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North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:17 am
Posted by Sadfish on Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:17 am
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Over the past few weeks we have heard rumblings of contacts in north america wishing to get involved in RL.

On the face of it, it sounds great, however, we have a history of expansion without really understanding how to expand in my opnion.

So I thought I would go through some of the pros and cons of what I have heard (which is not a lot).

Firstly, Toronto are going well in 2017, whether they can make it to the promotion to SL in 2018 we shall see, but they have setup pretty steadily, I do not know the costs involved or their bottom line, how much is costing the owner and is it sustainable? Getting 7K to me would say it probably is just about sustainable, if it continues.

Secondly, there is talk of a match in Denver, essentially Denver is smack in the middle of the USA, not exactly the location I would pick, and the reason for that is due to the end game, we need to go places where we can setup a pro league and thus get folks involved, this location needs to be in close proximaty to other large towns and cities and have large university close by. It also needs regular flights to the airport is the plan is to get into SL. Denvers population is 682,545, the state of Colorado, 5 million, but they are mainly well spread out, with quite comes distance between towns, it doesn't really stack up to create a pro-league here to me.

Denver doesn't really tick all the boxes, certainly not like New York City, but those plans need to be in place along with costings.

I hear that LA, NY are also in the mix for a possible SL club, LA is just way too far for the SL, NY and Toronto are right on the edge of distance. Again we need to see long term plans and costings and how the leagues are going to step up from the amatuer setups they have now into teams that can turn the massive amounts of young americans athletes into top class RL players.

If we are talking about just world cup venues, then we obviously want big cities, but the problem is the organisation and cost if they are 7 hours between flights, we need to good attendances and also a plan to deliver a pro league in at least 1 area of LA or NY in order to make it worth while.

There is talk of all this being funded from outside the RFL /NRL but I caution this, we should not consider "money" to be the reason we go to a place, we need to always make sure the end goal is to end up with a 3rd pro league in the world somewhere, I beleive the USA is it, but I know my RL History and our ability to forget about everything to take some cash and run a tournament or team until the money runs out. We need to make the teams/ leagues self sufficient wherever we go whatever we do.
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Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:45 am
Posted by JEAN CAPDOUZE on Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:45 am
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Denver has to be the most stupid suggestion for a RL international that I have ever heard. There is no rugby league team there. The NZ vs England game has to be held in the established rugby league bastion of Toronto, or else at one of the potential franchises of New York, Boston, or Philadelphia.

Only the above mentioned cities will attract a crowd and can benefit in future development terms from a properly promoted international rugby league event.
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Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:06 am
Posted by Sir Kevin Sinfield on Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:06 am
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Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and Catalan Dragons are expansion clubs who have all been successful. What did they all have in common? They had the security that they would not be relegated from the league they were in, if Catalan were relegated in 2006 it’s unlikely they would still be a professional side competing in Super League today.
Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:13 pm
Posted by maurice on Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:13 pm
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Sir Kevin Sinfield wrote:
Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and Catalan Dragons are expansion clubs who have all been successful. What did they all have in common? They had the security that they would not be relegated from the league they were in, if Catalan were relegated in 2006 it’s unlikely they would still be a professional side competing in Super League today.


I thought they all had RL established in their backyards - Melbourne 1914 I believe - so had a player and fan base to grow from, silly me.
Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:31 pm
Posted by luke ShipleyRed on Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:31 pm
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I don't quite understand why people think that we can move to an already saturated sports market. With very little grassroots/promotion/foothold and the crowds and sponsorship and markets are just going to open up for us.
We'd be competing with nfl, College football, Baseball,Ice Hockey,basketball,soccer (male &female). And the college versions of these sports. That are already massive, have all the prime time TV spots (which let's face it is how the public view sports, more than going). And have a big advertisement market (mainly because there on the prime time tv). Rugby union is also about 5 years ahead of us over there.

I think Toronto have shown, that Canada may be better for us in the long run to become an established sport.

I could be wrong, but when you think it took football 30 + years (and it was the most participated sport in America during those years), to get anything over there. I think it's naive that a totally alien sport like us will just crack it. If we're willing to put in the time and effort required. And give it the time than yes I think we could do well, and at least establish our selves there. But I don't think it will be as soon as people hope.
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Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:46 pm
Posted by mrpurfect on Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:46 pm
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My line of thought is same as poster above , sticking a pin in a map looking for big cities across the world doesn't work , our little voice doesn't get heard, but it absolutely can in smaller towns, to think big you have got to go small.
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Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:38 pm
Posted by bramleyrhino on Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:38 pm
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luke ShipleyRed wrote:
I don't quite understand why people think that we can move to an already saturated sports market. With very little grassroots/promotion/foothold and the crowds and sponsorship and markets are just going to open up for us.
We'd be competing with nfl, College football, Baseball,Ice Hockey,basketball,soccer (male &female). And the college versions of these sports. That are already massive, have all the prime time TV spots (which let's face it is how the public view sports, more than going). And have a big advertisement market (mainly because there on the prime time tv). Rugby union is also about 5 years ahead of us over there.

