Rugby Football League (RFL) and Super League Europe recently announced a 12-year strategic partnership with IMG, a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion owned by Endeavor, to reimagine Rugby League and its competitions in the UK.
The agreement follows the recent decision for the RFL and Super League to realign and form a new joint venture company.
IMG has assembled a team of experts across its Media business and the Endeavor network to work with the newly combined entity on strategically repositioning the sport to maximise its commercial potential for long-term growth, build deeper relationships with fans and attract new audiences.
The agency will initially focus on competition restructuring, content production and innovation, domestic and international distribution of media rights, digital transformation powered by IMG’s digital sports arm Seven League, brand strategy delivered by Endeavor’s cultural marketing agency 160over90, and streaming through Endeavor’s OTT platform Endeavor Streaming.
As part of a second phase of work, IMG will also provide data collection and data-driven product development, including sports betting products and streaming rights via its sports data and technology business IMG ARENA.
And, for The Full Eighty Minutes podcast, there is set to be some clubs cut adrift.
“What I’m hearing from IMG is get ready, the change is happening and some of the stuff being mentioned is phenomenal,” The Game Caller said.
“You look at what IMG and Endeavour have done with UFC and look at what they’ve done and you hear how they will market and rebrand and there will be wholesale changes.
“We need to change to survive in my opinion, we need to think outside the box – I think licensing will come back at some point and do not be surprised if IMG decide to throw money at a Dublin and an Edinburgh.
“They will make it work as IMG are looking past a Bradford and a Batley and are looking further, but it won’t happen overnight though they have got the money.
“Not every club will make it or get over these obstacles, but I’m certain when you speak to some owners if they are not in those two 12s then there are going to be tough moral decisions to be made.
“But, IMG will drag us from the dark ages.”
Quite rightly, and they need to speak with our current, main broadcaster, about the poor quality of its commentary team, it has become a joke, there is never a second silence, and the co-commentators quickly, they are a turn off!
One of the best sports commentators, Australian, Richie Benaud, cricket commentator once said, ‘My mantra is, put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it,otherwise shut up‘