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Why the Panthers are struggling to attract sponsors

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    If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that this is something that I have brought up a few times and I am not happy about. As of today, the Penrith Panthers do not have a captain, CEO or a major sponsor.

    Earlier this week The Daily Telegraph looks at the latter in an article titled “Penrith Panthers struggle to attract sponsorship for 2012”. There aren’t really any revelations in the article; it reads like an off season paper filler that points out the obvious and then tries to put a slant on it.

    Basically, the Telegraph’s line is that Penrith is struggling to get their jerseys sponsorship’s filled, while the AFL team that says it is based at Blacktown but that will play games and train at Homebush Bay has $3 million dollars worth of jersey sponsors – all of which is true.

    Interestingly enough, The Sydney Morning Herald carried the story “League wins battle with AFL for TV viewers” in which it points out that over the course of 2011 rugby league had a cumulative audience of 134 million viewers, which was 12 million more than the AFL managed.

    So, how does rugby league manage to draw in more TV viewers and yet two clubs in western Sydney from either codes can have such different outcomes when it comes to gaining sponsorship?

    Let’s put aside the questions about the quality of management for one moment…

    It would seem logical that sponsors just want to have their logo seen by as many sets of eyes as possible. If that was the case, rugby league would easily by gaining sponsors. That is not happening, though.

    So do you want to know what is hurting the Penrith Panthers, the club I support?

    Well, there are no teams in Perth or Adelaide.

    The Panthers can not offer a sponsor a national platform. A potential sponsor can not base its national marketing strategy around any rugby league teams because simply, if they do, they are cutting themselves out of a number of major markets around the country.

    You will see the effect of this a lot in national advertising programs by various companies. TV adverts that run in Sydney where they have AFL players throughout their marketing campaigns. The reason you see this is because a company can make one advert and show it right across Australia.

    If that same company used rugby league themes, those adverts could not be used on a national basis because the NRL doesn’t provide content that is relevant on a national basis.

    This is where the push for expansion of the NRL into the Perth and Adelaide markets is key. Once the NRL has teams in those markets, and provides content to those markets, every single team in the NRL will be able to sell themselves to sponsors on a national basis, and that is something none of them can do right now.

    So when clubs meet with the Independent Commission, and they sit down to talk about expansion, it comes down to a test of who looks at the bigger picture.

    You currently have 16 NRL clubs who need to put their hand up and say they are willing to see their influence and partial ownership of the NRL cut down from one/16th to one/18th. They also have to be willing to give up a portion of the grant the NRL give them every year to new clubs.

    So, less guaranteed money from the NRL. Right now, few clubs are willing to consider making that decision. That right there is the Catch-22 in the expansion argument. Take less money from your NRL grant but make it up on the other side when you negotiate sponsorships and when the Independent Commission negotiates the the 2019-2024 television contract.

    I still think it is a massive issue for Penrith to not have a CEO. Phil Gould’s job as General Manager should solely involve the football side of the club. You need a business mind running the business side of things. Some people will say the current club board is taking control of that area, but this is the same board that presides over tens of millions of dollars in losses for the Panthers Leagues Club group and who are currently involved in elections.

    So I am not surprised at all that Penrith are struggling to attract a sponsor. A clubs with no CEO, coming off a poor season in which the shambles that was going on behind the scenes was there for all to see, and a club that has not got a great profile in a competition that does not give a sponsor a national profile.

    I just hope High Street Pies comes to the part when you take all that into account!

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    The Crowd Says (114)

    • December 2nd 2011 @ 7:45am
      sheek said | December 2nd 2011 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Good article league freak.

      This is precisely why myself & others keep arguing ad nauseam for a national comp in rugby union. And why I personally argue for a presence in Adelaide, our 5th largest city.

      At least rugby has super rugby, & teams based in Melbourne & Perth, apart from Sydney, Brisbane & Canberra. But super rugby isn’t our OWN comp, we only have a one-third stake in super rugby. And that I reckon, holds rugby back in Australia.

      As much as it (super rugby) might be a money spinner for the ARU, I reckon more & better opportunities are being ignored.

      But any sport that doesn’t have a national focus will struggle in the long term. The two rugby codes simply can’t continue to live in a self-satisfied bubble & console themselves their world exists only in NSW & Queensland.

      The problem I suspect with the A-League currently, & NBL back in the 90s, is that they both expanded too quickly without due attention to consolidating as they went. But expand, is what any sport must do. If they want to be a big-time player.

