NRL Club Chief Executives today gave their strong support to the momentum and progress of strategy reviews underway in relation to Salary Cap, Competition Pathways, Stadia Consolidation and Match Placement, Integrity Unit planning and the game’s Growth and Innovation Fund.
The CEO’s also focussed on the development of long-term strategies to grow membership and improve the game-day experience.
The focus on fan experience included a presentation from US sports analyst AJ Maestas who canvassed a wide-range of areas in a session that included the importance of catering for away fans, creating ticketing packages, social media trends among game attendees and stadium technology.
Clubs co-presented the session which canvassed the ways in which the game will engage fans in the years ahead, which reviewed shared experiences and learnings and which underlined the value of clubs and the NRL working together to share services and opportunities.
This included the importance of membership, match day promotional offers, encouraging greater family participation, working with stadiums on food costs and ensuring a balance of pricing options from general admission to premium seating.
“The focus has to be on how we can create more value for our members and fans and how we make the experience of being there one that will want to make them come back the following week,” Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said today.
The quarterly meeting of CEOs has been given a detailed overview of key project areas being undertaken by the game and the ways in which the NRL is looking to work with clubs to create new opportunities.
There was a commitment to ensuring that the newly established Growth and Innovation Fund is managed in a way that ensures it will encourage further investment in the game and deliver a whole of game benefit to Rugby League.
“It’s clear looking at projects like Elite Pathways, Stadia analysis, digital and participation research that we are looking at the key areas for the clubs,” Dragons CEO Peter Doust said today.
“The game needs to be strategic and open to new ideas and that is certainly where today’s discussions were headed.”
An interim report on the Strategic Pathways review has flagged the need to simplify and better communicate pathways from the grassroots to international level while also acknowledging that the Elite Pathways in Rugby League are the strongest of any in Australian sport.
“This has been a really detailed piece of work that has involved stakeholders across the game,” NRL Chief Operating Officer, Mr Jim Doyle, said today.
“The interim report has identified a number of options that can be canvassed with the clubs and the state leagues and these will be pursued further over the coming weeks.”
The Chief Executives were taken through the Terms of Reference for the 2013 Salary Cap review with the NRL committing to the modernisation of the Cap.
The objectives of the Salary Cap have been identified as being:
• To create an even and competitive Premiership competition and to assist clubs maintain long-term sustainability by not overspending on players;
• To consider the goal of attracting and retaining talented players of all ages to the code.
The review has been initiated because of:
• The need to modernise and consider new innovative approaches to achieving the defined objectives;
• The need for more efficient and streamlined processes for both Clubs and the NRL.
• Conducted over four months and overseen by Chief Operating Officer, Jim Doyle, Head of Football Todd Greenberg and Salary Cap Auditor Ian Schubert, the project proposes:
• a comprehensive review of international and domestic best practice and consultation with key stakeholders;
• The evaluation of alternative operating models for the NRL and the defining of a roadmap of activities and timelines;
• Consideration to any short-term transitional arrangements and a medium term phased in approach.