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What should change in REC?

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What should change in REC?

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 13:46

I was wondering that we have all complained in all kind of topics about the current state of affairs in REC. It's pretty clear that in many aspects Rugby Europe is most achieved regional organisation, but under its amateurish leadership it is seeing others overtake them quickly. The fact we are jealous of Americas Rugby Championship coverage after only three years of existence is enough.

So, what's your wishlist? I'm not even talking about pipedreams like promotion and relegation to 6N or TV coverage in Tier 1 countries, but about achievable changes that should be implemented if there was anybody sensible at the head of Rugby Europe.

As said in previous occasions, I think they should move away from Dailymotion as soon as possible. And obviously they must do big advances in digitalisation, any national o regional union is way more advanced than Rugby Europe currently is... Plus a serious discussion on referees should be put in place. Either we accept to play with Tier 2 referees so to develop them or we receive top ones from Tier 1, but keep being a development tool for those who don't give a damn about this tournament can't be a long-lasting solution.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby amz » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 14:09

Dailymotion HQ: Headquarters Paris, 140 boulevard Malesherbes, 17th arrondissement, France

How dare you to suggest this sacrilege, move on an US based platform. You are so ungrateful

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby vino_93 » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 15:33

Rec works fine I guess. They just need more ambition.
They should try to organize themselves for a better TV show. For this you need better stadiums for a few countries (Spain, Belgium). Then try to sell (or give in a short time) all games to involved countries, and if you can try to find something for T1 show - maybe talks with 6 Nations to include in the package one game per week f.e.

For referees, unfortunately it's hard. You have 6 nations + pro xhampionships during the same time ... So you have what you can find. Only World Rugby could help I guess.

And of course dailymotion is not good, but I don't think moving to YT would change things. Let's be honest, these games are for hardcore fans. They will watch it, wherever it is shown.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 16:15

You may think it's stupid, but YouTube is way easier to embed, to share, videos get promoted inside the community... It's not only for hardcore fans. Virality is key when you've got so little money. And if it isn't YouTube, you've got Twitter, you've got Facebook. But sticking with Dailymotion is embracing a Titanic.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby m.map » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 16:25

I follow nfl on youtube, it's great and very easy

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby victorsra » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 16:53

First of all: a BETTER website. With a page dedicated to the REC, with statistics, proper news, etc. RE is amateur and mix in a shit way all competitions.

Second: proper social media coverage (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). And highlights on YT! Just benchmark what T1 leagues and World Rugby itself do and adapt to the budget. What RE does is too amateur.

These are the first steps to start being a more followed competition.

BTW, ARC should do the same.
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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Tobar » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 17:37

Wow, I didn't even know that Dailymotion has a live video feature. This is ridiculous. Youtube is significantly better and has a far better reach (Twitter would also be a great option).

It sounds like the biggest overall issue with REC is that it needs to be a commercial product. This encompasses a ton of different things (such as the use of Dailymotion vs Youtube/Twitter) but also covers a lot of different things which everyone else has touched on. IMO, the most important thing for all of these competitions (REC, Asian X Nations, ARC, Gold Cup, etc.) is consistency.

Victor mentions this above. If you want people to start following the tournament then you need to have it be as easy as possible to find out as much as possible about it. Right now the website is just a part of the RE page and should be highlighted as its own website with easy links to all social media. Budgets are tight so I understand they can't hire a full on marketing agency to do all this work for them but putting together a decent website and having a somewhat regular social media account takes just a few hours and maybe $30 a month. It's in the unions best interest to have this product sell so that they can get more money. To be quite honest, they should just go around Rugby Europe and do all of this on their own. They will easily earn back their investment from this in no time. Hell, if this organization can sell 5 more tickets to a REC match then the union will make back all of its money for maintaining a the site.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Tobar » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 17:48

