Endless Season Doesn't Work - New Plan Required

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26 October 2017 by Mark Evans, Capacity Consulting

Back in 1993 Stephen Jones wrote an excellent book entitled “Endless Winter” which drew attention to the unremitting cycle in rugby union which was then an amateur game. Little did we know that it was only the start of a process in which international rugby and club/regional rugby have been equally culpable.

One of the key lessons in sports marketing is the importance of creating high profile, large scale events in a fixed position in the calendar. Making the big bigger is the mantra. Both rugby codes in England (and the UK more generally) have embraced the basic idea. The development of marquee events at larger stadia, double headers, Grand Finals, Million Pound Games etc. are all examples of initiatives that have created interest and appealed to wider audiences. But these positive developments have been undermined by a fundamental error-a mistaken belief that the best and easiest way to drive revenue is to shoehorn more games into an ever more crowded season. It’s an easy mistake to make; surely more games mean more ticket merchandise, hospitality and catering revenues? Well not necessarily is the answer-particularly in the long run.

More games in a collision, as opposed to a contact, sport means more injuries and a compromised close season period which does not allow adequate physical preparation, which over time compounds the problem. Five day turnarounds become more commonplace with so many games to cram in -Super League even requires its players

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