      AFL has shown that being a non-international sport is not a draw-back. If you supply your own market with what they want, then that’s all you need to do. And AFL supplies the Australian domestic market brilliantly at present.

      But it seems to me, the power brokers in both rugby league & rugby union, are much like the British evoking memories of Empire. There are those in Britain who can’t accept that Britannia no longer rules the waves. They simply can’t , & won’t.

      Just as surely as power brokers in both codes can’t accept that Sydney is no longer the centre of the rugby league & rugby union universe in Australia. They simply can’t. And won’t……….

    • December 2nd 2011 @ 8:07am
      NF said | December 2nd 2011 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Well if only the WA Reds & Adelaide Rams weren’t killed off prematurely this situation wouldn’t be happening, 2 years is too short to determine a club’s viability look at the Swans/Lions who in there early years were near death at times, had low crowds, public indifference but the administration of the AFL kicked in to save them and they got rewarded for it if only the league administration had the thinking plus damn super league war what a waste of money that was spent in courts and not on the game. oh that’s rugby league master of shooting itself in the foot, hands, and head all the time.

    • December 2nd 2011 @ 8:49am
      oikee said | December 2nd 2011 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      Yes, a couple of Sydney teams will have to either merge or relocate for the good of the game. We need Adelaide,Perth in the comp for the good and health of the game.
      The Panthers are a funny lot. It is like a fantasy wonderland out that way, and food joints and pokie worlds and all sorts of going on’s.
      They seem to have to much going on is probably why they are in such a mess.
      Losing Petro would not have endured the sponsers to Penrith, plus they had a few player issues as well. And the coach has a lot to do with sponsers as well. I can point out something for you right now, just to give you a idea.
      Cleary is ok, but he still has to proove himself, now take Wayne Bennett, have alook at the sponser he seemed to help attract to the Newcastle Knights. (QR,,queensland rail).
      The knights would never have got QR without Bennett, that is my opinion. And QR at the knights say’s to me that Central Queensland wont be winning a expansion team bid anytime soon. QR was going to climb on board the queensland bid, they seem to have already moved on, to the Knights.
      To me the Panthers are moving in the right direction, it might take 3 years to see the fruits of their labour. They have to convert the public to the team first, get full houses to every home game, the rest will take care of itself.
      Gus is aware of this i think.

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 8:55am
        Will Sinclair said | December 2nd 2011 @ 8:55am | ! Report

        “Yes, a couple of Sydney teams will have to either merge or relocate for the good of the game. We need Adelaide,Perth in the comp for the good and health of the game.”


        What sort of business can afford to alienate the customers (fans) it has in an attempt to capture customers (fans) it may never get? In fact, I can’t think of a better way to give rugby and AFL a leg up than the weaken the NRL’s stranglehold on Sydney. O’Neill and Demetriou would be absolutely rubbing their hands together at the prospect.

        It’s just absolute madness.

        • December 2nd 2011 @ 9:04am
          oikee said | December 2nd 2011 @ 9:04am | ! Report

          Why is it madness Will, so you would sacrifice over 2 million fans for the sake of let’s say 50-100 thousand.
          This cant go on, i look at soccer rugby and AFL, and i know they all have it nearly 100% right, having teams in each state. You think Sydney can hold onto its grip anyhow. ? Look at what this post is about, not getting sponsers, a club as big as the Panthers, our Heartland Club, and you call it madness. Guess what mate, it is madness if you dont change with the times, and if you dont see that change, recognise it , and take it with both hands, that is madness, nothing else,.

          My god man, China will eat you alive.

          • December 2nd 2011 @ 9:10am
            oikee said | December 2nd 2011 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            And i might as well use China as a example, they are building cites as we watch our cities pass us by. In your world you would have only Sydney, and not move anywhere while China builds 30 cities, starts up 10 codes of sport in each city, while your still in Sydney protecting your interest. Now can you see the madness.

            And here is another example, while league and AFL sit in Australia trying to win only a Australian market, soccer and union to a lessor extent, are expanding into Asia, their codes are already making headway, where is our code,how is that going, ? Yeah right, we are still big in Sydney, well sort of big, if only we could find a sponser.

