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Thread: We Need Bums On Seats!

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    We Need Bums On Seats!

    Reds revival has shown the way forward, says O'Neill Greg Growden
    February 7, 2012

    JOHN O'NEILL, the Australian Rugby Union chief, has called on the four other Australian Super provinces to follow the example of the Queensland Reds and dramatically boost crowds to improve the code's precarious financial state.

    The Reds, who were in a financial mess several years ago, have succeeded in turning it around, becoming Australia's most buoyant province, culminating in winning the Super Rugby title last season.

    O'Neill said yesterday it would be wise for the Waratahs, Brumbies, Force and Rebels to emulate the Reds by playing entertaining, winning rugby in this year's tournament, which begins on February 24.

    ''We know it annoys some people that we reflect on the Reds as an example … but you do like to reflect on success,'' O'Neill said.

    ''The Reds have turned it around by playing entertaining, winning rugby, and their home crowds over a two-year period have gone from an average of 13,000 to 35,000. That was obviously helped by a home semi-final and final, but their TV ratings also went off the radar.

    ''We'd love to see that replicated throughout all of the franchises and the five Australian cities. It is critical for all of them - some more than others - that they shoot the lights out this year, have extremely successful performances on the park and drive crowds.

    ''All bar the Reds can do better on their crowd figures. It's not a criticism, it's a statement of fact. Besides the Super Rugby distribution we give them, the provinces' sources of revenue involves corporate sponsorship. But their principal source is match-day revenue - ticket sales, memberships, corporate hospitality.''

    O'Neill said the Reds stemmed their declining home crowds by becoming the team to watch.

    ''Their membership sales for this season is about 18,000 - unheard of for any franchise, but even more extraordinary considering where they were a few years ago,'' O'Neill said.

    ''Success is infectious, and if the Waratahs, Brumbies, Rebels and Force can emulate some of that, their boards and their management will be dancing in the streets, because it takes some of the financial pressure off. And it is entirely under their control. You have got to get people to feel absolutely in love with their team.''

    A winning franchise is also a lure for private investors.

    ''People are soon banging on your door to become members, and that helps make the province a financial success. Enticing private investors is also a lot easier if the vehicle is successful,'' O'Neill said.

    It also improves the health of the code at grassroots level.

    ''The ARU gets blamed for not enough money being spent on the community game. But the reality is that if the five provinces are profitable, they would be investing their money into the community game.''

    Meanwhile, South Africa's bid to add another team to the Super Rugby competition next year is expected to fail. South Africa want the Southern Kings to be the tournament's 16th team, but are unlikely to get any support from Australia or New Zealand.

    O'Neill, a SANZAR board member, said: ''We're in the second year of a five-year deal where we sold to the broadcasters a 15-team competition … Changing that mid-stream is not really on.''

    The ARU is also calling on the International Rugby Board to ensure the next World Cup starts three weeks later in September 2015, to avoid conflict with the southern hemisphere contest.


    Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/rugby-unio...#ixzz1lf7PAhQ8

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    “Everyone knows whether it’s rugby, politics or whatever, front-rowers should rule the world, so to have a hooker at the helm makes sense,” Nathan Charles Western Force & Wallabies Hooker.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    ''Their membership sales for this season is about 18,000 - unheard of for any franchise, but even more extraordinary considering where they were a few years ago,'' O'Neill said.
    Ummm didn't we have 29,000 in 2006?

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    We are at around 13,000 , not bad!

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    Senior Player DinkyDi's Avatar
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    For an under performing side it is bloody marvelous. Lets see the numbers in 2014 when the Reds get found out and Quade runs back to the mungos

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Typical JO'N total Pratt...
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    i cant wait till JON is gone and rugby wont become a money grab anymore and maybe we will develop the game abit more (APC) stop worrying so much about the bottom line.

    And yes i understand that this is a buisness and we need to make money but there is that saying "got to spend money to make money" maybe if JON hadnt been so tight the APC might have been turning a profit if not atleast breaking even!

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    “Everyone knows whether it’s rugby, politics or whatever, front-rowers should rule the world, so to have a hooker at the helm makes sense,” Nathan Charles Western Force & Wallabies Hooker.

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    Champion Contributor WF1964's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    Ummm didn't we have 29,000 in 2006?
    I could be wrong but I thought our highest ever membership was around 17-18 000. We had high crowd numbers in 2006 but they weren't all paid up members.

    "Shortly after RugbyWA won the fourth Australian franchise, an on-line register was set up for members to record their interest. In the space of weeks, 10,000 people had registered. When membership was officially launched in July, more than 13,000 were registered, with around 400 companies expressed interest in hospitality packages. Soon the Force had the largest membership base of any of the Australian Super 14 teams. By the time pre-season had started, the Force had 16,000 members." (source - wiki'p)

    If we are around 13 000 now after 7 years, we really haven't lost that many - most are die-hard loyal supports, as we all now.

    I disagree with JO'N - I don't think success is entirely under the franchises' control, the ARU has their part to play. And if he has some suggestions on how to follow the Reds example, I'm sure we'd all be interested to hear them.

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    Last edited by WF1964; 07-02-12 at 13:20.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WF1964 View Post
    I could be wrong but I thought our highest ever membership was around 17-18 000. We had high crowd numbers in 2006 but they weren't all paid up members.
    Sorry average crowd in 2006 was 29,000ish

    I swear we had close to 22,000 members that year though

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    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    Lets also be realistic and compare apples with apples.

    Perth, not a rugby hotbed like Brisbane and Sydney (Therefore relatively speaking are we not better off)

    Perth unlike Syd and Brisbane does not have a decent stadium for rugby (Therefore are we not better foff relatiuvely speaking)

    Perth still ints infancy stages not mature like Brisbane and Sydney in relative terms ( Therefore are we not better off)

    I have not got the figures to hand but I seem to remember that most super 15 games last year had similar audiences of +- 100k each only the semi and finals took off to about 400K, if we were there we may have also got similar figures. If these figures were on free to air we would have been dropped with numbers like that, so what radr is he looking at.

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    The Force Onwards and Upwards

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    Copy the Reds, he says...? Sweet, let's blow the budget and go looking for some ARU money then. The millions they get in funding even when they are not in receivership would be a nice start.

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Hey. It's what JON wants
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    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    ....Perth unlike Syd and Brisbane does not have a decent stadium for rugby (Therefore are we not better foff relatively speaking)

    .........I rest IMHO case.......

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