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PRO Rugby USA

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby rusty_lock » Sat, 24 Dec 2016, 23:33

Scoob wrote:Do you think SAANZAR has convinced Nth America that unions are the only way to run the game professionally.Like another poster said it may work in NZL but wont work in USA.
It may be in SAANZARS best interest that unions run the show all over the world,probably for the benefit of SANZAAR based players so they are not lost to wealthy club owners.

I don't know if SAnZAR has anything to do with it but any objective assessment of RC and USAR would tell you that the resources aren't there. NZ, SA Wales draw massive numbers to test matches and generate unbelievable amounts of revenue. This allows them to centrally contract players whether they play for their respective national teams or not.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 11:53

iul wrote:
sk 88 wrote:So Schrodinger has put $5m into Pro Rugby. That's great and $5m more than anyone else but its just not enough to fund 5 teams and a league. That's about enough to fund 1 team properly in my opinion, based on what clubs in Europe cost to operate. I'm not sure a "single entity" can work when it is run by literally a single person as no one can drop $20m year for 10 years to build a properly resourced professional league.

Clubs in Europe have 15-20 coaches and some employ dozens of other employees to take care of their facilities, etc...
IMO PRO had it almost right the first season. They should have spent more on marketing, at least on social media, and they should have had some professionals in charge of their social media accounts.That's a few hundred thousands extra, not tens of millions as you seem to suggest.
I mock created a facebook advert targeted at people based in San Francisco and who have an interest in rugby and facebook tells me 90k people match this criteria. SF Rush average crowds were about 1% of that. Waaay to small. They got almost no attention from the local media, they should have invested in marketing.



To be a professional club you need these behind the scenes people, coaches, doctors, physios as well as the marketing people you correctly pinpoint. All of that costs money. If we just look at the players you need 40 players per squad, with 5 squads that's 200 players and at $40k a year (i.e. a salary enough to actually play for instead of building a career) that's $8m alone before you look at any ancillary costs at all.

He couldn't even afford to pay player's health care costs or even their lunches on $5m! Its clearly not enough to establish the league. You look at the accumulated losses through English rugby, particularly at the club's without a legacy of a decent stadium, and you will see $1m per season is just not enough seed capital needed to grow a team.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby iul » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 12:26

sk 88 wrote:
iul wrote:
sk 88 wrote:So Schrodinger has put $5m into Pro Rugby. That's great and $5m more than anyone else but its just not enough to fund 5 teams and a league. That's about enough to fund 1 team properly in my opinion, based on what clubs in Europe cost to operate. I'm not sure a "single entity" can work when it is run by literally a single person as no one can drop $20m year for 10 years to build a properly resourced professional league.

Clubs in Europe have 15-20 coaches and some employ dozens of other employees to take care of their facilities, etc...
IMO PRO had it almost right the first season. They should have spent more on marketing, at least on social media, and they should have had some professionals in charge of their social media accounts.That's a few hundred thousands extra, not tens of millions as you seem to suggest.
I mock created a facebook advert targeted at people based in San Francisco and who have an interest in rugby and facebook tells me 90k people match this criteria. SF Rush average crowds were about 1% of that. Waaay to small. They got almost no attention from the local media, they should have invested in marketing.



To be a professional club you need these behind the scenes people, coaches, doctors, physios as well as the marketing people you correctly pinpoint. All of that costs money. If we just look at the players you need 40 players per squad, with 5 squads that's 200 players and at $40k a year (i.e. a salary enough to actually play for instead of building a career) that's $8m alone before you look at any ancillary costs at all.

He couldn't even afford to pay player's health care costs or even their lunches on $5m! Its clearly not enough to establish the league. You look at the accumulated losses through English rugby, particularly at the club's without a legacy of a decent stadium, and you will see $1m per season is just not enough seed capital needed to grow a team.

You don't need 40 players / team for such a short season. You don't need to fully professionalize all of them either. I agree he should have spent more money on some things, but nowhere near the vast sums of money you were talking about.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 16:47

Probably there are more things we don't know involved. I wouldn't be surprised if we find news about PRO12 or even Super Rugby soon. Pichot & WR are intetested in direct NA's rugby development. Maybe these guys bet that Jaguare-Sunwolves model is better.
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby iul » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 20:06

victorsra wrote:Probably there are more things we don't know involved. I wouldn't be surprised if we find news about PRO12 or even Super Rugby soon. Pichot & WR are intetested in direct NA's rugby development. Maybe these guys bet that Jaguare-Sunwolves model is better.