As I'm thinking through all of the changes these Tier 2 competitions need, it really strikes me how lucky RE is to host the REC - 4/6 of the countries are within 2-3 hours by train or plane of each other and just as far away from many Tier 1 nations. Looking at the ARC - Toronto to Buenos Aires is a 10 hour flight costing around $1000. You can pay for every ticket for the players from Brussels to Madrid with that ticket. REC has no excuse to not be the absolute best Tier 2 tournament in the world.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 17:52

It may be of help from a financial POV, but at the same time it's a tournament involving 6 countries with different languages and markets, which a bigger challenge in marketing and broadcasting aspects.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby FLIDTA RISXVA » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 18:05

SOMEBODY wrote SOMEWHERE over last 8 years:

RULERS and BIG TIME MEDIA do not pay attention to REC
'cause it is regularly won by unfancied, little GEORGIA

Get rid of those CHEEKY BASTARDS and
everything naturally will go OK

:::

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Blurandski » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 18:21

....
Last edited by Blurandski on Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 18:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Blurandski » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 18:22

Blurandski wrote:IMO: The REC needs to become the 6N Trophy, even if there is no pro/rel. Guinness (the potential new 6N sponsors) would carry over name sponsorship to 6NT in return for a heavy publicity campaign (promotion on cans/taps throughout Europe), and the 6NT tv rights to be packaged (for free) with 6NC rights in the 6NC regions, with matches being played in W1,3,4,5,7 of the 6NC. Plus an autumn 'Champions of Europe' match between the 6N winner and 6NT winner, perhaps even angle for the u20 6N to share the same format, with pro/rel. Awareness needs to be the goal right now.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Tobar » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 18:45

Armchair Fan wrote:It may be of help from a financial POV, but at the same time it's a tournament involving 6 countries with different languages and markets, which a bigger challenge in marketing and broadcasting aspects.


And so is the ARC - English, Spanish and Portuguese. At least there is interconnectivity in Europe with the EU and many people in countries like Belgium and Germany being able to understand each other. But yes, this is primarily a financial benefit and reduces cost. My point being that REC has no reason to be sloppy and unprofessional in its approach given how much "easier" it is to organize the logistics in Europe than it would in the Americas or Asia.

Blurandski wrote:
Blurandski wrote:IMO: The REC needs to become the 6N Trophy, even if there is no pro/rel. Guinness (the potential new 6N sponsors) would carry over name sponsorship to 6NT in return for a heavy publicity campaign (promotion on cans/taps throughout Europe), and the 6NT tv rights to be packaged (for free) with 6NC rights in the 6NC regions, with matches being played in W1,3,4,5,7 of the 6NC. Plus an autumn 'Champions of Europe' match between the 6N winner and 6NT winner, perhaps even angle for the u20 6N to share the same format, with pro/rel. Awareness needs to be the goal right now.


I'm down with that. 6N may not be open to sharing the name but the broadcasters should be fine with some extra rugby for free. I don't know how the rights for 6N works in these countries, is it entirely through cable or is there a digital version available as well? Not sure that they would be open to using up their time slots on REC if it's through cable but if through digital then they just have to put it on their website (but I reckon they'd also rather have higher quality streams). If it gets shown in 6N nations then it at least gives some extra exposure to Tier 1 fans who can watch and decide for themselves that they'd like to see more of this.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Blurandski » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 20:03

Tobar wrote:
Blurandski wrote:
Blurandski wrote:IMO: The REC needs to become the 6N Trophy, even if there is no pro/rel. Guinness (the potential new 6N sponsors) would carry over name sponsorship to 6NT in return for a heavy publicity campaign (promotion on cans/taps throughout Europe), and the 6NT tv rights to be packaged (for free) with 6NC rights in the 6NC regions, with matches being played in W1,3,4,5,7 of the 6NC. Plus an autumn 'Champions of Europe' match between the 6N winner and 6NT winner, perhaps even angle for the u20 6N to share the same format, with pro/rel. Awareness needs to be the goal right now.


