel for their spectators and I've got no doubt at all that people are being put off by that aspect, particularly those who didn't want to risk/commit prior to knowing the finalists (again, fair enough if you can't afford to shell out a few hundred quid as a neutral)

Given the anticipated return to Wembley and their partnership with National Express, surely it isn't beyond the realms of possibility to have x number of coaches on reserve for the two finalists at a subsidised rate so that tickets and travel can be packaged accordingly. With the vast majority of the club allocations being £55 tickets and coach tickets c£50, £105 apiece per person just to get there and get in is pretty much an inescapable factor. Of course, if Leigh ever got to a Challenge Cup Final then I'd crawl over broken glass and hand over my last penny, but for clubs who get there a little more often than once every 50ish years then it's understandable if they might give it a miss every now and then.

In terms of attracting neutrals, it simply has to be the London 'event crowd'. I went as a neutral in 2019 (falling in to the 1895 semi final trap...) and, as enjoyable a weekend as it was, I wouldn't want to be committing so much to be attending every year when also committing to Bash/Magic, Toulouse/Catalans, internationals etc.

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2 minutes ago, Jughead said:

Do we even know what month it is? I want to say it reverts back to July but a quick Google doesn’t really tell me much. 

Ordinarily, I think there are emails and offers sent out on the Monday after the final for those who bought through The RFL. 

I have sometimes got offers. However that just leads to another issue, the only time I took up the offer I could have got considerably cheaper deals by waiting. There really is little incentive to take them up the way things stand so people either wait to see if there team is involved or wait to see if there is a better offer.

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  It would be a good idea giving the Challenge  Cup a higher profile with better marketing.Not many   WM Club trips now as most have closed down or are run on a shoestring.Why not have trips from schools for the kids 10000 tickets at £5 free entry to supervising teachers and schools could ask their local community to sponsor coaches to the stadium.Get the young ones involved and a day out in the fresh  air.After all they have been through with Covid and financial stress they deserve an outing.

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While I’d be all over a 90s themed event myself I don’t think it would appeal to the younger demographic, which is what I think RL should be doing before a large chunk of that generation is lost to the game. Maybe get some well known grime artists in and provide free ear defenders to anyone aged over 25? 

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52 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Families, it is not the artists it's the songs and the themes. My kids were at uni and went to nostalgia things all the time like 70s and 80s nights. Spotify means famous songs are just songs.

OK, but they'd have to be families that already were into RL, and we're offering them a chance to rekindle their relationship with the sport's "biggest day" by throwing in a decent quality music theme alongside it. That could work if not done on the cheap.

But no-one who wasn't already into RL would spend £200+ taking the family to Wembley for 1hr of music before, and 30mins at half time when, as you say, there are whole days/weekends devoted to that stuff for the same money.

Again, I'm not saying bad idea, but it would be about targetting the existing RL community to come and watch the CCF - which lots of RL fans will watch on TV  - in person, by saying you'll have a good day out even if the match is so-so.  

If the RFL really does have the email contacts of 20k southerners, you might get 10k of those coming along to that offer. Which is not to be sneezed at. The rest would have to come from the north. 

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2 minutes ago, Eddie said:

While I’d be all over a 90s themed event myself I don’t think it would appeal to the younger demographic, which is what I think RL should be doing before a large chunk of that generation is lost to the game. Maybe get some well known grime artists in and provide free ear defenders to anyone aged over 25? 

No. No-one who isn't already into RL in some way or other would come to the CCF to to see a couple of grime acts, when they could spend the same/less money on a whole day of it in a proper environment.

We have to figure out who our potential audience for the CCF is. It's people who already like RL in some shape or form (and that could even just mean watching the free games on BBC/C4 and nothing else) and who might actually like to watch the match itself. Then incentivise it by adding on the extras to make it worth their while.    

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

OK, but they'd have to be families that already were into RL, and we're offering them a chance to rekindle their relationship with the sport's "biggest day" by throwing in a decent quality music theme alongside it. That could work if not done on the cheap.

But no-one who wasn't already into RL would spend £200+ taking the family to Wembley for 1hr of music before, and 30mins at half time when, as you say, there are whole days/weekends devoted to that stuff for the same money.

Again, I'm not saying bad idea, but it would be about targetting the existing RL community to come and watch the CCF - which lots of RL fans will watch on TV  - in person, by saying you'll have a good day out even if the match is so-so.  

If the RFL really does have the email contacts of 20k southerners, you might get 10k of those coming along to that offer. Which is not to be sneezed at. The rest would have to come from the north. 

We are currently targeting the dwindling current RL community - that is all we are doing (and it's not working). My mum and sister are lapsed RL community - they don't go anymore. The last time they went to Wembley was 2007 - they don't even go to games but the new Wembley opening was exciting to them as an event. My kids won't even touch RL - but they go to tonnes of other events like T20 and RU.

RL has this obsession with the product on the pitch, the sport being so exciting etc. Believe me, being around people here in the capital who go to sports events all the time, the action on the pitch is, bizarrely, secondary to the experience. If it's a great game they will mention it, if it's #### they won't mind if they had a great time. It's 2022 - the competition for the sports event ££ is huge. 

Edited by Scubby
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33 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

  It would be a good idea giving the Challenge  Cup a higher profile with better marketing.Not many   WM Club trips now as most have closed down or are run on a shoestring.Why not have trips from schools for the kids 10000 tickets at £5 free entry to supervising teachers and schools could ask their local community to sponsor coaches to the stadium.Get the young ones involved and a day out in the fresh  air.After all they have been through with Covid and financial stress they deserve an outing.

This has been tried and was really poorly executed. But it is a good idea.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Eddie said:

While I’d be all over a 90s themed event myself I don’t think it would appeal to the younger demographic, which is what I think RL should be doing before a large chunk of that generation is lost to the game. Maybe get some well known grime artists in and provide free ear defenders to anyone aged over 25? 

We have to do 3 things, one to encourage neutral fans from the north who love RL to make the trip as neutrals, two to entice people in the South East region who follow RL to come to a must see event, and three to encourage casual sports fans in London and wider region that a day at the oldest Rugby cup competition will be fun and worth a day out.

It doesn't help if we are in a situation where die hard RL fans are ####### off home back north before the actual Cup final itself. 

Edited by Scubby
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Just now, Scubby said:

We are currently targeting the dwindling current RL community - that is all we are doing (and it's not working). My mum and sister are lapsed RL community - they don't go anymore. The last time they went to Wembley was 2007 - they don't even go to games but the new Wembley opening was exciting to them as an event.

RL has this obsession with the product on the pitch, the sport being so exciting etc. Believe me, being around people here in the capital who go to sports events all the time, the action on the pitch is, bizarrely, secondary to the experience. If it's a great game they will mention it, if it's #### they won't mind if they had a great time. It's 2022 - the competition for the sports event ££ is huge. 

I agree, the point I'm making is that we need to target people exactly like your mum and sister and see what would entice them back. They know it's a big sporting event for RL - the match is and always will be the centrepiece - but the game on its own isn't enough to tempt them down. What would be? Your idea may well be it. 

But it's incentivising the "lapsed fans" to come back, or latent fans in the south to come along, that will work. Trying to sell it as some sort of music festival (with a RL game alongside) to non-RL fans won't. 

The aim for our sport now is to grow the number of soft, latent fans through FTA exposure and better social media comms, and THEN target that group to come along to big matches. 

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