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PRO Rugby USA

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 10:03

iul wrote:
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?


The club scene is a very fractured and parochial area of the game. It's something the US and Australia share. That's why we now have the NRC.

Which is actually a solid model for the USA to follow if you ask me. It is a structure that has to overcome many similar issues to that the US does in terms of covering vast distances, expenses involved in that and limited funds to do so. It costs the ARU $1.5m to run a season whichcis covered by a sponsorship deal with over PayTV provider. On top of this the 8 franchises are set a $300,000 operating budget. The season runs a short 10 week season. At $300k a squad each player in a squad of 30 would earn $10k. Which for what would like a 14 week commitment (four week preseason) isn't too bad.

The whole season comes in at around $4m in costs. That may be more achievable to start and as players are being paid so it would be 'professional'.

While I suggested a much larger structure above this would probably be a better structure to begin with and if RugbyCanada wants to be involved they can find the funding for themselves.

Go with 8 franchises 4 east and 4 west. So two conferences. Play your in conference opponents twice and inter conference opponents once for 10 games. Market it as 'professional' picking the best possible squads from each city/region.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 12:29

Of course I wasnt in any match to tell better, but I dont believe it is a work that can be done that quickly.


Sorry, I meant "can'T be done that quickly".
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby dropkick » Sun, 01 Jan 2017, 22:43

snapper37 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.



Really??? Obama is a Communist?



He is but hasn't come out of the closet. Socialism is the modern, softer term. ;)


Speaking of which, isn't that part of the leagues problem? You can't really micromanage things from the top. You have to let teams manage themselves as much as possible. The clubs themselves might have to be more business like.


A good example of that is Connacht. The IRFU were going to close Connacht. They decided instead to hand over the running of Connacht to a group of local businessmen. That was about 5 years ago. Ever since then it's been a great success.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Mon, 02 Jan 2017, 12:48

He is but hasn't come out of the closet. Socialism is the modern, softer term. ;)


Socialism and Communism are different things, far from being synonims, and Socialism is even older as a concept than Communism. Both go back to the 19th century and both are not more than a huge range of different ideas that just have something in common. You can search, it is just a suggestion.

We are in a world loaded of information and the basic knowledge about History or Politics looks to be missing everywhere in dangerous ways... we have opinions about everything believing that things are obvious. They look simple because we don't know much more.

Speaking of which, isn't that part of the leagues problem? You can't really micromanage things from the top. You have to let teams manage themselves as much as possible. The clubs themselves might have to be more business like.


A good example of that is Connacht. The IRFU were going to close Connacht. They decided instead to hand over the running of Connacht to a group of local businessmen. That was about 5 years ago. Ever since then it's been a great success.


Good point. I believe PRO Rugby is unique because they created teams from zero (different from Super Rugby and PRO12, that used the regional teams traditions) and completely controled by the league. A combine that is not present in any rugby league. Difficult to say if it works after just one season.
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby eal22 » Mon, 02 Jan 2017, 23:35

4N wrote:I'd say setting up and folding in SF within a year is a bad look. Especially when the public is being appealed to for venue suggestions elsewhere. As others said, PRO have to be careful to avoid large, oversaturated markets, which also tend to have venue concerns - so why are they asking for places to play in NYC and Chicago? Lessons need to be learned quickly in order for the new league to succeed.

And it's fair to wonder how much time has been wasted on the Kings New Orleans proposal, which is another market that raises eyebrows to say the least.


Teams in big markets are essential for tv contracts. No national tv network in the USA will bother with a league that has teams in Billings and Columbus.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby 4N » Tue, 03 Jan 2017, 03:29

Is PRO even looking for a TV deal at this point. Pretty sure Columbus is basically their model after season 1.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby eal22 » Tue, 03 Jan 2017, 03:58

4N wrote:Is PRO even looking for a TV deal at this point. Pretty sure Columbus is basically their model after season 1.


Surely PRO's founders must have a tv contract in mind, even if longterm. Why else would one start a professional sporting league?

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby 4N » Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 19:54

Apparently PRO players have been notified that contracts are being restructured and the preseason begins in April...

https://www.reddit.com/r/prorugby/comme ... _in_april/

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby rusty_lock » Tue, 17 Jan 2017, 23:32

It's going to be extremely ironic if PRO succeeds this year and continues to grow in spite of the national (USA and Canada) unions pissing on them.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 18 Jan 2017, 03:40

It's hard to see PRO succeeding unless they are willing to:

1. Pay the players from last year what they are owed, legally or morally.
2. Agree to reasonable contract stipulations going forward from the USRPA
3. Invest in actual marketing outside of social media

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 18 Jan 2017, 05:03

Coloradoan wrote:It's hard to see PRO succeeding unless they are willing to:

1. Pay the players from last year what they are owed, legally or morally.
2. Agree to reasonable contract stipulations going forward from the USRPA
3. Invest in actual marketing outside of social media


The first two could be the biggest sticking point. With the advent of the USRPA he's now dealing with the players as a bloc not as individuals and considering all the talk of recent weeks you cannpt imagine they'll be all that willing to be too flexible. If PRO manages to get them to overlook the backpay (which would be awfully generous of them) you can almost be sure they'll push to ensure the new contracts are much more balanced in their constituents favour. Or at least they should.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Suiram » Wed, 18 Jan 2017, 07:24

at least more consistent in terms of the base terms and clauses.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby snapper37 » Wed, 18 Jan 2017, 16:57

rusty_lock wrote:It's going to be extremely ironic if PRO succeeds this year and continues to grow in spite of the national (USA and Canada) unions pissing on them.



I see it the other way around. Doug has been flashing a big FUCK you middle finger. I wouldn't do business with someone who doesn't pay his bills.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby 4N » Sun, 29 Jan 2017, 15:12

More wheeling than in a scrum
January 29, 2017 George Byron

Financier returns to New York after meetings to buy stake in EP Rugby

There was “cloak and dagger” intrigue when American businessman Douglas Schoninger flew into South Africa on Sunday to begin negotiations to buy a 74% stake in the troubled EP Rugby Union.

It was meant to be a secret visit and nobody, apart from rugby’s bigwigs, were supposed to know that the New York financier was in Cape Town to make his move.

However, the presence of the boss of Pro Rugby North America at the colonial-style Cullinan Hotel on Cape Town’s waterfront would not go unnoticed.

Clearly, SA Rugby did not want anyone to know about the talks and president Mark Alexander referred all questions to his media department.

Usually the rugby grapevine is buzzing, but this time everybody was staying shtum.

They were clearly worried about excommunication from the inner circles of South Africa’s closely-knit rugby family for being loose-lipped. Well, almost everybody. Even the architect of the “American Alliance”, Tony McKeever, would not comment on a move which has the potential to put the cash-strapped EP Rugby Union back on its feet.

McKeever said that a “news blackout” had been agreed by Schoninger and SA Rugby because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

Saru spokesman Andy Colquhoun said they did not give a running commentary on their operations when asked about Schoninger’s trip.

However, bits and pieces about Schoninger’s secret visit slowly started to leak out and this information showed just how serious the American was about sealing a deal.

Schoninger also had an informal meeting at the invitation of Alexander at a braai at the Cullinan Hotel on Sunday.

Last year Schoninger met Alexander in London, when talk of his interest in buying a stake in EP Rugby first surfaced.

Alexander has said previously that the increase in private stakeholding in provincial unions had “attracted a lot of interest both locally and abroad”.

“We’ve asked them to hold off until we’ve put the model in place but the guys want to talk now,” Alexander said.

Although SA Rugby and McKeever threw a veil of secrecy over the meetings with the liquidator, it is believed that a deal could be struck next week.

One of the liquidators, Danie Acker, confirmed that negotiations were under way with interested parties. “I am currently not at liberty to give detailed information,” Acker said.

“Yes, we are talking to interested parties.

“We are positive that a deal is possible, but I cannot disclose names or more than that. Hopefully we will be able to give more information by next week.”

Insiders said the terms and conditions of the acquisition of 74% of EP Rugby Pty Ltd and its commercial rights were discussed between Schoninger and the liquidator.

Sources said a sticking point to any deal, which will need Sanzaar approval, is that Schoninger wants the Kings entrenched in Super Rugby until 2020.

He also wants the EP Kings to be included in the top-flight Currie Cup Premier Division and not relegated to the lower First Division.

But it is believed that nobody could give Schoninger any guarantees about the future status of the Kings and this concerned him.


Sanzaar are only meeting in March to decide on the structure of Super Rugby beyond 2017, and this was probably the reason why an agreement was not signed while the American was still in town.

Sources said the plans for a Kings takeover were so advanced that new-look jerseys had been designed for the team to play in.

The Cape Town meetings took place less than four weeks before the Southern Kings play their opening Super Rugby match against the Jaguares in Port Elizabeth on February 25. Only last month, SA Rugby downplayed reports that Schoninger was interested in buying a stake in the Kings.

News of the American Alliance first broke on November 4 last year when it emerged that Schoninger had written a letter to SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux expressing his interest in EP Rugby.