I'm down with that. 6N may not be open to sharing the name but the broadcasters should be fine with some extra rugby for free. I don't know how the rights for 6N works in these countries, is it entirely through cable or is there a digital version available as well? Not sure that they would be open to using up their time slots on REC if it's through cable but if through digital then they just have to put it on their website (but I reckon they'd also rather have higher quality streams). If it gets shown in 6N nations then it at least gives some extra exposure to Tier 1 fans who can watch and decide for themselves that they'd like to see more of this.


The 6N should hopefully be up for it, as it'll massively enhance their brand reach, the new nations would enhance their potential reach from 200m to 341m Western Europeans, plus an additional 160m from Russia, Georgia, and Romania. A 2.5x increase in all population wise, and a rise from $7,481bn to $14,729bn in terms of GDP, plus 6 new involved markets to sell rights to. The 6N have basically maxed out the value that they're getting for 6N rights in the UK&Ire.

Yeah, digital and cable are packaged together, so the Beeb could put the matches on their website to watch (they do similar things for other sports). The BBC would be one of the two broadcasters, and they don't run ads, so aren't profit motivated. I could envisage a few of the matches (certainly in the 6N off weekends) getting put on the main channels (Spain v Germany, Spain v Georgia etc). I strongly suspect that SpavGer and the like would rate at least as well as Barbarians v Argentina, which the BBC paid for and televised this weekend. It would be a case of gaining stuff for nothing for all involved.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Tobar » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 21:15

How would it increase their reach? It's a good first step to breaking into the market but the people in the non-6N countries won't be affected if REC matches are show in England. It would certainly increase the sponsor value for REC and they could get some real multinational companies interested. I'd imagine that they would have to be companies that do business in most of the REC countries as well as the UK.

Could definitely see Spain vs Germany or Georgia (hell, even Spain vs Romania could get some views since enough people seem to know about the bad blood from last year). Spain and Germany have been on the up as those Tier 2 teams people start paying attention to because they think they can take it to the next level.....they're still far behind Georgia but it's all about perception here.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 22:46

Tobar wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:It may be of help from a financial POV, but at the same time it's a tournament involving 6 countries with different languages and markets, which a bigger challenge in marketing and broadcasting aspects.


And so is the ARC - English, Spanish and Portuguese. At least there is interconnectivity in Europe with the EU and many people in countries like Belgium and Germany being able to understand each other. But yes, this is primarily a financial benefit and reduces cost. My point being that REC has no reason to be sloppy and unprofessional in its approach given how much "easier" it is to organize the logistics in Europe than it would in the Americas or Asia.

3 languages, two of them being universal, compared to 6 languages having to take another one (English or French) for a global coverage. And two pretty clear common markets (North America, Latin America) compared to very different markets in REC. I really think it's not the same situation, at all.

Rugby Europe should be more professional, for sure, but your starting point is wrong. Closer distances doesn't mean closer cultures, markets, etc... It was an advantage to have a solid regional competition from the 1930s til now, but other than that, they are being overtaken. Man, even Africa and Asia offer Facebook live coverage.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Canalina » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 23:19

I don't think RE website is so bad, compared with the other continental confederations. They offer live stream for all the XV matches and 7s tournament, and they publish the match sheet closely after the game. I think they are the only ones to do that between the continental confederations. But I agree they seem doing few more than this. I perceive them as good clerks which do their duty but without the enthusiasm to try to add something else. I think their biggest lacuna is the "story telling". Reading their website and socials you perceive the REC just like a series of games, you feel not a story behind them.
For example Rugby Europe could film the big crowd in Tbilisi during the REC games, from inside the crowd. Or they could do the same in Madrid, maybe interviewing some spanish female fan to show that rugby is also a show for families. They could even use bad episodes like the "romanian referee hunting", just to give REC spice and characters. Unfortunately rugby by itself isn't enough to move general interest about REC, we have already had enough proofs about that; you have to push a bit the interest evidencing the most fascinating and catchy aspects of the event.
It's much more easy to say than to do, I admit, but they seem to not even try. Maybe it's also a matter of poor funds, but I think it's not just this

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby thatrugbyguy » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 23:22

