Wednesday, 13 June 2007

We can repel the rugby raiders

Kevin Roberts' June column in NZ Rugby Monthly
The pillage of our rugby players by the northern hemisphere is the single biggest threat we have faced since the game went professional.Twelve years ago when rugby went pro, we had a decision to make. What was the critical competitive factor? The competitions? The brand? The stadia?

We took the view that it all started with talent and that the players were the only thing that would keep New Zealand prosperous in rugby. We would never have economic or commercial clout to compete with the likes of England but we would have superior results, performance and value through players.

The NZRU’s challenge now is to adjust to this new reality of French/English clubs throwing money and lifestyle promises at our players and to do this we'll need a combination of new revenue, new strategy, new ideas, and new initiatives. Here's my eight-point plan:

1. Build annual revenue. As Jerry Maguire said, "You've got to follow the money". The money is in the US. The NZRU need to develop a complete marketing plan for the US. The good news for them is that all of us at USA Rugby are of the same mind and are interested in co-ordinating a joint plan with [NZRU]. We'll be meeting in early June.

...For the remaining seven points (relating to new sponsors, new revenue models, new marketing and merchandising, new competitions, skills and expertise, squad development, and out-competing England and France), see KR Rugby Postcard on

No comments: