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Earlier this year, the NRL launched its advertising campaign that reworked a classic Hoodoo Gurus hit to become a theme song for the game. The response from this advertising seems to have been positive but is this enough to help rugby league reclaim lost ground and conquer new territory? Could the NRL look outside the square and try new ways to advertise? The answer to the latter is most definitely, yes. Below are some ideas that could be attempted.
Creation of a widespread video game
Proposed for later this year is the long awaited NRL based PC game. The key aspect to this game must be the addiction to the game. It must provide accurate enough game-play and graphics to hook at first sight but must contain franchise style modes and trading and signing as well as creation of new teams and players to gain the interest of new markets. The games success should be first gauged on the New South Wales market and then be released onto markets such as the other states of Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and Ireland, France and limited release in the U.S.A., Europe and Japan. If the formula for the game is right then the reality of new fans of the game in these places could happen. The game might best be packaged in the more obscure locations with literature on the game, but also rules and tactics as well. The hook of these games is well understood by most gamers in Australia, especially with EA Sport titles such as Madden, NHL, NBA and MVP. These titles have made there respective games more popular in Australia.
Vin Diesel's rumoured movie deal
Earlier this year a report from a website placed Vin Diesel as Rugby League's most well known American fan. Apparently Vin watches both the ESL and the NRL and loves the game of Rugby League. He actually enquired about making a movie about the sport. Even if this is not true this gives the NRL and IRL a great idea for further promotion of the game. A young rookie player goes off the rails with drinking and his performance causes him to be cut from the team. The coach and the players do something not so great to him. He is inspired by his hatred of them to become the best and so he goes into exile, where he meets up with a legend of the game (pick one) that teaches him skills much in the way of the Karate Kid. The rookie comes back in another team that is floundering and they go on to win the grand final against his old team who try and play dirty (injuring his new friends). The whole idea of this is that an entertaining movie can be made that would probably make a profit but would also give the game a much needed boost in advertising. If a script like that starred Vin Diesel and other Hollywood types, then the promotion of the game could be huge. Using premiers to promote the NRL/IRL.
A Preseason Cup Competition
A few ideas that could improve this is if players could not play the whole game. 25 players in each team but no player can play in three consecutive quarters and only 7 players can play in two consecutive quarters.
Teams could be:
15 NRL Top 5 of QLD cup Top 3 Metro Cup Top 2 Bartercard NZ league + Wellington Side Perth team (made from local league players) Adelaide team (made from local league players) Melbourne team (made from local league players) Central Coast Team NSW Country Side Qld Country Side
That makes 32 teams and a straight knockout comp can be played.
So only 5 rounds are needed. This can be spread across the season and because of the rule changes (25 man team) the players will be less tired.
There are many other ideas that are discussed and debated on message boards relating to Rugby League and so the final idea for alternate ways to promote the ‘greatest game of all' is for the administrators of the game to listen to the ideas that come out. That is not to say that they should adopt all the propositions put forward but simply listen and one day they may just find a few winning ideas.
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