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Expansion of the Women's Competition

Messages
3,945
North Queensland Cowgirls and a Logan team would make sense. Breaking up the Brisbane Mares' dominance will be an added bonus. NSW doesn't have the depth or passion to warrant any more teams.
 

The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,002
North Queensland Cowgirls and a Logan team would make sense. Breaking up the Brisbane Mares' dominance will be an added bonus. NSW doesn't have the depth or passion to warrant any more teams.
The NRL have made it clear that all the NRLW teams will be linked with the NRL clubs, which will be a mistake in the long run, but that means no Logan team unless the NRL expands to Logan.

If we’re fair dinkum both the of the next two NRLW ‘expansion teams’ need to be from outside Sydney though.
 

The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,002
BTW, rumours are pretty strong that unless they get help from the NRL that the Warriors want/need to pull out of the NRLW for a season because of COVID related issues.

That may mean that we end up with three new teams this year with the Warriors rejoining next year alongside another team.

It’d be a bit of a shitty situation if it happens, but it can’t be helped.
 

MugaB

Bench
Messages
3,599
The NRL have made it clear that all the NRLW teams will be linked with the NRL clubs, which will be a mistake in the long run, but that means no Logan team unless the NRL expands to Logan.

If we’re fair dinkum both the of the next two NRLW ‘expansion teams’ need to be from outside Sydney though.
Don't bother replying to that moron donkey, he just wants to read his own posts in an echo chamber...
Yes, no womens team that hasn't been linked to an existing NRL club... my bet is on Gold Stars, Titans, Wests or Parramatta. Any two of them or three if the warriors can't continue for that season would be good
 

The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,002
Don't bother replying to that moron donkey, he just wants to read his own posts in an echo chamber...
Yes, no womens team that hasn't been linked to an existing NRL club... my bet is on Gold Stars, Titans, Wests or Parramatta. Any two of them or three if the warriors can't continue for that season would be good
Sydney clubs shouldn’t get a look in, unless the Warriors drop out for a season which would change things.

Can’t really speak to the Qld clubs or Melbourne, but the Knights and Raiders women’s programs are more developed than a lot of the Sydney clubs anyway.

This may not be feasible, but ideally the goal should be to get Melbourne, one regional NSW/ACT club, and one regional Qld club into the competition within the next few years.

Of course if the NRL were really serious about the NRLW as a product they wouldn’t require the clubs to be linked to the nrl clubs, and would have pressured the clubs to create unique brands for the women’s teams. But unfortunately it seems that it’s more a token political exercise than a serious attempt to build a new product that is valuable in it’s own right.
Rant over lol.
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,009
Be a shame to lose warriors womens team as will knock into international standards. I guess as clubs have to pay for it then it will depend what clubs want to spend $500k a year on a women’s team will decide where the next ones are.
 

siv

First Grade
Messages
5,042
Womens game is still very much NSWRL & QRL

And will probably stop at 3 Qld 3 NSW with maybe Melbourne/Warriors and never really expand beyond this
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,009
Still way behind afl but good to see the womens comp fInally growing.

8 teams for next year.

 

The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,002
Still way behind afl but good to see the womens comp fInally growing.

8 teams for next year.

Does it really matter if they are behind the AFL when both women's comps have manifested almost purely as political exercises?

Broadcast rights bundled into the NRL, price of admission is bundled into the cost of NRL games, no new merchandising opportunities, not even attempting to build new fan bases, commercially hamstrung by being married to the NRL clubs, etc, etc. It basically only exists as an outlet for corporate sponsors to virtue signal about how much they support women.

Both the AFLW and NRLW are totally reliant on their respective men's leagues for their existence, and almost certainly always will be, and it's almost certainly because they were set up to be that way, which is a damn shame because there's potential in a national women's league as an alternative to the NRL.

All I'm saying is that if the NRL were serious about the NRLW as a product they would have gone about things very differently.
 

Jamberoo

Juniors
Messages
707
Does it really matter if they are behind the AFL when both women's comps have manifested almost purely as political exercises?

