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Thread: BUILDCORP NO-RC

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    BUILDCORP NO-RC

    http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/wed...ugby-news-177/

    Well, it turns out us fans are not the only ones who are pissed at the ARU. Sponsors are too. Already this year, BMW and Lion Nathan have announced that they will be walking away from ARU brands. However, the biggest shock last night was, as reported by The Telegraph, the news that construction company Buildcorp will be pulling a million-dollar sponsorship of the naming rights to the National Rugby Championship.

    Buildcorp is one of rugby’s most loyal brand supporters, having sponsored rugby clubs since 1992. They have supported everything from Shute Shield clubs to national teams. But, their reason for pulling their naming rights is a rugby one: they became frustrated with the ARU’s inaction on starting a national women’s competition.

    Following the huge growth in female rugby participation, Buildcorp had made multiple requests for a Womens XVs version of the NRC, a request that has not be fulfilled by the ARU. While the ARU are launching a national womens sevens competition in August, for Buildcorp, that was not enough.

    Buildcorp co-founder and Principal, Josephine Sukkar, said that Buildcorp could not continue to align their business with an NRC competition that didn’t offer the same opportunities to women as it does to men. Sukkar also is the president of Australian Women’s Rugby, and a director of the Australian Rugby Foundation.

    “At Buildcorp we really need to align any partnership we’re involved with to our values, and it was not a championship that was able to produce a women’s competition,” Sukkar said.

    “We had asked for that for a long time and we had wanted it to look the same as the men’s and for them to be playing on the same fields as curtain raisers.

    “That is the problem for the ARU at the moment to be able to deliver that. So we discontinued that sponsorship this year. It’s the first time we’ve ever discontinued a rugby sponsorship, but that was pretty difficult for us to stand alongside that.”

    Buildcorp have been the naming sponsor of the NRC since it’s inception in 2014, and also are the naming rights sponsor of the Wallaroos and Women XVs National Championships.

    The ARU sent out a spokesman, complimenting Buildcorp as a ‘wonderful’ sponsor and ‘integral’ to the NRC.

    “While it is disappointing to lose Buildcorp as naming rights partner for the NRC this year, we understand their position that they would like to see the formation of an equivalent women’s competition.”

    What follows afterwards is another large amount of ARU jargon about ‘how much they’ve invested in women’s sport, the ARU was successful in growing the game’, blah blah blah etc etc. (yes you have, but you just lost a major womens sponsor and 95% of all Aussie rugby supporters are pissed at you for your management. Just saying).

    Sukkar however said that she would consider sponsorship again – but only if the ARU introduced a women’s national XV competition.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Wow! No wonder the ARU is looking to recruit a new PR Manager!

    This is a very serious indictment on the ARU imo. Once major sponsors start walking away because they are not happy, it's time to get the really big broom out.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Wow! No wonder the ARU is looking to recruit a new PR Manager!
    This is not a PR issue Alison, looking for a new PR manager is just the age old management practice of finding and executing a scapegoat to cover up your hellishly stupid decisions.

    Buildcorp are leaving (temporarily) only because the ARU wouldn't (or couldn't) organise any form of national women's competition. THey have indicated that they will return once the ARU get their shit together on that front. I ask you, what possible difference could PR spin have made to that discussion? The fact is ARU completely ignored the pleadings of a major, loyal sponsor (and apparently rugby stalwart) with the misguided assumption that they would just eat it and keep on forking out the dough.

    This decision might not have been actually made by the CEO, but naming rights sponsors would have pretty easy access to the CEO to express their concerns.

    If the problem was financial (and I suspect that is what the ARU would say) i would assume Buildcorp (being such a passionate supporter of the idea as evidenced by them pulling the sponsorship) would have found money to be naming rights sponsor of that comp as well, at least softening the financial blow rather than pulling out and forcing the ARU to beg for another sponsor, potentially eliminating a budgeted revenue source.

    In those situations, any sensible CEO would be hounding the CFO to find a way of funding it, if that isn't possible said sensible CEO would call a meeting with said sponsor to explain the situation and suggest that an increase in sponsorship revenue to cover the extra costs is the only way the ARU could make it happen. What sponsor would pull funding if that legwork had been put in place?