        • December 2nd 2011 @ 9:44am
          B.A Sports said | December 2nd 2011 @ 9:44am | ! Report

          Will, The AFL (VFL) moved the Fitzroy Lions and South Melbourne, two original teams, with as much history as any club, out of Melbourne to Sydney and Brisbane. Was it a popular decision, certinaly not among the supporters of those clubs, but for the good of the game, it was without doubt any shadow of doubt the right decision.

          Hawthorn will become a team based in Tasmania who playa few home games in Melbourne soon, no doubt.

          The NRL has been left behind. The NRL need to relocate (they don’t have the resources to expand) a team to Perth to start with. The Perth Sharks (as an example) can play 9 home games in Perth, 2 in Cronulla and with their away games they will have about 8 games total in Sydney to apease the Cronulla supporters.

          • December 2nd 2011 @ 4:26pm
            Australian Rules said | December 2nd 2011 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

            Spot on…but your middle paragraph is waaaaay off.

            “Hawthorn will become a team based in Tasmania who playa few home games in Melbourne soon, no doubt.”

            I’m not sure where u get that from. Hawthorn are one of the most financially independent clubs in the comp. They have over 50,000 members and averaged over 35k per game (incl games in Tas). In fact, they’re so rock solid, they didn’t even ask the AFL for money in 2012 ! (even the cashed up Pies are getting a $1M gift to add to their Westpac Centre).
            The Hawks were just able to tap into the Tassie market better than anyone. They now have close to 10,000 members in Tas…AND the State govt as their major sponsor (arguably a world first).

            • Roar Guru

              December 2nd 2011 @ 4:32pm
              The Cattery said | December 2nd 2011 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

              Yeh, I’d have to agree, there’s no way Hawthorn will decrease their presence in Melbourne.

              In fact, the honest truth is that the riches they are pulling out of Tassie is a little bit wasted – they don’t actually need it – this is precisely why the AFL was trying to encourage North in being the one to play more games in Tassie – they are the ones who really need it.

        • December 2nd 2011 @ 1:37pm
          Ted Skinner said | December 2nd 2011 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

          see below

    • December 2nd 2011 @ 8:52am
      Will Sinclair said | December 2nd 2011 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      I worry that the horse has bolted in Perth for the NRL.

      The Western Reds were obviously an abject failure – eventually collapsing under the weight of their own debt – but their establishment was poorly planned, and they were cut before they could realise their potential.

      Since then, the Western Force and Perth A-League teams have been established – and both are very well supported (the Force basically sell out every home game) – together with the growth of the AFL’s Eagles and Dockers.

      It’s a pretty saturated market. There is no guarantee that league will work there now.

      And as for Adelaide… 9,000 people showed up last season to watch the Bulldogs play Melbourne in a one-off exhibition. That’s a terrible result for such a game, and probably indicates there is hardly a massive appetite for the NRL in that part of the world.

      So I think the concern is that rugby league had its chance in the 1990’s and bottled it.

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 10:11am
        clipper said | December 2nd 2011 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Good points, Will. The advantage the Western Force has is that quite a few Saffas live in Perth, and they’re Rugby mad, so support the team. Still think Adelaide would be worth a go with Rugby expansion, they got quite good ratings in the RWC. The problem for Perth AFL is stadium size, so can’t grow the membership that much.
        Don’t know if I agree with the national sponsorship argument. Just because you’re national, doesn’t mean a lot of people are going to watch you in all states, probably better to split sponsorship between two codes for maximum viewers. In Rugby’s case the national sponsorship is a good idea, as the advertisers would like the national demographics of Rugby, and be able to aim for that market.

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 1:40pm
        Ted Skinner said | December 2nd 2011 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

        Will – Haven’t the WF’s crowds halved in about 5 years & aren’t hey also in some sort of financial trouble.

        They have also lost their star players & a major sponsor-Firepower hehe.

        I worry about future.
        15,371 24/06/11 Rugby League NRL: Rabbitohs v Broncos 16,102 11/06/11 Rugby Union Super Rugby: Force v Reds 14,477 21/05/11 Rugby Union Super Rugby: Force v Brumbies 22,000 30/04/11 Rugby Union Super Rugby: Force v Crusaders 13,780 23/04/11 Rugby Union Super Rugby: Force v Bulls 14,578 09/04/11 Rugby Union Super Rugby: Force v Waratahs

        • December 2nd 2011 @ 2:09pm
          Will Sinclair said | December 2nd 2011 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

          I think you’ll find they moved stadiums in that time Ted.