Broadcast rights bundled into the NRL, price of admission is bundled into the cost of NRL games, no new merchandising opportunities, not even attempting to build new fan bases, commercially hamstrung by being married to the NRL clubs, etc, etc. It basically only exists as an outlet for corporate sponsors to virtue signal about how much they support women.

Both the AFLW and NRLW are totally reliant on their respective men's leagues for their existence, and almost certainly always will be, and it's almost certainly because they were set up to be that way, which is a damn shame because there's potential in a national women's league as an alternative to the NRL.

All I'm saying is that if the NRL were serious about the NRLW as a product they would have gone about things very differently.
Both women’s comps exist primarily to drive participation and interest from younger females. Female participation in turn drives government funding for new facilities at community clubs. So it does matter that the NRL is behind the AFL, as more girls playing AFL = more govt spending (new change rooms, etc) at ovals rather than rectangular grounds.

AFLW is working for the AFL - it is the best strategic move in Australian sport the last decade. Most of the AFL’s participation growth has come from females. Almost all of the the AFL’s growth in TV viewership is from females. In fact, for almost all of the gains AFL has made in the past decade relative to RL, including crowds and memberships, most of the growth has been amongst females.

The NRL needs to go all in with a proper 16 team comp ASAP. Don’t worry about the standard of play, it will be rubbish for a long time. That is not the point. It may cost about $1m per club per year, but It is the easiest, and perhaps the only way to catch up and stop junior RL participation from falling off a cliff. Time to be bold.
 

The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,002
Both women’s comps exist primarily to drive participation and interest from younger females. Female participation in turn drives government funding for new facilities at community clubs. So it does matter that the NRL is behind the AFL, as more girls playing AFL = more govt spending (new change rooms, etc) at ovals rather than rectangular grounds.

AFLW is working for the AFL - it is the best strategic move in Australian sport the last decade. Most of the AFL’s participation growth has come from females. Almost all of the the AFL’s growth in TV viewership is from females. In fact, for almost all of the gains AFL has made in the past decade relative to RL, including crowds and memberships, most of the growth has been amongst females.

The NRL needs to go all in with a proper 16 team comp ASAP. Don’t worry about the standard of play, it will be rubbish for a long time. That is not the point. It may cost about $1m per club per year, but It is the easiest, and perhaps the only way to catch up and stop junior RL participation from falling off a cliff. Time to be bold.
You can achieve all the above and create a professional competition that is a commercially viable product independent of the Telstra Premiership.

The fact that the NRL aren't trying to make the NRLW it's own independent product is lazy and will lead to problems in the future. In fact it's already lead to problems, the issues with the Roosters and Warriors because of covid show that; the Telstra Premiership are the NRL club's meal ticket, so when the going gets tough the NRLW department will see the cuts...
 

Jamberoo

Juniors
Messages
707
You can achieve all the above and create a professional competition that is a commercially viable product independent of the Telstra Premiership.

The fact that the NRL aren't trying to make the NRLW it's own independent product is lazy and will lead to problems in the future. In fact it's already lead to problems, the issues with the Roosters and Warriors because of covid show that; the Telstra Premiership are the NRL club's meal ticket, so when the going gets tough the NRLW department will see the cuts...
You are not going to find a dozen new women's franchises independent of the NRL that are prepared to fund a loss making venture. It would never get off the ground and if it ever did, it would be a revolving door of clubs collapsing and coming and going. Plus, who would support the new clubs? It is all about goodwill, which is why the NRL and its clubs must run it and fund it.
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,009
You are not going to find a dozen new women's franchises independent of the NRL that are prepared to fund a loss making venture. It would never get off the ground and if it ever did, it would be a revolving door of clubs collapsing and coming and going. Plus, who would support the new clubs? It is all about goodwill, which is why the NRL and its clubs must run it and fund it.
And the brand makes it instantly more interesting to the existing rusted on fanbase. New clubs with no brand history would have to start from scratch in building a fanbase. Like said the purpose of the exercise is not to directly generate revenue but indirectly to do so by getting more women playing the game and watching the game. Sponsors know that women mostly make the expenditure choices still in the household. Getting tv coverage will help attract new sponsors to the women's teams. Do agree though that leaving it up to NRL clubs to fund is fraught with problems given the history of financial mismanagement most clubs have.

I have to say I love watching the ladies Aus v NZ test matches, very entertaining RL most games. Looking forward to catching the RLWC women's games later in the year.
 

The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,002
You are not going to find a dozen new women's franchises independent of the NRL that are prepared to fund a loss making venture.
The only person talking about a dozen is you.

Starting with a dozen is unrealistic in any scenario, starting with a smaller number like six and building from there is doable though.
It would never get off the ground and if it ever did, it would be a revolving door of clubs collapsing and coming and going. Plus, who would support the new clubs?
Clubs folding is part of the natural process of the evolution of a competition, especially a new one. It's inevitable, and if people started accepting that the NRL would be better off.

Plus, who would support the new clubs? It is all about goodwill, which is why the NRL and its clubs must run it and fund it.
Who's supporting now?!

Be honest, on average less than a thousand people are showing up early for the kick off of NRLW games, and even then a good portion of them probably aren't actually there early specifically to support the NRLW. On average it has to be less than 1% of the crowd that have actually paid the price of admission specifically to watch the NRLW.

If the NRLW is ever going to be sustainable in it's own right then it needs to build it's own fan base of people willing to spend money specifically on it, and that doesn't describe the vast majority of NRL club's fans. Sure when they're effectively given it for free some will show up (even then not many the evidence suggests), but as soon as the the NRLW moves to it's own gamedays interest will tank. That means that the NRLW's target audience is, or rather should be, a slightly different audience to that of the NRL's.

If you built a comp from scratch and targeted clubs with proven interest, that justify participation in a higher competition with more exposure but aren't part of the NRL's plans, mixed with some new clubs, then you could have the beginnings of a solid national competition.
Take the Bears, it's absolutely crazy that they weren't pursued to be part of the NRLW. That would have given the Bears and their fans the pro-team and national exposure that they have been begging for, and being connected to the Bears history and the 5ish thousand (maybe more) fans showing up every second week at North Sydney Oval would have given the NRLW a bunch of instant credibility.
 
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The Great Dane

First Grade
Messages
5,002
And the brand makes it instantly more interesting to the existing rusted on fanbase. New clubs with no brand history would have to start from scratch in building a fanbase. Like said the purpose of the exercise is not to directly generate revenue but indirectly to do so by getting more women playing the game and watching the game. Sponsors know that women mostly make the expenditure choices still in the household. Getting tv coverage will help attract new sponsors to the women's teams. Do agree though that leaving it up to NRL clubs to fund is fraught with problems given the history of financial mismanagement most clubs have.

I have to say I love watching the ladies Aus v NZ test matches, very entertaining RL most games. Looking forward to catching the RLWC women's games later in the year.
The existing rusted on fanbase of the NRL clubs doesn't make up the core audience that will be interested in the NRLW. Sure there's overlap, but only a minority will go out of their way to support the NRLW, and pay for the right to do so.

Nobody is saying create a competition of totally new teams out of thin air, however if it was marketed and supported properly there's no reason that couldn't work, see early BBL before the CA stuffed it up. Everybody has to start somewhere you know.

Female participation was going up significantly in the AFL pre-AFLW simply because the grassroots were targeting growth in female participation, i.e. you don't need a pro comp to simply grow female interest in the sport, and it's probably a very expensive way to do it.
Also, as far as I have seen there's little evidence that participation has a causal link to growth in support for the professional game. If it was that simple soccer would be by far the largest sport in the Anglosphere, and outside of the UK that simply isn't the case.

Finally, if the NRLW effectively only exists to attract new sponsors it's a waste of time as new sponsors alone won't make it sustainable independent of the NRL. There's also no reason why those same sponsors wouldn't be interested in an NRLW that isn't married to the NRL clubs.
 
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