Even then it would still make sense to have a pro domestic competition. Maybe move PRO to the same-ish time as the NPC / Currie Cup / ARC (or whatever it's called). Start in August, end in October.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby ogrelord » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 20:22

victorsra wrote:Probably there are more things we don't know involved. I wouldn't be surprised if we find news about PRO12 or even Super Rugby soon. Pichot & WR are intetested in direct NA's rugby development. Maybe these guys bet that Jaguare-Sunwolves model is better.


We already know for a fact that Canada and USA are in negotiations with both Pro 12 and Super Rugby. The only question is sorting out the logistics. They are difficult but not insurmountable. Both leagues are very keen to break into the North American market and if they can sort out the business end they will make it happen.

Also it has nothing to do with the model, it's for professionalism and networking. Pro 12 and Super Rugby have TV deals in place, established competitions, high standards of playing, etc, and the only issues are travel and money. PRO, as we now know, did not actually have enough money to fund a fully professional environment. What the two foreign leagues also bring is connections for RC and USAR, a foot in the door to international negotiations with decision makers. They think this will help their chances of getting more Tier 1 matches. We will see if this works out as they hope.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby sammo » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 20:27

ogrelord wrote:
We already know for a fact that Canada and USA are in negotiations with both Pro 12 and Super Rugby. The only question is sorting out the logistics. They are difficult but not insurmountable. Both leagues are very keen to break into the North American market and if they can sort out the business end they will make it happen.



Do we?! That's passed my by, source?

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby iul » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 21:26

sammo wrote:
ogrelord wrote:
We already know for a fact that Canada and USA are in negotiations with both Pro 12 and Super Rugby. The only question is sorting out the logistics. They are difficult but not insurmountable. Both leagues are very keen to break into the North American market and if they can sort out the business end they will make it happen.



Do we?! That's passed my by, source?

Both Canada Rugby and Pro12 confirmed on twitter they had "discussions" at that World Rugby conference in November

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Sun, 25 Dec 2016, 21:53

Even then it would still make sense to have a pro domestic competition. Maybe move PRO to the same-ish time as the NPC / Currie Cup / ARC (or whatever it's called). Start in August, end in October.


Yes, NRC in Australia, Currie Cup in South Africa, Mitre 10 Cup in NZ and Top League in Japan. But Argentina doesn't have any professional league. They rely on the strong level of their amateur club competitions. They have the National Championship with 9 rounds opening the season (DURING Super Rugby) and the regional leagues closing it. Australia for many years just had their amateur (or semi-pro, I don't know how Shute Shield and QPR operate) club regional league too.

Maybe develop the three big club leagues in USA in the begining (MLR, American Premiership and Pacific Premiershp) is a safer bet in their opinions (or better than seeing a league running out of their control). It would be more or less an Argentine approach of the rugby environment.

PS: I am NOT defending this position, as I was excited about PRO, but I am trying to see another point.
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Working Class Rugger » Mon, 26 Dec 2016, 05:07

victorsra wrote:
Even then it would still make sense to have a pro domestic competition. Maybe move PRO to the same-ish time as the NPC / Currie Cup / ARC (or whatever it's called). Start in August, end in October.


Yes, NRC in Australia, Currie Cup in South Africa, Mitre 10 Cup in NZ and Top League in Japan. But Argentina doesn't have any professional league. They rely on the strong level of their amateur club competitions. They have the National Championship with 9 rounds opening the season (DURING Super Rugby) and the regional leagues closing it. Australia for many years just had their amateur (or semi-pro, I don't know how Shute Shield and QPR operate) club regional league too.

Maybe develop the three big club leagues in USA in the begining (MLR, American Premiership and Pacific Premiershp) is a safer bet in their opinions (or better than seeing a league running out of their control). It would be more or less an Argentine approach of the rugby environment.

PS: I am NOT defending this position, as I was excited about PRO, but I am trying to see another point.


I actually think the PRP and ARP models are the best possible options for the club game to move toward a level of professionalism. Look to admit the Huns and Rugby Utah into the PRP while looking to push the likes of Santa Monica and Belmont Shore to look to form the spine of a Los Angeles team. OMBAC to work with othe San Diego clubs in order to become more of a representive squad from the city. Using a player loan system or something. Same with SFGG, O Club and Life West. Ideally, Denver and Glendale as well.

There needs to be some hard decisions made at that level in these regards. Mandate that each team needs to play at spectator friendly venues. No middle schools, or large parks. Grounds with seating and the ability add temp seating if necessary.

The ARP look to go to the same 6 team set up. Same criteria and ideally combined club sides. It's the model used in the NRC here in Aus. The clubs form the feeder system for these teams.

To start the align their two seasons and play a 10 round home and away season. Top 3 from each enter the finals series. Top seed from each the PRP and ARP have the first week off while the other 4 compete for a spot in the major semi finals. If it works out that the finalists are from the same 'conference' the higher seed hosts the final. If they are from two different 'conferences' it works the same unless they are both the top seeds and then it co,es down to for and against. All up 13 weeks.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby rusty_lock » Fri, 30 Dec 2016, 17:51

Not sure if everybody is aware of this yet but Todd Clever started a gofundme for Plates Cafe the nonprofit restaurant that got stiffed by PRO. It is such an awful embarrassment when I saw this I had to contribute immediately. I'm sure that most of you will want to also.

https://www.gofundme.com/covering-pro-r ... -at-plates

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby snapper37 » Fri, 30 Dec 2016, 17:58

rusty_lock wrote:Not sure if everybody is aware of this yet but Todd Clever started a gofundme for Plates Cafe the nonprofit restaurant that got stiffed by PRO. It is such an awful embarrassment when I saw this I had to contribute immediately. I'm sure that most of you will want to also.

https://www.gofundme.com/covering-pro-r ... -at-plates



Great find Thank you

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby snapper37 » Fri, 30 Dec 2016, 18:02

On a side note, I wonder if Douglas Schoninger went to Trump University. It seems that he has the same business plan as the new President elect.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby 4N » Fri, 30 Dec 2016, 18:22

No, I don't think Doug went to Trump U.

From an old Bloomberg article.

Donald Trump, the real estate developer-turned-reality-television star who promotes his business acumen as he ponders a U.S. presidential campaign, is a bust with global investors.

By 68 percent to 14 percent, the billionaire is viewed unfavorably by respondents in a Bloomberg Global Poll of investors, analysts and traders. In the U.S., where Trump is more widely known, his unfavorable rating climbs to 79 percent, while those viewing him favorably rises to 17 percent.

The last thing this country needs is an uber-political, self-serving, egomaniacal media junkie whose all-sizzle-no-steak approach to life and politics only distracts us all from the real issues and problems of our country,” said poll respondent Douglas Schoninger, 50, president of DJS Capital Management Inc. in New York.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby dropkick » Fri, 30 Dec 2016, 18:58

That bloomberg article tells you all you need to know about the economic system. The super rich hate the idea of a capitalist running the USA. They'd prefer things to remain as they are under the closet communist Obama.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby fullbackace » Fri, 30 Dec 2016, 21:16

dropkick wrote:That bloomberg article tells you all you need to know about the economic system. The super rich hate the idea of a capitalist running the USA. They'd prefer things to remain as they are under the closet communist Obama.

:lol: :lol: have you ever met a communist ?

Characterwise Trump reminds me of old low ranking Commies from USSR.
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby snapper37 » Sat, 31 Dec 2016, 18:07

fullbackace wrote:
dropkick wrote:That bloomberg article tells you all you need to know about the economic system. The super rich hate the idea of a capitalist running the USA. They'd prefer things to remain as they are under the closet communist Obama.

:lol: :lol: have you ever met a communist ?

Characterwise Trump reminds me of old low ranking Commies from USSR.



We are screwed here in North America.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby snapper37 » Sat, 31 Dec 2016, 18:16

dropkick wrote:That bloomberg article tells you all you need to know about the economic system. The super rich hate the idea of a capitalist running the USA. They'd prefer things to remain as they are under the closet communist Obama.



Really??? Obama is a Communist?

regardless politics aside Douglas Schoninger seems like a real DICK, I wish that ProRugby could make a go it but not under him. Rugby in NA will continue to struggle and to top it off League is now entering the Canadian market place, the next few years should be interesting.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Sat, 31 Dec 2016, 22:24

Mate, Communism is in the far-left of the traditional politics spectrum. Compared to European and Latin American politics, the Democrats are not even in the left side. You can maybe say Obama could be a centre-left, but it is highly questionable (and let's not enter in this discussion here, there are other threads for that). "Capitalist" and "communist" are definitly the wrong concepts to use in any analysis about it.

regardless politics aside Douglas Schoninger seems like a real DICK, I wish that ProRugby could make a go it but not under him. Rugby in NA will continue to struggle and to top it off League is now entering the Canadian market place, the next few years should be interesting.


About USA Rugby, I question one important thing: has the United States ANY exemple of a minor team sport that could break the barrier and turn from amateur to professional?

I am really not sure if a league made in a "traditional" way is the answer for USA's rugby. Well, I don't live in USA, I mght be wrong, but I will give my impressions.

The only team sport that emerged as a new professional reality (let's say, since the 90s) is soccer. But soccer is really different. First of all the MLS was created AFTER the huge success of the 1994 World Cup. AFTER. Before that all pro leagues (and there were many!) failed. In the 90s the Latin American community was already big and soccer had a safe market to grow. Plus the 90s were a significant change for what we can call "gobalisation". Cable TV and live international sports broadcasted became strong. People were more than ever exposed to what the rest of the world liked. Many non-Latin people started to enjoy soccer quickly. And more important: people always played soccer as a recreational thing. I also remember to read about parents changing mentality and the fact that many parents started to favour more and more soccer as a "less dangerous" sport for kids. And of course the marketing behind the World Cup and USA's average to good participations in the competition helped, it is THE global sport and THE global tournament. In other words, soccer in the 90s was a safe bet to invest (or at least safer than rugby in the 2010s).

As I can see reading all stuff people here and in other websites/books write, Rugby still lacks the general knowledge (even if it was poor and full of prejudice from more conservative people) that soccer enjoyed in the 90s. Also, there isn't a "safe market" consolidated for Rugby like the Latin Americans were for soccer.

Which are the other strong team sports in the world that are not professional in USA? The most important is Volleybal.. An Olympic sport in which USA has a strong team and great tradition. Volleyball is professional in Europe, in Brazil, in Japan, China... but not in USA. And as far as I remember there was some experiments to bring professional rugby to USA. But all failed. Cricket and Team Handball are the other two global sports I would mention. Handball is nothing there, but Cricket is another sport that I remember tried to build a league, as there is a signifcant Indian/Pakistani community there, but couldn't progress.

Lacrosse is difficult to compare because it a traditional North American sport and it is not global. They have two semipro leagues (or is one of them already full pro?). If Lacrosse can't make a full pro league it shows that is is not an easy thing to do with the traditional franchises model.

What I want to say is that rugby looks to have a pioneer mission. I might be wrong and forgeting something, but no team sport in the level of rugby's development was ever sucessful in USA buiding a pro league. Is it a matter of time? Is it a matter of trying an inovative strategy are different (maybe more easy to build) model?

Maybe the better way is to focus first in the University competitions? Well, USA Volleyball is strong because it is a game that looks well developed in the Universities and able to export good players to European professional clubs, making USA a strong national team.

Not sure of anything, but PRO Rugby's short story shows that the path needs a better plan. Everything was made from day to night. I am always sceptical about things done without strong and well studied concepts, plans and strategies behind. The idea of "I have ambition, I do" f*s the world. In PRO Rugby's case, it looks to have f*ed the players and staff like if people's lives are a detail. Typical a "rich dick"'s way of doing things.
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby iul » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 00:16

victorsra wrote:Mate, Communism is in the far-left of the traditional politics spectrum. Compared to European and Latin American politics, the Democrats are not even in the left side. You can maybe say Obama could be a centre-left, but it is highly questionable (and let's not enter in this discussion here, there are other threads for that). "Capitalist" and "communist" are definitly the wrong concepts to use in any analysis about it.

regardless politics aside Douglas Schoninger seems like a real DICK, I wish that ProRugby could make a go it but not under him. Rugby in NA will continue to struggle and to top it off League is now entering the Canadian market place, the next few years should be interesting.


About USA Rugby, I question one important thing: has the United States ANY exemple of a minor team sport that could break the barrier and turn from amateur to professional?

I am really not sure if a league made in a "traditional" way is the answer for USA's rugby. Well, I don't live in USA, I mght be wrong, but I will give my impressions.

The only team sport that emerged as a new professional reality (let's say, since the 90s) is soccer. But soccer is really different. First of all the MLS was created AFTER the huge success of the 1994 World Cup. AFTER. Before that all pro leagues (and there were many!) failed. In the 90s the Latin American community was already big and soccer had a safe market to grow. Plus the 90s were a significant change for what we can call "gobalisation". Cable TV and live international sports broadcasted became strong. People were more than ever exposed to what the rest of the world liked. Many non-Latin people started to enjoy soccer quickly. And more important: people always played soccer as a recreational thing. I also remember to read about parents changing mentality and the fact that many parents started to favour more and more soccer as a "less dangerous" sport for kids. And of course the marketing behind the World Cup and USA's average to good participations in the competition helped, it is THE global sport and THE global tournament. In other words, soccer in the 90s was a safe bet to invest (or at least safer than rugby in the 2010s).

As I can see reading all stuff people here and in other websites/books write, Rugby still lacks the general knowledge (even if it was poor and full of prejudice from more conservative people) that soccer enjoyed in the 90s. Also, there isn't a "safe market" consolidated for Rugby like the Latin Americans were for soccer.

Which are the other strong team sports in the world that are not professional in USA? The most important is Volleybal.. An Olympic sport in which USA has a strong team and great tradition. Volleyball is professional in Europe, in Brazil, in Japan, China... but not in USA. And as far as I remember there was some experiments to bring professional rugby to USA. But all failed. Cricket and Team Handball are the other two global sports I would mention. Handball is nothing there, but Cricket is another sport that I remember tried to build a league, as there is a signifcant Indian/Pakistani community there, but couldn't progress.

Lacrosse is difficult to compare because it a traditional North American sport and it is not global. They have two semipro leagues (or is one of them already full pro?). If Lacrosse can't make a full pro league it shows that is is not an easy thing to do with the traditional franchises model.

What I want to say is that rugby looks to have a pioneer mission. I might be wrong and forgeting something, but no team sport in the level of rugby's development was ever sucessful in USA buiding a pro league. Is it a matter of time? Is it a matter of trying an inovative strategy are different (maybe more easy to build) model?

Maybe the better way is to focus first in the University competitions? Well, USA Volleyball is strong because it is a game that looks well developed in the Universities and able to export good players to European professional clubs, making USA a strong national team.

Not sure of anything, but PRO Rugby's short story shows that the path needs a better plan. Everything was made from day to night. I am always sceptical about things done without strong and well studied concepts, plans and strategies behind. The idea of "I have ambition, I do" f*s the world. In PRO Rugby's case, it looks to have f*ed the players and staff like if people's lives are a detail. Typical a "rich dick"'s way of doing things.

The problem with PRO is that they're not a professional organization, they rushed things and they, according to them, used the first season as a kind of experiment, instead of focusing on making it work from the first year.
IMO they should have marketed waaay better online. According to facebook ads there are 90k people in San Fran with an interest in rugby, and about 230k in and around (40 miles radius) San Fran. There wasn't much media cover from the local or national media, so, how many of them were even aware of PRO's existence? Not that many probably.
PRO should have heavily invested heavily in facebook ads to grow their facebook page. Then they should have advertised to the fans their newsletter and app (where they could buy tickets, read news, get notifications about upcoming events). I once spent 50$ to get 500 Canadians to like a rugby page. That's just 10 cents / like. The cost for Americans is probably the same. Peanuts, really. Let's assume I'm some sort of facebook marketing genius and their costs would be double. Still... for 10k USD they could have gotten 50k local fans to follow them and they could have advertised to them.

The second large mistake is not extracting any revenues from rugby fans who don't live in the immediate vicinity of the places PRO has teams in. They should have established a paid streaming service for something like 100$ / season. They should have heavily advertised their streaming service on facebook, targeting rugby fans from the US. They should have also set up an affiliate program, and invite every single rugby club in the US to join and promote PRO's paid rugby streams in exchange for a commission (probably something like 50%)

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 02:04

victorsra wrote:Mate, Communism is in the far-left of the traditional politics spectrum. Compared to European and Latin American politics, the Democrats are not even in the left side. You can maybe say Obama could be a centre-left, but it is highly questionable (and let's not enter in this discussion here, there are other threads for that). "Capitalist" and "communist" are definitly the wrong concepts to use in any analysis about it.

regardless politics aside Douglas Schoninger seems like a real DICK, I wish that ProRugby could make a go it but not under him. Rugby in NA will continue to struggle and to top it off League is now entering the Canadian market place, the next few years should be interesting.


About USA Rugby, I question one important thing: has the United States ANY exemple of a minor team sport that could break the barrier and turn from amateur to professional?

I am really not sure if a league made in a "traditional" way is the answer for USA's rugby. Well, I don't live in USA, I mght be wrong, but I will give my impressions.

The only team sport that emerged as a new professional reality (let's say, since the 90s) is soccer. But soccer is really different. First of all the MLS was created AFTER the huge success of the 1994 World Cup. AFTER. Before that all pro leagues (and there were many!) failed. In the 90s the Latin American community was already big and soccer had a safe market to grow. Plus the 90s were a significant change for what we can call "gobalisation". Cable TV and live international sports broadcasted became strong. People were more than ever exposed to what the rest of the world liked. Many non-Latin people started to enjoy soccer quickly. And more important: people always played soccer as a recreational thing. I also remember to read about parents changing mentality and the fact that many parents started to favour more and more soccer as a "less dangerous" sport for kids. And of course the marketing behind the World Cup and USA's average to good participations in the competition helped, it is THE global sport and THE global tournament. In other words, soccer in the 90s was a safe bet to invest (or at least safer than rugby in the 2010s).

As I can see reading all stuff people here and in other websites/books write, Rugby still lacks the general knowledge (even if it was poor and full of prejudice from more conservative people) that soccer enjoyed in the 90s. Also, there isn't a "safe market" consolidated for Rugby like the Latin Americans were for soccer.

Which are the other strong team sports in the world that are not professional in USA? The most important is Volleybal.. An Olympic sport in which USA has a strong team and great tradition. Volleyball is professional in Europe, in Brazil, in Japan, China... but not in USA. And as far as I remember there was some experiments to bring professional rugby to USA. But all failed. Cricket and Team Handball are the other two global sports I would mention. Handball is nothing there, but Cricket is another sport that I remember tried to build a league, as there is a signifcant Indian/Pakistani community there, but couldn't progress.

Lacrosse is difficult to compare because it a traditional North American sport and it is not global. They have two semipro leagues (or is one of them already full pro?). If Lacrosse can't make a full pro league it shows that is is not an easy thing to do with the traditional franchises model.

What I want to say is that rugby looks to have a pioneer mission. I might be wrong and forgeting something, but no team sport in the level of rugby's development was ever sucessful in USA buiding a pro league. Is it a matter of time? Is it a matter of trying an inovative strategy are different (maybe more easy to build) model?

Maybe the better way is to focus first in the University competitions? Well, USA Volleyball is strong because it is a game that looks well developed in the Universities and able to export good players to European professional clubs, making USA a strong national team.

Not sure of anything, but PRO Rugby's short story shows that the path needs a better plan. Everything was made from day to night. I am always sceptical about things done without strong and well studied concepts, plans and strategies behind. The idea of "I have ambition, I do" f*s the world. In PRO Rugby's case, it looks to have f*ed the players and staff like if people's lives are a detail. Typical a "rich dick"'s way of doing things.


All the Lacrosse leagues are semi-pro. The issue is critical mass. For all the growth of sports like Rugby and Lacrosse neither have reached that point yet. It takes time to achieve and both are working toward it. The 94 WC was the event that pushed Soccer over the top in that regard after years of growth and development.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 02:40

iul wrote:
victorsra wrote:Mate, Communism is in the far-left of the traditional politics spectrum. Compared to European and Latin American politics, the Democrats are not even in the left side. You can maybe say Obama could be a centre-left, but it is highly questionable (and let's not enter in this discussion here, there are other threads for that). "Capitalist" and "communist" are definitly the wrong concepts to use in any analysis about it.

regardless politics aside Douglas Schoninger seems like a real DICK, I wish that ProRugby could make a go it but not under him. Rugby in NA will continue to struggle and to top it off League is now entering the Canadian market place, the next few years should be interesting.


About USA Rugby, I question one important thing: has the United States ANY exemple of a minor team sport that could break the barrier and turn from amateur to professional?

I am really not sure if a league made in a "traditional" way is the answer for USA's rugby. Well, I don't live in USA, I mght be wrong, but I will give my impressions.

The only team sport that emerged as a new professional reality (let's say, since the 90s) is soccer. But soccer is really different. First of all the MLS was created AFTER the huge success of the 1994 World Cup. AFTER. Before that all pro leagues (and there were many!) failed. In the 90s the Latin American community was already big and soccer had a safe market to grow. Plus the 90s were a significant change for what we can call "gobalisation". Cable TV and live international sports broadcasted became strong. People were more than ever exposed to what the rest of the world liked. Many non-Latin people started to enjoy soccer quickly. And more important: people always played soccer as a recreational thing. I also remember to read about parents changing mentality and the fact that many parents started to favour more and more soccer as a "less dangerous" sport for kids. And of course the marketing behind the World Cup and USA's average to good participations in the competition helped, it is THE global sport and THE global tournament. In other words, soccer in the 90s was a safe bet to invest (or at least safer than rugby in the 2010s).

As I can see reading all stuff people here and in other websites/books write, Rugby still lacks the general knowledge (even if it was poor and full of prejudice from more conservative people) that soccer enjoyed in the 90s. Also, there isn't a "safe market" consolidated for Rugby like the Latin Americans were for soccer.

Which are the other strong team sports in the world that are not professional in USA? The most important is Volleybal.. An Olympic sport in which USA has a strong team and great tradition. Volleyball is professional in Europe, in Brazil, in Japan, China... but not in USA. And as far as I remember there was some experiments to bring professional rugby to USA. But all failed. Cricket and Team Handball are the other two global sports I would mention. Handball is nothing there, but Cricket is another sport that I remember tried to build a league, as there is a signifcant Indian/Pakistani community there, but couldn't progress.

Lacrosse is difficult to compare because it a traditional North American sport and it is not global. They have two semipro leagues (or is one of them already full pro?). If Lacrosse can't make a full pro league it shows that is is not an easy thing to do with the traditional franchises model.

What I want to say is that rugby looks to have a pioneer mission. I might be wrong and forgeting something, but no team sport in the level of rugby's development was ever sucessful in USA buiding a pro league. Is it a matter of time? Is it a matter of trying an inovative strategy are different (maybe more easy to build) model?

Maybe the better way is to focus first in the University competitions? Well, USA Volleyball is strong because it is a game that looks well developed in the Universities and able to export good players to European professional clubs, making USA a strong national team.

Not sure of anything, but PRO Rugby's short story shows that the path needs a better plan. Everything was made from day to night. I am always sceptical about things done without strong and well studied concepts, plans and strategies behind. The idea of "I have ambition, I do" f*s the world. In PRO Rugby's case, it looks to have f*ed the players and staff like if people's lives are a detail. Typical a "rich dick"'s way of doing things.

The problem with PRO is that they're not a professional organization, they rushed things and they, according to them, used the first season as a kind of experiment, instead of focusing on making it work from the first year.
IMO they should have marketed waaay better online. According to facebook ads there are 90k people in San Fran with an interest in rugby, and about 230k in and around (40 miles radius) San Fran. There wasn't much media cover from the local or national media, so, how many of them were even aware of PRO's existence? Not that many probably.
PRO should have heavily invested heavily in facebook ads to grow their facebook page. Then they should have advertised to the fans their newsletter and app (where they could buy tickets, read news, get notifications about upcoming events). I once spent 50$ to get 500 Canadians to like a rugby page. That's just 10 cents / like. The cost for Americans is probably the same. Peanuts, really. Let's assume I'm some sort of facebook marketing genius and their costs would be double. Still... for 10k USD they could have gotten 50k local fans to follow them and they could have advertised to them.

The second large mistake is not extracting any revenues from rugby fans who don't live in the immediate vicinity of the places PRO has teams in. They should have established a paid streaming service for something like 100$ / season. They should have heavily advertised their streaming service on facebook, targeting rugby fans from the US. They should have also set up an affiliate program, and invite every single rugby club in the US to join and promote PRO's paid rugby streams in exchange for a commission (probably something like 50%)


If or more likely when PRO falls through which I'm leaning more towards as the collective goodwill it once possessed is quickly eroding. I think there are other avenues to explore regarding transitioning toward some kind of professional structure. But it would likely have to be more elite amateur competition to start.

Coloradoan has floated very similar ideas in the past and its something I think would be more workable to start and build upon. A Elite City 7s format involving 12 squads from cities. When looking at the participating squads of that structure it split evenly East and West. Representing arguably the 12 strongest Rugby regiins in the US. That's the template.

Set it up as a post season representative structure. Look to combine it with the CRC. Split it into two 8 conferences. Each team plays their in conference team once for 7 games. Top 4 from each conference progress to the finals. Quarters, semi, final. All up 10 weeks. To start.

You won't be playing players at first. So you only need to cover costs. That means travel, accomodation and facilities. Facilities will be key. They have to be spectator friendly.

A big part of this would be as you suggest really marketing this to the Rugby community and set up some kind of broadcast option. Considering PRO averaged around 1700 a game that should be the minimum target. And those numbers should help cover the costs. Whatever is left over then could be put aside for the next season. And build from there.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 03:14

When I say concepts and plan is indeed part of what you iul and WCR are saying. When they started the league they need a strong plan of which kind of public were they targeting and how it would be done, which image they wanted for the teams and the league, which kind of bounds were they seeking. In other word, who was the market rugby was going to explore and how to make it fully explored. It may look easy the answer but it is not. They needed to study deeply the American rugby community and have more months marketing and community work.

Any sports league is not just a business. It has a social dimension crucial to its success. Teams must mean something in many ways.

Of course I wasnt in any match to tell better, but I dont believe it is a work that can be done that quickly. They rushed. They could have launched a semi pro/ amateur small league in 2016, maybe with representativw regional teams, focused first on venues, spectators experience, marketing and broadcast, to move to a professional expanded set up in 2017 for exemple, with regional teams becoming franchises.

And happy 2017 to everybody :)
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 03:35

victorsra wrote:When I say concepts and plan is indeed part of what you iul and WCR are saying. When they started the league they need a strong plan of which kind of public were they targeting and how it would be done, which image they wanted for the teams and the league, which kind of bounds were they seeking. In other word, who was the market rugby was going to explore and how to make it fully explored. It may look easy the answer but it is not. They needed to study deeply the American rugby community and have more months marketing and community work.

Any sports league is not just a business. It has a social dimension crucial to its success. Teams must mean something in many ways.

Of course I wasnt in any match to tell better, but I dont believe it is a work that can be done that quickly. They rushed. They could have launched a semi pro/ amateur small league in 2016, maybe with representativw regional teams, focused first on venues, spectators experience, marketing and broadcast, to move to a professional expanded set up in 2017 for exemple, with regional teams becoming franchises.

And happy 2017 to everybody :)


That's the key. Building everything in and around the on field product to build toward a point where players can be paid. If the fan experience is solid and they can identify with the teams involved then you can really build something worthwhile over a 5 to 10 year period.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby iul » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 09:04

Working Class Rugger wrote:
victorsra wrote:When I say concepts and plan is indeed part of what you iul and WCR are saying. When they started the league they need a strong plan of which kind of public were they targeting and how it would be done, which image they wanted for the teams and the league, which kind of bounds were they seeking. In other word, who was the market rugby was going to explore and how to make it fully explored. It may look easy the answer but it is not. They needed to study deeply the American rugby community and have more months marketing and community work.

Any sports league is not just a business. It has a social dimension crucial to its success. Teams must mean something in many ways.

Of course I wasnt in any match to tell better, but I dont believe it is a work that can be done that quickly. They rushed. They could have launched a semi pro/ amateur small league in 2016, maybe with representativw regional teams, focused first on venues, spectators experience, marketing and broadcast, to move to a professional expanded set up in 2017 for exemple, with regional teams becoming franchises.

And happy 2017 to everybody :)


That's the key. Building everything in and around the on field product to build toward a point where players can be paid. If the fan experience is solid and they can identify with the teams involved then you can really build something worthwhile over a 5 to 10 year period.

They already have plenty of amateur clubs and they all play in front of two men and a dog. You need to promote the competition as professional if you want the punters to come in in large numbers. The PRP and the ARP are older and fit your description of what things should be, so why don't they average 1700 paying fans?

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