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SL And RFL Announce 12 Year IMG Deal

carpet crawler
(@carpet-crawler)
Eminent Member

Super League and the Rugby Football League have announced a 12-year partnership with management company IMG to maximise the sport's growth.

The deal comes after Super League and the RFL agreed to realign, with the two bodies having separated in 2018.

Clubs supported the creation of a joint venture aimed at "maximising" the whole game's commercial value as one product.

IMG will now focus on the restructuring of the competition, content production and distribution of media rights.

RFL chair Simon Johnson said: "In recent years, an immense amount of work has gone on, in initially protecting the sport through the pandemic and then setting it on a course for real growth.

"The governance realignment was key and a prerequisite to attracting a partnership such as this. IMG is a global giant in the sports and entertainment industry and this alliance is fantastically exciting for our future."

Ken Davy, chair of Super League added: "We consulted widely on the strategic partner to find someone who bought into our vision for the Super League competition and the sport of rugby league as a whole.

"In IMG we have a world-renowned partner that has all the requisite strengths to ensure the sport's continued growth and development."

 

I wonder what crumbs will be thrown to the clubs lower down the pyramid ? We'll have to wait and see.  

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Topic starter Posted : 10/05/2022 8:29 pm
primrose viking
(@primrose-viking)
Estimable Member
Posted by: @carpet-crawler

Super League and the Rugby Football League have announced a 12-year partnership with management company IMG to maximise the sport's growth.

The deal comes after Super League and the RFL agreed to realign, with the two bodies having separated in 2018.

Clubs supported the creation of a joint venture aimed at "maximising" the whole game's commercial value as one product.

IMG will now focus on the restructuring of the competition, content production and distribution of media rights.

RFL chair Simon Johnson said: "In recent years, an immense amount of work has gone on, in initially protecting the sport through the pandemic and then setting it on a course for real growth.

"The governance realignment was key and a prerequisite to attracting a partnership such as this. IMG is a global giant in the sports and entertainment industry and this alliance is fantastically exciting for our future."

Ken Davy, chair of Super League added: "We consulted widely on the strategic partner to find someone who bought into our vision for the Super League competition and the sport of rugby league as a whole.

"In IMG we have a world-renowned partner that has all the requisite strengths to ensure the sport's continued growth and development."

 

I wonder what crumbs will be thrown to the clubs lower down the pyramid ? We'll have to wait and see.  

I can only imagine this to be a positive thing.

Rugby league in this country has incredibly bad management at national and local level and as a sport it is just so poor at selling itself, with equally poor media coverage in the national and local newspapers and some dreaful one man band web sites.

We need to seriously up our game before the NRL becomes a world renowned competition and we are still swimming with the tadpoles

For many years now i have shook my head at shockingly bad leadership 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11/05/2022 8:44 am
widneslatic
(@widneslatic)
Estimable Member

Sadly, this has come way too late.

Rugby League has shot itself in both feet that many times, the game now is officially wheelchair bound 🤦

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11/05/2022 5:01 pm
Frankg
(@frankg)
Prominent Member

It depends on whether those running the league use it to increase the money paid to those at the top table, as is likely in view of the history of the league; or use it to promote a viable league structure and potential expansion of the game. I am not sure that getting rid of 16 teams from the current league structure can be viewed as progress.

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Posted : 11/05/2022 5:12 pm
gpo1971
(@gpo1971)
Estimable Member

Is this a 1-member, 1-vote thing though? So, if these management consultants come up with a raft of recommendations that Saints, Leeds, Wigan and Warrington don't like, what then? Or doesn't it matter, a democratic vote would usher change through regardless? No idea what the governance is on the decision-making process.

Two schools of thought occur, either start at the top, focus on getting that right and hope that impacts further down the pyramid OR start at the bottom and hope over time that approach provide a secure platform for growth.

I used to be a management consultant in a previous life, if this was my project I'd get the top right and sod the rest. Sad but true. That's where the money is, it's where the exposure is. You'd take reference from the 1 proven model you've got, the NRL, and copy that. Franchise it and close the shop.

So I'd expect recommendations of team mergers, a closed SL, expansion, as much alignment as poss with Oz etc. Might be wrong but I mean, at your first meeting, you'd be saying 'these guys have been treading water for decades, they need something radical...'. it will never be a case of 'just carry on'.

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Posted : 11/05/2022 5:32 pm
Royston Vasey
(@royston-vasey)
Honorable Member

IMG exist to make money. They also have the financial clout to do what they chose. They are also an American company ……. Anyone see a league consisting of New York, Toronto, Lancashire, London, Catalan, New South Wales, Queensland, NZ North 

island, Samoa, etc on the horizon with national leagues existing as feeders ? For those who favour expansion, the possibility has just been improved I be

ieve.

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Posted : 11/05/2022 8:47 pm
Frankg
(@frankg)
Prominent Member

@royston-vasey That world-wide expansion, if it can be achieved, would be Ok, but it does require a viable grass roots game to support it. 

I am too old to accept such a fundamental change, but a sport very much linked to and dependent on world-wide tv coverage may well bring new spectators into the game of RL.

Personally, I am set in my ways and would like to see a viable game based on local clubs representing their local town and community. I suppose it is chicken and egg. The game as it stands today is at best standing still and many clubs will probably go to the wall in the not too distant future, unless changes are made. If there was a successful growth of the game and the income generated not used just for the benefit of a few clubs, but to benefit the wider game, this would be good for the future of the sport. 

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Posted : 11/05/2022 9:12 pm
gpo1971
(@gpo1971)
Estimable Member

There's still a very strong grass-roots RL scene in Australia, away from the NRL. Clubs like North Sydney, Newtown, Wynnum Manly, Burleigh etc. still exist and compete in their respective competitions.

It's not the NRL, they are usually associated with NRL teams, are feeder clubs for them and receive players from them, but they still exist and play. And the standard is excellent, players have come to the SL from these clubs and performed well.

There's no reason why a semi-professional game can't exist over here, away from whatever the new SL becomes.

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Posted : 11/05/2022 9:29 pm
gpo1971
(@gpo1971)
Estimable Member

Another possibility that could come out of the IMG recommendations is innovation or a radical overhaul of the game. Like cricket has done.

Guesswork obviously but I think the one certainty that you could probably make would be that change is coming, the current model doesn't work. Consultants always have to justify their fees so they'll be offering up significant change.

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Posted : 12/05/2022 9:49 am
Mick George
(@mick-george)
Honorable Member

i doubt they will last any where near 12 years, there is no interest in RL in this country apart from the usual M62 Corridor, the sooner everyone actually realises this and lets us northerners carry on as usual the better. Can't wait for Sky to pull the plug so we can revert to a sustainable semi pro game once again.

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Posted : 13/05/2022 6:50 am
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