I think Toronto have shown, that Canada may be better for us in the long run to become an established sport.

I could be wrong, but when you think it took football 30 + years (and it was the most participated sport in America during those years), to get anything over there. I think it's naive that a totally alien sport like us will just crack it. If we're willing to put in the time and effort required. And give it the time than yes I think we could do well, and at least establish our selves there. But I don't think it will be as soon as people hope.


There's a couple of ways to look at this.

You don't want to necessarily be charging into a "crowded market" because, as you said, you're competing with established sports for what is theoretically a finite level of supporter spend and media time.

Somewhere like Hamilton Ontario has been mentioned before, and that seems like a good shout - a decent-sized city region with a decent media market and only one top-flight team (Hamilton Tigercats in the CFL).

However, I'd argue that somewhere like New York isn't necessarily a "crowded market". Yes, it would look that way in the traditional sense of the term, but when you scratch beneath the surface you can make a business case that RL, offering some unique USPs, can actually find its niche in that market.

Look at the NY sports market as an example, and you'll see that it's actually quite difficult for your average Joe to "consume" that sport. It costs at least $100 to see the Giants or Jets (that's if you can actually get a ticket in the Gods), and that's before you've paid $50 to park the car and $12 for a pint of Bud Light. It's very difficult to get tickets for the Knicks, and it's expensive to watch the Yankees and the Brooklyn Nets.

In the cities, college sports doesn't attract that much of the market (perhaps with the exception of LA). Where college sports are big are the middle and southern states - with the exception of perhaps Florida I suspect those aren't the regions being alluded to by Nigel Wood.

So what you have is a big city population that, whilst it has a lot of sport to choose from, is actually unable to consume that sport - either because tickets are so scarce, or because they're prohibitively expensive. That's a USP that RL can really aim for.

It's also worth noting that as a summer sport, we're not competing with the NFL, NBA or NHL. We are competing with the MLB and MLS, but that's potentially where (in the case of New York in particular) the media market suits us.

There are two local sports broadcasters in the US. MSG covers basketball, the two NFL teams and ice hockey, but jack-all in the summer. YES covers the Mets, Yankees and NY Soccer, but little in the winter. For a broadcaster like MSG, we'd be prime content - similar in nature to ice hockey and NFL, but without the schedule clashes.

I agree that charging into cities with no real plan isn't a good strategy. If we are going into a city, we really need to understand the market we're reaching and what we offer that market. I'd argue that whilst NY is a busy market, it isn't necessarily a saturated one. There are 8 million people in New York - they can't all watch the Giants, Jets, Knicks and Yankees. Marketed properly, with the right USP, there's no reason why RL can't attract an audience.
Last edited by bramleyrhino on Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I wish everyone would read bramleyrhino's post two or three times just to get it through some thick skulls


Mr bramleyrhino speaks a lot of sense.


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Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:44 pm
Posted by rollin thunder on Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:44 pm
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JEAN CAPDOUZE wrote:
Denver has to be the most stupid suggestion for a RL international that I have ever heard. There is no rugby league team there. The NZ vs England game has to be held in the established rugby league bastion of Toronto, or else at one of the potential franchises of New York, Boston, or Philadelphia.

Only the above mentioned cities will attract a crowd and can benefit in future development terms from a properly promoted international rugby league event.


The north east seaboard is the strongest area for Rl over there so it has to be there, the tristate area and new England is also one of the most densely populated areas with reasonable short (By continental America standards) travel distances. any proposed leagues in USA and Canada have to be around this area or any proposed international fixtures.
i also think if the world cup is there in 2025 all games should be in major cities in major states, tri state area, Florida, southern Californian Chicago met area and possible Texas, however Texas is very spread out, so it would have to restrict to Dallas forth worth Arlington met area and Houston met area. not entirely sure is Rl is made for Texas at the present.
Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:13 pm
Posted by GIANTSRL on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:13 pm
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target the nfl crowd.... bits of rugby league in that sport just without all the padding!!

sure they would love it just need the exposure too it
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Re: North America
Post Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:29 pm
Posted by wire-quin on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:29 pm
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I think Toronto have shown, that Canada may be better for us in the long run to become an established sport.


Why because its frozen for half the year so they can play their homes games in Manchester and Newcastle?
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