TELL US: What’s the most important indicator of success for a sport?

Riordan Lee Editor

By Riordan Lee, Riordan Lee is a Roar Editor

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    How important is crowd attendance to you? (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

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    Ratings? Crowds? Grassroots participation? Financial stability?

    These four metrics are the ones pundits and fans constantly point to as indicators of success for a sport – but which one do you value the most?

    Against our better judgment, we’re going to be diving headlong into the code wars for the second episode of The Roar Podcast, and trying to determine what Australia’s most successful game is.

    Crowd figures have been the hot-topic throughout this year’s finals series and remain one of the most visible metrics we look at.

    Television ratings too, play a major role in the discussions – because not only do they show how many people are actually interested enough to watch it, they also dictate how healthy a league’s bottom line looks.

    But while the AFL, NRL and cricket dominate these, other sports hold sway elsewhere.

    Relatively speaking, football and golf in Australia don’t draw the huge crowds, ratings or broadcast deals – yet they’re convincingly winning the battle of participation.

    1,086,986 Australians play football every year, and 685,732 tee-off with some golf.

    Rugby league however, only attracts 247,883 players and rugby union doesn’t even make the top ten list.

    So today we’re asking you – if you were an administrator of your favourite sport, what one metric would you want to win?

    In other words, what is the single most important factor in determining a sport’s success?

    Chuck your answers in the comments and we’ll get to the best answers on the podcast.

    The Roar Podcast will be dropping in early November, keep your eyes peeled on the site for more information in the coming weeks!

    There have been upsets aplenty in the World Cup so far, so be sure to check out our expert tips and predictions for South Korea vs Sweden, Belgium vs Panama and England vs Tunisia and get the good oil on who to tip tonight.

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    The Crowd Says (41)

    • October 18th 2017 @ 2:44pm
      Tissot Time said | October 18th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

      A winning team is the tide that raises all metrics

      • Roar Guru

        October 18th 2017 @ 6:10pm
        The Saint said | October 18th 2017 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

        Numbers/participation from grassroots level upwards.

        • October 18th 2017 @ 7:10pm
          michael wood said | October 18th 2017 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

          Spot on.

          • October 21st 2017 @ 9:12am
            PiratesRugby said | October 21st 2017 @ 9:12am | ! Report

            It’s got to be more than merely numbers. It’s got to be the strength/quality of that domestic competition. Otherwise basketball would be considered a success in Australia because it has so much grassroots support. It’s not because it is such a relatively poor standard. Rugby in the US has more participants than NZ. Soccer in the US has more participation than the entire population of Iceland. Meanwhile, in NZ..,

    • October 18th 2017 @ 4:23pm
      Midfielder said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

      Player base and then attempt to connect the professional side of the game to the player base

      • Roar Guru

        October 18th 2017 @ 4:24pm
        Train Without A Station said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

        AFL does nothing to connect the professional side to the player base and is flourishing.

        • October 18th 2017 @ 4:51pm
          Midfielder said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

          Your the first person I have heard suggest that …. we must view things very differently …

          • Roar Guru

            October 18th 2017 @ 5:42pm
            sheek said | October 18th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

            Hi Middie,

            See how that bloke who uses Border’s image as part of his nome de plume responded to you.

            Didn’t offer anything positive himself. Just waded negatively into your comment.

            • October 18th 2017 @ 8:06pm
              elvis said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

              Haha i always thought it was Clint Eastwood. Going to have to revise my opinion pecking order 🙂

            • October 19th 2017 @ 9:55am
              Midfielder said | October 19th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report


              Some folk seem to think they have knowledge and understandings well beyond the rest of us and proclaim there ideas as facts not predictions …. then attack anyone who dares doubt what they proclaim as absolute wisdom …. they can see the future and fully understand the past…

              Sheek tis sad …. but I guess thats just who he is…

              • Roar Guru

                October 19th 2017 @ 10:25am
                Train Without A Station said | October 19th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report


                Attacks anybody who states speculation as fact, to criticize people who are doing a job.

                Do you not see the irony in what you say, in that my comments are in contrast to the people that proclaim to know better how to run these industries?

          • October 18th 2017 @ 8:58pm
            Train Without A Station said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

            The AFL is a complete closed shop with no connection to the amateur game.

            Rugby for all its flaws has one of the greatest connections (similar to NRL) where levels feed into each other, represent each other and offer progression along the ranks.

            • October 18th 2017 @ 10:32pm
              Sam said | October 18th 2017 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

              TWAS……..your comment shows no understanding of the AFL system, it’s pathways and the connections with grassroots participants. It is extremely structured such that it aligns with every stage of development. That’s why almost 700k players play it.
              Rugby had this and blew it!

              • Roar Guru

                October 19th 2017 @ 8:11am
                Train Without A Station said | October 19th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report


                700k players play it because it’s a popular sport.

                The AFL is full of leagues and teams with no actual connections to AFL level teams.

                If I play in the VAFA for a team like the Albert Park Falcons what team am I connected to through this?

                Likewise Powerhouse, etc?

                Rugby’s professionalism has much greater connection to the amateur game – but nobody cares about that. It’s really not a huge appeal.

      • October 18th 2017 @ 8:15pm
        Chris said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:15pm | ! Report

        Exactly. And unfortunately I don’t see this happening with football. Domestic league attendances? Quality of the national team? More participants is yet to help this cause!

    • Roar Pro

      October 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm
      Crazy Horse said | October 18th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

      For me it’s the percentage of the population engaged and participating in the sport.

    • October 18th 2017 @ 5:07pm
      DB said | October 18th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

      They are all important but the best indicator for success is revenue. Ratings and crowds directly drive revenue. Grassroots participation can drive ratings and crowds and higher revenue helps with financial stability.

    • Roar Rookie

      October 18th 2017 @ 5:19pm
      piru said | October 18th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

      None of the above

      Is it fun to play?

      Do people want to play it?

      The other indicators are those of a business, not a sport.

      Think of the number of people playing social touch, basketball, netball, cricket, 5 a side and indoor soccer.

      • October 18th 2017 @ 9:36pm
        cuw said | October 18th 2017 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

        i think the culture and preferences of the masses is what matters.

        take India for eg. despite the numbers , it has been very hard to introduce rugger , becoz everyone just loves cricket – although only a minuscule go onto play for country.

        take USA for eg. NFL NBA and MLB just dominate everything else. those who look at other games or sport are those who fail at BB Baseball and american footy.

        take Brazil for eg. its footy or nothing.

        a good example is China , where despite the money pumped in , it is said that their footy league is failing to grow or improve.

        i think the television has played a major role in what game / sport is preferred by nations – with economics a close second.

        becoz of tv a lot of people are able to see superstars they want to emulate. and economic reasons dictate what game most likely takeup seriosly at one point.

        for eg. it is said most West Indian boys are now turning to basketball and hope for better money and better lives.

    • Roar Guru

      October 18th 2017 @ 5:47pm
      sheek said | October 18th 2017 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

      Hi Riordan,

      What happened to the follow-up on whether professionalism has been successful for sport? I suspect you guys got a lot of answers you weren’t expecting!

      As for your question here – it’s grassroots participation. All the other metrics – ratings, crowds, financial stability – don’t even get off the grid if there’s no players.

      No players = no sport.

      • October 18th 2017 @ 6:07pm
        Maddie said | October 18th 2017 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

        I agree Sheek and Piru… player numbers and participation at grassroots

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