Professionalism is the biggest issue with Rugby Europe and the handling of this competition. I do agree with the above statement that affiliation with the 6N, even if there is no promotion and relegation could do a lot to draw in sponsorship. The biggest issue with the REC is that it's not ambitious enough. It doesn't seem like those in charge actually want to turn the competition into something bigger and better. The ARC from day one set out to make itself as premium product. Granted they are alone in that part of the world but the goals have been to make it the best possible competition in the continent. Promotion is a huge thing that's missing. Russia seems to be the only one of the nations involved that is actually trying to do something different, they've gotten pretty good crowds for their matches this year thanks in part to the new management trying more advertising and getting bigger sponsors. So, improvements can be done but it can't rest on the shoulders of one nation. There needs to be a meeting between the REC nations and RE so they can figure out how to make the competition more viable. It's not a case of the teams being bad, there's enough professionalism and talent to generate interest, it's a case of there's no brand value to the competition. If I was running the show my first priority would be a complete rebranding of the competition, a new and bigger marketing campaign targeting new audiences, increase the exposure of the players to local media and have them involved with activities within the community, and target a 10,000 crowd average for each team within 5 years.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Working Class Rugger » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 23:26

REC needs to move from the amateur ethos of old and look to develop a distinctly professional organisation. For me, a big part of that would be developing a trans-national league structure to feed the REC structures helping to develop awareness and the overall quality of competition and thus the potential to offer greater levels of value to broadcasters and sponsors.

I know their are various national leagues in place and some are slowly making progress but in regards to revenue generation these are still a long way from realising any real opportunities. It won't be a one size fits all approach either. Due to distances. I think something like an East/West split in approach would be the most ideal. Due to geography a Cup competition featuring say 4 Russia and 2 Georgian and 2 Romanian on top of their domestic leagues would be more workable (so 2 pools of 4 playing home and away for 6 games with the top two going through the semi-finals) while a more league structured competition would be more workable in the West/Central Europe.

Look to copy elements from different models currently in planning or action. Leverage HP grants from WR as LSR are doing. Run a single-entity as per MLR and keep the salary levels low to start. Set up a distinct profit share arrangement but with REC being the central administrator. Restructure the REC to include all the nations featured in these League/Cup split into pools.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby victorsra » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 23:52

People talk that big media in T1 countries don't care about the REC. It might be true, however it is up to RE to send official REC press releases (and video footage) to a media mailing list, at least in English. RE dont seem to do that. WR does that. They send press releases about their own competitions. Media won't waste their journalists paid time to cover a competition with low interest, BUT if the text is offered to them they might publish. The same for TV's and RE video footage (offering, for exemple, the best tries of the REC round to sports channels). This is the reality for many sports and competitions. Even World Rugby's competitions, like sevens and U20s competitions, that have the WR's press releases published by many media. Pretty basic stuff what I am writing.
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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby Tobar » Fri, 07 Dec 2018, 03:22

Armchair Fan wrote:
Tobar wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:It may be of help from a financial POV, but at the same time it's a tournament involving 6 countries with different languages and markets, which a bigger challenge in marketing and broadcasting aspects.


And so is the ARC - English, Spanish and Portuguese. At least there is interconnectivity in Europe with the EU and many people in countries like Belgium and Germany being able to understand each other. But yes, this is primarily a financial benefit and reduces cost. My point being that REC has no reason to be sloppy and unprofessional in its approach given how much "easier" it is to organize the logistics in Europe than it would in the Americas or Asia.

3 languages, two of them being universal, compared to 6 languages having to take another one (English or French) for a global coverage. And two pretty clear common markets (North America, Latin America) compared to very different markets in REC. I really think it's not the same situation, at all.

Rugby Europe should be more professional, for sure, but your starting point is wrong. Closer distances doesn't mean closer cultures, markets, etc... It was an advantage to have a solid regional competition from the 1930s til now, but other than that, they are being overtaken. Man, even Africa and Asia offer Facebook live coverage.


