Rugby league fans set for major involvement in IMG’s new plans

Rugby League supporters have been invited to contribute to the ‘reimagining Rugby League’ consultation currently being conducted by the sport’s strategic partner IMG.

A survey has been launched today through the RFL and Super League digital channels Rugby League Fan Survey (qualtrics.com), and will close at the end of August.

It covers a range of key areas such as viewing habits and preferences, competitions, and overseas clubs, whilst it gives fans their own say on the way forward on the sport – something which supporters have been crying out for in the past.

The consultation involves all key stakeholders including clubs, partners, the media, players and coaches.

The outcomes from the survey will be considered alongside the outcomes from the other consultations and IMG’s expert industry knowledge. IMG’s recommendations will be presented to clubs in late September – after the Women’s and Men’s Super League Grand Finals.

IMG’s strategic review forms part of the first phase of the 12-year partnership with Rugby League. It is running alongside digital transformation powered by IMG’s digital sports arm Seven League and a review of the sport’s brand led by Endeavor’s 160over90.

The partnership with IMG followed the realignment of Rugby League’s governance which has seen the creation of a new venture, RL Commercial – and more recently, the appointment of Frank Slevin as its inaugural Chair, and Ed Mallaburn, IMG Media’s head of sport, as a second Board member.

Simon Johnson, Chair of the Rugby Football League previously said on the partnership: “In recent years, an immense amount of work has gone on, in initially protecting the sport through the pandemic and then setting it on a course for real growth. The Governance re-alignment was key and a prerequisite to attracting a partnership such as this. IMG is a global giant in the sports and entertainment industry and this alliance is fantastically exciting for our future. Coupled with the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair World Cups which are set for the Autumn on home soil, I have no doubt that 2022 will now prove to be a watershed year in the history of Rugby League – and this announcement will be the keystone in future success.”

Ken Davy, Chair of Super League said: “Over the last 18 months, Super League has focused on analysing and defining the future of the competition, with two key elements being identified. These were to grow commercial revenues in a realignment with the RFL and the other was to find a strategic partner.

“We consulted widely on the strategic partner to find someone who bought into our vision for the Super League competition and the sport of rugby league as a whole. In IMG we have a world-renowned partner that has all the requisite strengths to ensure the sport’s continued growth and development.”

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