          They’ve got a very healthy supporter base over there – I wouldn’t be worried about that.

          They’ve lost JOC, but plenty of good players there. In fact, I reckon they’re a smoky to finish second in the Aussie conference in 2012 – behind the Tahs.

          • December 4th 2011 @ 11:50am
            Ted Skinner said | December 4th 2011 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            Will I think you are sugar coating the WF’s place in WA & Australia generally.

            With their supposedly large supporter & playing base how many locals do they have in Super 15 squads?

            Could you name them?

            Also not one, I repeat not one game involving the WF (this season) made the Top10 Lists for the Pay TV Ratings.

            So they are not adding any value to the ARU’s national profile. They might as well be invisible.

            • December 5th 2011 @ 7:30am
              kovana said | December 5th 2011 @ 7:30am | ! Report

              So why does the NRL want a Perth Team then?

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 2:07pm
        Crosscoder said | December 2nd 2011 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        That is where you are incorrect,the Reds were not an abject failureTthey had to absorb the accommodationsand travel costs of visiting teams,which no current NRL club could absorb.
        They were the fall guy for the peace deal.They will be back ,as they have a strong bid team made up of locals.Gallop has stae dthey were not a failure,but victims of a situation not of their making.
        There is no guarantee the GWS will work in sydney either,and a new Reds team will not be asking head office to throw in $20pa t establish the side.They will have to be financiallly independent.The bid team is hardly lacking with its current local knowledge of local support and sponsors.
        The match wouldn’t have been played in terrible rainy conditions in Adelaide ATT,not half.

        • December 2nd 2011 @ 2:11pm
          Will Sinclair said | December 2nd 2011 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

          Mate – they fell over under massive debt and with non-existant crowds. That’s an abject failure in anyone’s book.

          But as I said they were very poorly planned, and forcing them to absorb the travel costs etc was a big part of that poor planning.

          • December 2nd 2011 @ 2:47pm
            Crosscoder said | December 2nd 2011 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

            Poorly planned WTH ,with a Super league war out of the blue,which no one saw coming Fair crack of the sauce bottle.Please enlighten us about the planned Super league war,that apparently the Reds must have helped instigate..
            Do you understand how the debt was created,it appears not.There will be no such thing as that club paying accommodation and travel costs for visiting teams shoudl the get re entry.You do not understand the effect of the Reds joining SL.

            Another stab in the dark”non existent crowds”comment.Have you noted the crowds at the WA NRl matches such as the last broncos v Souths game played in appalling conditions?Over 21,000 tickets sold and 18,000 odd turned up.

            I will quote David Hobbs(june 2011 the WARL chairman”Back then we had 18,000 registered members and an average crowd at the WACA of 17,500.We also had to pay for flights and accommodation of visiting teams.Since then we have had a massive influx of people from strong league states which take up permanent residency in WA from qld ,NSW<NZ and the UK."Lets face it we had over 19 kids from our junior ranks leave our state in the past 10 years to go east and play 1st grade and top level rugby league".



            Sorry maestro you are on a different wave length.

    • December 2nd 2011 @ 8:56am
      King of the Gorgonites said | December 2nd 2011 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      As i have been pushing for a long while…………..

      Penrtih and Parra to merge to create a GWS super club
      Sharks relocated to perth
      Central Coast (not bears)
      2nd brisbane team
      NZ 2nd team – sth island based.

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 10:16am
        Chris said | December 2nd 2011 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        I can’t see the Panthers and Eels ever merging.

        Agree on your other suggestions though. I would stagger the introductions of each of these teams. Central Coast (but yes, I would have the Bears – they’re pretty much ready to go as far as ground, admin and sponsorship go), then a 2nd team in Brisbane, relocate the Sharks to Perth and finish up with a 2nd team in NZ (maybe based in that new stadium in Dunedin – it’s an absolute cracker of a ground). I would ditch or relocate the Sea Eagles too – unless something drastic happens I can’t see that club ever being able to make a good fist of things in a national comp (administration-wise I mean).

        • December 2nd 2011 @ 10:48am
          King of the Gorgonites said | December 2nd 2011 @ 10:48am | ! Report

          i take your point on the Bears. To be honest i dont care to much whether its the Bears or not, but the main thing is that there is a RL team on the coast.

