Last week I shared eight ideas to help stimulate the progress of rugby as New Zealand’s national sport and as a major industry and source of employment and engagement. Here are seven more – XV all up – to give the accounts some go-forward:
- Follow the British example and invest in one 80,000 seater home pitch stadium in Auckland, with a huge naming rights sponsor. Play all our big tests there and ensure there are stacks of high price corporate boxes, and special new, low cost family seating.
- The First XV. 15 lifelong debentures that pass from father to sibling or back to the NZRU. Access to all areas (equal to NZRU chairman), special access to team/sponsor events, hotels/training, and one annual dressing room visit. Super, super exclusive. $1 million each.
- Offer corporations individual player sponsorships. 45 players at different options. Five days work per player per sponsor, split 50:50 player and NZRU. A $2 million annual return.
- Change the model of game revenue distribution. We get hammered fiscally on the November Tour. We get the glory. The British get the money. The crowds come to see the All Blacks. The Number One ranked team in the world. The most entertaining team in the world. The team everyone wants to beat. We need a new revenue sharing model.
- Appoint the world’s best foreign exchange managers. Significant elements of NZRU’s profit/loss scenarios comprise management of foreign exchange. NZRU need to ensure they have the Goldman Sachs of foreign exchange on their team.
- Bring on the Women (again!). If women make 80% of the purchasing decisions, why then is NZ rugby a women-free zone? The Black Ferns are the best in the world, there are some very capable women commentators, and we see in the US how much the game can be enjoyed by young women because of its physicality. Women are so often the enablers of rugby, making space for the kids to go and practice and play. Making space for women makes sense for broadening viewership – broadcast revenue is the largest contributor to the pie. Making the game more involving for women (imagine women referees!) broadens the audience.
- Get famous by committing to film. Get inside the AB’s heads, their training; the AB’s in Camp a must-watch programme for NFL, NBA, Premiership etc players. This is the serious business of being the best team in the history of world sports. For other elite sports, coaches and teams to learn from.