Rugby's 6 Biggest Missed Marketing Opportunities

Rugby League may be turning itself inside-out looking for new promotional opportunities to increase it's attractiveness to potential broadcasters, but Rugby Union administrators don't realise the wealth of opportunities available to it due to the inherent nature of the game. Here are 6 possibilities just begging for a brand, a slogan and a logo:

The scrum reset is considered a blight on the game. Most scrums are reset, some multiple times. The resultant time lost when the ball should be spinning out the backline is thought to be wasted. That's true, but the waste is due to the revenue that could be generated if the broadcasters showed a couple of minutes of advertisements. Contextual advertising can keep the scrum enthusiasts interested, earthmoving equipment for example.

Bored backlines
So what is the back to do while the scrums continually reset. At the moment they mentaly twiddle their thumbs, sign autographs and contemplate their next hair dresser appointment. They should make better use of their time, especially if the broadcaster doesn't take the option to run some quick adverts. What about putting on a t-shirt advertising food options to the spectators at the ground ("the hot dogs here have less nose meat and sawdust than those at Ballymore" for example) or cross-anti-promotions ridiculing other sports ("you think this is slow, have you watched golf lately?" etc). 

Rugby players spend a lot of their time with their head buried deep in a scrum or ruck with their derriere prominently displayed. Given the ample size of most Rugby players backsides (especially the forwards) their shorts are effectively mobile billboards, and obvious places for advertisements such as for haemorrhoid creams, recliner rockers and shorts (of course).

Rugby goalposts have been 'H' shaped ever since the first misshaped soccer ball wobbled over the cross-bar as observers admired the trajectory and skill of the kicker who was just showing off. But if all the ball needs to do is go over something, why limit the shape to an 'H'. What about an 'M' (a yellow curvy one) or three of them (as in the radio station 2MMM)? Why only one letter? What about 'VB' for example? Any why limit it to letters and numbers? Any logo could work just as well, from the World Cup logo, to car badges and sports clothing the possibilities are endless.

Set moves
Rugby (and league) afficionados will be familiar with such moves as the flying wedge, the Garryowen, and the 'under the jumper'. These ancient and sometimes illegal moves (eg two of those three) demonstrate Rugby at its most innovative and most appealing. The game is crying out for new and innovative set-moves, and not just simple dummys, run-arounds and flick passes. What about using extra balls on the field, using a tractor in the scrum or a trampoline in the line-out slamball style? Each could be sponsored and even named by an appropriate company - the Mack Truck (using a truck in the scrum), the Gilbert (extra balls) or the Slumberpedic Mattresses (trampoline move) for straters?

T20 cricket rejected it but baseball embraces it. When a ball goes into the crowd why should it be returned? They don't cost much, their condition doesn't alter during a game and they're a useful souvenir. Position 100 around the field for the ball boys and there'll be no danger of a lost ball holding up play. And from a marketing perspective how better to give kids something to play with and remind them of their day out. Actually this one could work!

Any others you can think of?


still last said…
What about the Ruck? the aforementioned forwards could all be issued with a letter of the alphabet stuck onto the bottom of their shorts. So each ruck would be an ideal opportunity for commentators to attempt to make a word from the visible letters instead of biding their time by stating something bloody obvious. The match payment made to commentators would be subject to them being able to segway the words made to the sponsors products - no words or links made -no pay thereby reducing production costs.

Replacements would have to have different letters allowing new word combinations. This might also give rugby administrators the opportunity for some new and creative ELV's like - no more than three consonants in a ruck, you must commit at least one vowel to a maul.....

Not only with Phil Kearns become an expert Scrabble player but the cash generated should be enough to bring back the provincial rugby championships.