          I agree cwith the quality of the new Dunedin stadium. Unfornuately during the RWC i didnt make it down there, but the atmosphere it created, espically the arg v eng and ire v italy games was incredible. havent seen or heard anything liek it in the southern hemisphere before. indoor stadium are brilliant for places liek dunedin. perfect size as well 25-30K. also is a large university down, so can get the students down with cheap tickets. However, i wouldnt base the team there. the city is too small. i would make it more of a regional team. base it in Christchurch. RL park is getting redeveloped for the Crusaders, so will be up to NRL quality. take about 4-6 games a year down to dunedin. that will be enough to draw some big crowds and connect with the comunity.

          I despie the Sea eagles, but unforunately they have to many powerful friends. i cant see them going, but in a perfect world they would be relocated.

          • December 2nd 2011 @ 12:14pm
            B.A Sports said | December 2nd 2011 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

            I don’t see how a Central Coast team is sustainable. They got a national league team (the Mariners) in the A-League – The Mariners have no other competition for professional sport on the Central Coast and they have already gone bust.

            If the Illawarra can’t sustain a team on its own, i don’t see how the Central Coast possibly can.

            • December 2nd 2011 @ 12:22pm
              King of the Gorgonites said | December 2nd 2011 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

              most HAL teams are broke. Thats more a poor reflectino of where soccer is at in thsi country.

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 2:09pm
        Crosscoder said | December 2nd 2011 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

        Yes obviously know of the history of various club in Sydney and the folly of SL in merging clubs .

        • December 2nd 2011 @ 2:13pm
          King of the Gorgonites said | December 2nd 2011 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          Yes yoru right i do know the history CC. Im willing to make the hard calls. Its only the likes of Oikee and I who are willing to make those calls.

          I know Cronulla are your 2nd team, but you have to look at it from an outside prospective, looking at the bigger picture.

          • December 2nd 2011 @ 3:19pm
            Crosscoder said | December 2nd 2011 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            And SL made the hard calls last time,without considering the implications,and we know the result.Handing over nthn Sydney to other codes,and giving the others a leg up.Souths fans went elsewhere until rinstatement.I sincerely hope ,you are not looking at this with a glint in your union eye.I can give you more than a few examples of rl people I met in busainess cirlcles in the late late 90s, who left the ciode ,due to SL.

            Oikee may well make decisions from afar,but as I suggested to him,try getting the crowds of the Titans up to par,before the slash and burn approach to the Sydney teams.Super League after all was hatched in Brisvegas.

            Cronulla is my first team not my 2nd team ,and the code is my first code to be precise .I have stated monotonously that should the Sharks development get the knock down,then I would accept relocation.Should it get the go ahead,the club will be one of the most sustainable and financially strongest in the code.On the basis and with one of the largest junior base,cutting would be disastrous
            Gallop has stated,( which Oiks appear to have ignored),that the first consideration of the admin,is the financial sustainability of the existing clubs.
            I will tell you where I look, at the totality of the game inclusive of:-
            1) As a committed paying fan(without the fans there is no code)
            2) with concern about traditions and the juniors
            3)the long term growth of the code
            4) expansion can happen without the need to slash (unless uneconomically viable for a club).
            5) If the money is there ,stability and growth should be compatible.

            • December 2nd 2011 @ 4:04pm
              King of the Gorgonites said | December 2nd 2011 @ 4:04pm | ! Report


              If i was looking at this with a glint in my union eye, i wouldnt be suggesting a sth island NZ RL team. you league boys are missing a big opportuinty in NZ. as a union fam foremost, i have to laugh a little. Expansion into NZ is required. IMO that can only happen if you cut sydney clubs. its gonig to be hard. no denying that. But NZ is ripe. they love contact sport. they love rugby first, but plenty of them have time for RL. when i was there during the RWC i found them knowledgeable about RL, and the media gives them plnty of exposure. iMO a south island based team would be a success.

              You seem to agree with Perth, but you seem to to want to simply expand. i on the other hand want to relocate or cut. the TV and sponsorship dollar can only go so far.

              i thought the Tahs were your first team? once a rugby man. ha.

              i take your point on the cronulla development. lets see what happens.

              at the end of the day, expansion will only come if people get hurt, and those people will be in sydney.

              • December 2nd 2011 @ 8:47pm
                Crosscoder said | December 2nd 2011 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

                NZ is too early for a 2nd NRL team.It would add little to the Tv deal in this country,you see champ,as a union man you cannot feel the hurt or passion of rl fans who have lost a team or had a team merge.I have met people on the receiving end ,and don’t want to see it again.