    Nope, ARU essentially said Thanks for the money, now let us get on with the job of ruining rugby and you can watch.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    I thought it might have been the PR manager's job to do all the sponsorship negotiating. Perhaps I'm mixing up PR with marketing. They are both very similar in my eyes!

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    I thought it might have been the PR manager's job to do all the sponsorship negotiating. Perhaps I'm mixing up PR with marketing. They are both very similar in my eyes!
    For me it wouldn't be PR. I think major sponsorship like that should be high on the list of the executive, let's face it, the product being sold here is entertainment, they don't really have a stock of products to sell which have inherent value in the event of hard times, ARU gets all it's money from sponsorship, broadcast deals and ticket sales (OK probably a significant amount also from grassroots players funding the largess of the executive) WHat I;m trying to get at is, this is core business for the ARU, and it should be high on the executive's agenda.

    Particularly in a year where they're saying that money is so tight that they have to nuke the sport in an entire state of our nation to survive.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Interesting situation, did Buildcorp offer more money to be a naming rights sponsor of women's NRC to cover the costs of such an endeavor? If so there isn't much for the ARU to stand on.

    The current NRC is supposed to run on the smell of an oily rag and be of little impact to the ARU bottom line as possible (obviously the where will be now the naming rights sponsor has pulled the plug). I wouldn't have thought there would be much extra TV money for the ARU to produce the extra content.

    The AFL I assume takes a financial hit on their women's competition with no extra money generated through TV rights, no ticket sales revenue as entry to AFLW games was free and the AFLW grand final was a curtain raiser to a regular season AFL game. The AFL however can afford to take a hit financially where as the ARU cannot.

    Cricket Australia is having similar issues as sponsor's for next summer are waiting for the resolution of the player payment dispute before committing to a sponsor deal so it's not confined to the ARU as far as sponsors abandoning ship, well in a holding pattern as far as CA are concerned. The Australian Kangaroos don't have a naming rights sponsor at the moment, but to be honest I'm a huge fan of the clean sponsor less jerseys they have out at the moment.

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    Player blindsid3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    I thought it might have been the PR manager's job to do all the sponsorship negotiating. Perhaps I'm mixing up PR with marketing. They are both very similar in my eyes!
    Nope

    Sponsorship and partnerships are dealt with by the Sponsorship/Partnership/Development manager. Different beast to Marketing and PR. If ARU sponsorship is being managed by either PR or marketing then this explains why money is walking.

    Their role complements the marketing team - but in successful organisations relying on partnership income, it is a separate department.

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    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    Looking like Shute Shield will be back next season!

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    I think it is a very wise move of BuildCorp to say to the ARU "we're not sponsoring your development competition until you actually focus on developing rugby at all levels".

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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    Interesting situation, did Buildcorp offer more money to be a naming rights sponsor of women's NRC to cover the costs of such an endeavor? If so there isn't much for the ARU to stand on.
    I suspect from the tone of the article I read that they probably didn't actually offer the money, however they appear to have been on the ARU's case about the issue for some time and appear to be a reasonably committed rugby company. I would be confident that, if the ARU had done some serious financial modeling and came up with valid fiscal reasons why running the comp Buildcorp were proposing was impossible the impasse wouldn't have gotten to this.

    Either Buildcorp would have found a way for the money to go into the sport (possibly by encouraging companies who they partner with to pony up the dough, or by increasing their funding) or they would have quietly gone back to the office disappointed about the inequity of societal funding for women's sport, but stayed with the ARU because there was a genuine dialog.

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    Australian Rugby Union says NRC still a worthy competition despite loss of sponsor

    Australian Rugby Union says NRC still a worthy competition despite loss of sponsor

    Tom Decent

    The Australian Rugby Union is adamant the National Rugby Championship is still a sutainable competition despite Buildcorp pulling out of a major sponsorship deal.

    While the sponsorship figure has been reported to be worth as much $1 million, it is understood the actual amount is around a fifth of that and closer to $200,000.

    Nonetheless, the loss of a major sponsor is a big blow for the ARU, who say they are unable to commit to a women's XVs National Championship, as had been a request by co-founder of Buildcorp Josephine Sukkar.

