I was very excited to wake up Monday morning and see reports from Triple M and the Sydney Morning Herald that Sunday arvo footy could be screening live in the not too distant future. The changing to a 4pm game time would prevent a number of viewing problems I outlined in my blog last week. I am not an idiot, so I know my blog didn't have the reach to make an impact in this decision, but it did join the chorus of people demanding a change. It was a nice coincidence none the less.
This week I am going to move my focus on to jersey sponsorship. The topic came to me while watching Cronulla play on Monday night. I feel a bit sorry for the poor Sharkies at the moment. They have the ongoing ASADA drama still lurking in the background, they can't attract sponsors, and to make matters worse any player with rep experience seems to be unavailable at the moment. One thing they do have going for them is a pretty damn attractive jersey.
I know if I walked into a Rebel Sport I would prefer to buy a jersey that had CSFC (Cronulla Sharks Football Club) across the front, instead of an advertisement for an energy drink I've never even seen in shops. The backs of both the Sharks and the Tigers jerseys are also a breath of fresh air compared to the walking billboards that players from most other clubs have become. This got me thinking, what if we didn't need advertisements all over our jerseys?
Now before I am slammed for the obvious reason that it generates revenue, what if we had an alternative option? The NFL doesn't have advertising on their jerseys, using other methods to generate profit. They have big deals with various companies as official uniform providers. Nike produces the jerseys for all teams, while New Era have an exclusive hat contract. Maybe a company like Nike would pay big money to be in charge of all NRL uniforms. This money would then being filtered into the clubs. It must be appealing for a brand like Nike to know that the only piece of advertising on the jerseys would be their signature tick underneath the collar.
Another option could be to have player names and numbers on the back of jerseys. I know I would love to have a big number seven with Cherry-Evans written above it on the back of my jersey. While I don't think they should increase the already overly expensive prices of jerseys it may make purchasing a jersey (or another jersey) more appealing to a wider range of fans.
I know I'm living in a dream world, as the sponsorship dollars for renting out a teams jersey are too good to refuse - especially with some clubs reportedly doing it tough and in desperate need for more money. My only advice is to Cronulla fans, go and buy yourself a 2014 jersey now before you too are a walking advertisement.
In terms of the footy I think it will take another four rounds until the cream rises to the top (sorry Dragons and Broncos fans). There have been plenty of upsets so far which makes for good viewing and a nice even comp. The Tigers especially impressed me this weekend, James Tedesco in particular. He has genuine pace and his club should do whatever it takes to ensure he isn't lost to the Bulldogs. His combination with Brooks will determine how competitive the Tigers remain to be this year.