Idk I think you’re overstating how connected South America is. My experience in both continents is that Europe is more connected than the Americas. But maybe we’re comparing apples to oranges here.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby victorsra » Fri, 07 Dec 2018, 04:19

Latin America is not connected. Brazil is a world apart, starting with the language difference. Yoi cant promoted anything here in Spanish obviously.

But the fact that there are 6 different languages in REC is an issue, yes, but not an impediment of anything.

RE can provide the promotion focused on English language to make REC less unknown to rugby fans worldwide, with press releases and website in English + videos. And let to each union the work of translating it for each of the 6 markets. RE social media can start in English and video material offered to the 6 unions. There are many ways RE can help make the PR bettee for everybody.

Well, i'd like to see that for ARC, that has no proper PR or any joint mkt work. But is has ESPN for all the 6 countries, which helps.
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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 07 Dec 2018, 08:39

The biggest obastacle will always be, that the REC is a 2nd tier competition, while the ARC is the highest competition on their continent(s).

I think that we've already seen in the last years in Rugby Europe is not to underestimate. Just four/five years ago, there were no videos of games.
What they lack is a competent English speaking social media manager to promote their stuff better. That alone would make a huge difference. I also don't understand why the advantage of being big in poor countries like Georgia or, in perspective to the rest, Romania, isn't used to hire people for small money who should know their rugby. There must be a good Georgian video editor somewhere doing his ob for 1/10 or even 1/20 of i.e. a German one.

The median salary of a web designer in Tbilisi is just $4,085 per year (!) according to this page https://teleport.org/cities/tbilisi/salaries/
If you don't use this heavy advantage, what else would you do?
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 07 Dec 2018, 09:22

It's only second tier as long as the mindset is that it is second tier. Look, there's enough professional players in the REC now where we can't use being second class as an excuse. What's needed is a change in attitude. If the attitude is they can't compete with the 6N, well, who the hell says they have to? There's an entire continent at Rugby Europe's disposal. There's millions of potential customers and countless big businesses to look for sponsorship. If the desire is there, and they are willing to take on the challenges, the hard work and the sacrifice, then there's no reason the REC can't increase its value, increase its exposure, and increase attendance's. It would require a unified front not just from the REC nations, but the RET nations as well, and it would require a unified voice that will press to get coverage in the traditional rugby media. Part of the problem is no-one knows about these second tier competitions. I had to point out to an All Black fan after the Brazil match against the Maori the ARC existed after they suggested a 6 Nations style tournament for the Americas. RE have to push this competition further. They have to professionalise it the competition and themselves.

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Re: What should change in REC?

Postby dans » Fri, 07 Dec 2018, 10:22

For REC to progress from their current position would need to start with leadership and their view of how the game is going to look in Europe in the next 10 years...using the actual context, support &... ‘blessing’ from World Rugby!
Once they have that visionary leadership you look at financials, where the support is coming from and what is the incremental going forward.
REC is pretty weak in this area and have never innovated financially to improve their endowment; although I think there is a new CMO / CFO named in the summer with that scope - develop the sport in teritory (with a basketball background i think!)
Then would need to identify & target the potential audiences and market. How you split it, merge it, optimise it to keep everybody happy?!.. Creativity and solution approach in these local markets will vary from country to country depending on their own social, economic and heritage status .... It also does not make an easy task when rugby is not a popular sport in Continental Europe...football, handball, basketball, tennis are all coming in front and compete for pretty much the same audiences in the media and for sponsors.
Such an expert team doesn’t exist in REC and not easy to put together unless you have a well-documented blueprint/model to follow.
Historically the REC organisation was very much French lead while the 6N Ltd, British influenced. There is a big gap; it may only work if the 2 come together... but if (very big if!) they do, you know who’s going to be the ‘daddy’!!...
Personally I think they could follow the handball model in Europe if they are to be led by a French based philosophy, if they try the British blueprint without a British lead they'll probably fail.
I think there is a long way till that happens and if there is a desired, merged future state REC&6N together, we should see some ‘markers’ at least a decade before...

So until then, we are still going to see REC making the same small steps that frustrate everybody who is close to the game.

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