                I know Nz people are more open to rl than non heartland states in this country, perhaps.
                The Tahs were my union faves when Rogers,Blacklock were involved .I had a lot of time for both those guys.I have a soft spot for union on occasions,you can’t take the rah rah out of a guy who played it for 6 years completely.It is the officials in the main and the odd cynical fan and media personality ,who gets me fired up.

                Correct IMO expansion can take place ,provided current teams are able to financially compete.We live in a market place with 22million consumers ,less than California.If we had the population of the states,I would agree with the ruthless slash and burn approach.
                I see no problem with an 18 team comp,provided there is a mix of experience and youth in the expansion teams.
                I put it to you according to the NRL via Gallop ,it was noted that the North sydney Bears,when they were given the order of the heave ho, dissenfranchised 40,000 people /supporters who had either passionate,casual or slight interest in the team
                From what I have established, some were lost to the game for good,others followed the Tas or Swans,others swore to never watch another NRL game til reinstatement.

                Anyway the i.C will make the hard calls ,whatever they may be.All I am concerned with,is the dceisions are made with the fans in mind.i am sure John Grant who repped for his country is au fait with fans ‘passion.

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 7:45pm
        JJ Lawson said | December 2nd 2011 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

        How about 5 million in sponsors, 90 sponsors locally and nationally renowned brands, 7700 members financially, support from local governments and state governments as well as councils, approval for land development for both training facilities, community sports center, a stadium which was paid % by the Bears, 1.1 millions people in the catchment, 2 junior and 1 senior league clubs brought back to life due to the bid, a great business plan and very sound financial model. How do you like those Central Coast Bears apples? Because from here people like you keep knocking us down while financial sponsors, members and fans keep knocking on the door. So who should the NRL look at? The naysayers without an ounce of information in which their basis is formed or the money and fan fare which keeps getting generated due to the Bears brand and Central Coast region?

    • December 2nd 2011 @ 9:06am
      B.A Sports said | December 2nd 2011 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Well if the NRL’s media deal is substantially more, as almost everyone predicts it will be, the clubs won’t receive less money from the NRL even if it is being divided up amongst more teams.

      There are very few clubs who benefit from the “12 million extra sets of eyes” because there are only a handful of clubs who get regular access to the prime time slots.

      But the AFL and GWS can show planning, strategic planning. They can show sound structure, well rounded strategy aimed at the entire community, from grass roots through to elite, playing and spectating, infrastructure, best practice management. The NRL has none of that – none. And while some clubs may have better management practices in place, lets face it Todd Greenberg is made to look like the Steve Jobs of rugby league administration and he isn’t that good!

      • December 2nd 2011 @ 2:26pm
        Crosscoder said | December 2nd 2011 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

        B.A Sports.The clubs regardless of their position on the ladder get plenty of exposure, in fact increased exposure on pay Tv(the 16% increase in that medium is proof positive).The notion that the 12 million extra sets of eyes takes into account pay TV,so I have to report they do benefit.
        itI trust you are not insinuating that rugby league prior to establishing new clubs does not get involved with the community.If that is the case,you have not researched the Titans ,Nth Qld and Canberra in the early years,not the new bid aspirants CQLD,CC,Perth and PNG.
        The 35,000 increase of new participants in 2011,suggest the code is getting into the community.The code caters from kids to Kangaroos in a well structured approach.It caters for handicapped kids,backyards rl,tag rl, and womens rl.The game has its faults ,but it does a pretty good job from junior to adults with limited funds.
        .If throwing $20m pa at a new team ,with no iron clad guarantee of success ,have tanking as part of the game plan by lower rung clubs
        is a well rounded strategy,I will give mine to the cat.We have witnessed a comp,in whiuch mpre than a few fans complain about predictable one sided results(all in the name of expansion expediency).Of course the long term view is argued,so lets dud the fans in the meantime.
        To suggest that the NRL has none of(structure) that is to put it nicely,twisting the truth.Does the AFL do a better job? Yes with more available funds,so they should.