    The removal of funding from Buildcorp comes at a pivotal time, given that Sukkar has ties to the ARU.

    Sukkar is the President of Australian Women's Rugby but also sits on an ARU nomination committee.

    The committee assesses the skills and experience of candidates for the ARU board and makes recommendations to its members at the AGM for the election of its six Directors.

    While Buildcorp decision to cut funding might be a business-based decision more than anything else, there is speculation of division within the ranks of the ARU after this latest move.

    The news is not timely for the ARU, given the extraordinary general meeting on June 20 - during the Brisbane Test week - is less than a fortnight away.

    While both the Rugby Union Players' Association and Victorian Rugby Union, who called for the EGM, have stated they do not have a desire to try and get rid of the ARU board, nothing is guaranteed until all parties have met.

    Despite being "disappointed" by the news they have lost a major sponsor, the ARU say the competition still holds an important place in the rugby calendar.

    "Based on a range of on-field and off-field measures, the NRC has been a successful competition and has proven to be an effective platform for player and coach development," said an ARU spokesperson.

    "The NRC has a robust commercial model and is guaranteed through the current broadcast agreement with Fox Sports [until 2020].

    "We are disappointed that Buildcorp will not continue as naming rights partner for the NRC however we are already in positive discussions around securing a partner for the coming season."

    The ARU says broadcast ratings increased 23 per cent last season compared to 2015, while attendances went up 10 per cent on the previous season, albeit from a low base.

    According to a NRC player survey conducted by RUPA, 90 per cent of players said the standard was better than club rugby and 96 per cent said their overall NRC experience was positive.

    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/un...07-gwmeza.html

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    Clubs over here in the east have apparently presented a national club champs model to the ARU.

    Top Four from Shute Shield
    Top Four Qld Premier Rugby
    Winner of John Dent (ACT)
    Winner of Dewar Shield (VIC)
    Winner of Pindan (WA).

    To effectively replace the NRC.

    I've no detail more than that but I'm not a fan by any means.

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    I agree with you Reg
    There's nothing wrong with the NRC.
    It seems it's the same Shute Shield wienies that have their knickers in a twist again.
    They just can't seem to understand their lack of relevance in the greater scheme of things i.e. National competition.

    If you're really going to have a 'National' club champs then you need to bring in the N.T. and S.A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MI5_Dog View Post
    I agree with you Reg
    There's nothing wrong with the NRC.
    It seems it's the same Shute Shield wienies that have their knickers in a twist again.
    They just can't seem to understand their lack of relevance in the greater scheme of things i.e. National competition.

    If you're really going to have a 'National' club champs then you need to bring in the N.T. and S.A.
    and make it one team from each state.

    Make it a knockout comp over an extremely short period of time.

    Give it some pissy little trophy which befits it's status (a bunch of meaningless friendlies on an end-of-season tour for the winners of the comp)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RugbyReg View Post
    Clubs over here in the east have apparently presented a national club champs model to the ARU.

    Top Four from Shute Shield
    Top Four Qld Premier Rugby
    Winner of John Dent (ACT)
    Winner of Dewar Shield (VIC)
    Winner of Pindan (WA).

    To effectively replace the NRC.

    I've no detail more than that but I'm not a fan by any means.
    Problem with that model is is that it - 1- misses the talented players not at these clubs and 2 - the stronger clubs that perennially participate make more money from the comp to consolidate their position as top dogs in their local comp and buy up all the talent from their competitors 3 - weakens the strength of this development pathway by excluding Super Rugby players and academy players not at these clubs.

    Where the NRC is crucial to Australian Rugby is that it is the best non contracted rugby players selected to test themselves against Super Rugby contracted players for positions and future contracts. Concentrating all the talent into the top club teams with the view of winning another competition and being able to offer money earnt from this comp to cannibalise their competitors also undermines the integrity of the Premier Grade competitions and will lead to some clubs going broke trying to build a house of cards. Also, this model also breaks a crucial link from elite academy to NRC by not guaranteeing the best up and coming 20 yr olds a start because they may not play at one of these clubs.
    It may come with the club based tribalism that some so called experts bang on about but when some of these clubs only boast 1000 supporters, that would actually see crowds drop in the long term vs the support base a representative team could build.

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