        • December 3rd 2011 @ 10:46pm
          B.A Sports said | December 3rd 2011 @ 10:46pm | ! Report


          Why do the AFL have more funds? Because they have better structure, because to the private sector (and media) they are a more stable organisation, with a better strategy (they actually have one), they have better grassroots programs – all up they are a sounder investment. The NSW government isn’t going to invest $30million into a home ground for a new AFL side unless they are given a pretty good proposal (ok the previous NSW government decision making could always be questioned)

          I don’t doubt that the NRL expansion hopefuls aren’t out their drumming up support in their local communities, like any expansion team does, but from what i see travelling the state of NSW and from what i saw living in north queensland for three years, the presence of league compared to the AFL in these former “strong holds” is marginal. In Cairns (to cover the area from Innisfail to the Cape), there is one NRL development officer (employed by the Cowboys) and one ARL development officer. The AFL have 10 plus a significant number of support staff, and the AFL doesn’t even have a team within 1,500km of Cairns…. yet….

          I travel all around NSW with the sport i work for (not a football code) and apart from Ronny Gibbs up in the north west i never see league development officers, but i see AFL staff everywhere i go. I now live back in Wollongong and I would be shocked if they have even a third of the number of kids playing league that they had playing in the Illawarra 10 years ago.

          • December 4th 2011 @ 11:25am
            Crosscoder said | December 4th 2011 @ 11:25am | ! Report

            BA Sports.
            Try Tv deal monies for a start.The difference is huge,the Tv ratings differential not so.
            They have better grassroots programs !!! Or more likely they have better funded grassroots programs.
            The pathway for kids from u6 to Kangaroos is there for all to see.The code caters for girls,non contact for boys,handicapped and backyard rl for schools.
            Rugby league has recently won awards for the community programs they have introduced for the young.
            Yes i am sure that is why Telstra and Toyota two of their major sponsors continue to back the code,due to it being less stable.
            The only instability in the code was having the NSWRL,QRL,CRL all pulling in different directions.This will be a thing of the past with the i.C.The other instability was the financial positions of the clubs,but seeing some recent results from other codes’s clubs,i hardly think the NRL is Robinson Crusoe.

            The previous govt decision making should be questioned on many things ,not just Blacktown.Using the previous govt for any decision is well us say dubious.The most corrupt,innefficient wasteful govt,I have had the disspleasure of living under.Two stadiums within a few kms of each other ,and the money expended on the updated one .Govt waste at its very best.

            I have a reasonable amount of knowledge with Nth Qlld,and I know whilst the numbers of development officers are limited,that the Cowboys and staff,and other local rl clubs get out and about a lot more than you know.In fact the Cowboys recently visted Darwin,and were involved in development work with aspiring rl players,as they do in many Nth Qld areas.The club will be playing an NRL match there June 13-16.An academy set up by the Cowboys has been set up in Darwin.
            Where I live there is 1 D/O yet the area has one of the highest numbers of juniors and continues to grow year upon year.The volunteers take up a lot of the slack Despite AFL D/Os running around..

            You fall into the usual trap, whilst the code may not have the D/Os that the AFL does,they have a great pool of volunteers in the game in Nth Qld,who do a lot of wonderful things.I suggest you need to get around the various conmmunities involved in rl,from Torres Strait Islands down.It may surprise you.In fact people like the late Artie Beetson,David Peachey,Mario Fenech who you may or may not know got around to a hell of a lot of areas in country NSW and Qld to spread the gospel.You can have all the D/O s under the sun,but it gets down to tradition as to what people have played.
            For example you probably have not heard of the Remote Area Rugby league Comp,which involved teams from torres Strait and the Cape.
            Do not underestimate the work of the Cowboys in Nth Qld.Of course having more D/Os would be nice.There is never enough money when it comes to rl,because of the demand.

            The code has been able to grow the game on limited funding in the past,with 35,000 new participants this year.
            I take your marginal comment with a grain of salt,in much the same way as I took the comment by one of your fellow flagwavers that Qld was a football state.There are difficulties in the country every man and his dog is aware of that fact.

            As more people play the game than ever before(in the 2011 stats),they are coming from somewhere,maybe in places like Vic,where I read a new comp is planned for the Wimmera area involving Ararat,Stawell,Lake Bolac and Bendigo with the chance of Ballarat.Yet there is only 9 D/Os for the whole of Vic
            Shocked at the number of kids,yet you have no figures to prove or dissprove.Guessing is not an answer.

            You better hope and pray the code doesn’t get a decent Tv windfall,because D/Os will be running all around the place .You had better also hope,CQLD doesn’t get a guernsey in expansion, that will strengthen the game even more up North.

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