Earlier, Schoninger had applauded SA Rugby for increasing the private ownership stake in South African Super Rugby franchises to 74%.

This decision, taken last year, appeared to have boosted plans for a proposed American Alliance.

Weekend Post is in possession of a letter Schoninger wrote to Roux in which he said a unique opportunity existed to form a strategic alliance between Saru, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and Pro Rugby North America.

Schoninger flew back to New York on Tuesday and said he could not comment on the talks.

Because he could not get key guarantees, the American may be less bullish about sealing a deal than when he first landed in South Africa.

http://www.heraldlive.co.za/sport/2017/ ... n-a-scrum/

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Mon, 06 Mar 2017, 22:15

Any news about the league? Well, ARC is over...

I've seen PRO's facebook page and it is really sad how unprefessional are their posts now, complaining about PRO12.

Of course they are upset about the situation, but the League's official page should never be used to do that stuff. For me it is another signal of death.
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby TheStroBro » Mon, 06 Mar 2017, 22:34

That's pretty much everything.

PRO could try to have a season to keep it's sanctioning agreement for another year...but it's pending litigation as either Doug is suing for damages or USAR is suing to terminate for cause.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Mon, 06 Mar 2017, 22:59

The second effort to purchase the Super Rugby franchise Kings came to nothing too so I think it is back to square one.

Schoninger has the money for two more years but whether he'd go for the hassle and investment knowing there is almost no possibility of cooperation with the US or Canadian unions seems highly doubtful given how important he considers exclusivity.

He may just be bloody minded enough to go for it on the not unreasonable assumption that the Pro12 overtures North America won't come to anything and that North American unions will have no viable professional alternatives. But it is easy for Pro12 to whisper sweet nothings to the unions while giving no commitment until the exclusivity deal ends. They can play the waiting game at no expense while Schoninger runs out of cash or enthusiasm.

Plus I've not seen any sign of anyone with rugby knowledge taking the place of Steven Lewis following his hasty departure and I'd question Schoninger's ability to get a fifth or sixth franchise up and running since he formally binned San Francisco.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby Working Class Rugger » Mon, 06 Mar 2017, 23:41

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:The second effort to purchase the Super Rugby franchise Kings came to nothing too so I think it is back to square one.

Schoninger has the money for two more years but whether he'd go for the hassle and investment knowing there is almost no possibility of cooperation with the US or Canadian unions seems highly doubtful given how important he considers exclusivity.

He may just be bloody minded enough to go for it on the not unreasonable assumption that the Pro12 overtures North America won't come to anything and that North American unions will have no viable professional alternatives. But it is easy for Pro12 to whisper sweet nothings to the unions while giving no commitment until the exclusivity deal ends. They can play the waiting game at no expense while Schoninger runs out of cash or enthusiasm.

Plus I've not seen any sign of anyone with rugby knowledge taking the place of Steven Lewis following his hasty departure and I'd question Schoninger's ability to get a fifth or sixth franchise up and running since he formally binned San Francisco.


I seriously doubt we'll see a second season or an extension of sanctioning. I can see USARugby opting inform them of their intent not to continue with sanctioning in October.

As for pro alternatives. There are. Major League Rugby will be pro and appear to wamt to seek out sanctioning.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby victorsra » Tue, 07 Mar 2017, 00:05

Interesting to remember some recent failures of pro leagues in T2/3 countries. I remember the Spanish Superiberica league, the Fijian Colonial Cup... is Kenyan Bamburi Super Series alive?
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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 09 Mar 2017, 20:06

So...if it isn't officially dead, it's about as official as possible. Doug released the coaches from Sacramento, San Diego and Denver from employment.

http://rugbywrapup.com/2017/03/pro-rugb ... y-coaches/

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby cardiffrcm » Thu, 09 Mar 2017, 20:34

TheStroBro wrote:So...if it isn't officially dead, it's about as official as possible. Doug released the coaches from Sacramento, San Diego and Denver from employment.

http://rugbywrapup.com/2017/03/pro-rugb ... y-coaches/


"we are awaiting a confirmation of commitment from USA Rugby
" Translation? How about; 'I'm going to (or have) make unreasonable demands of USAR, and when they fail to provide them - use it as an excuse to sue them'

“I look forward to a 2nd season as per the agreement that is in place and based on the reassurances that PRO continues to provide.” Translation? 'How about; 'We don't think it's going to happen, but we are not going to give him any reason to sue us.'

“Regardless of what people think about PRO and the negative effects it had on rugby in the USA, it was a huge success in a lot of ways. We had near 140 professional players and coaches that it helped. Look at the ARC team that just won… They had what, 9 players in the 23-member squad for the last match?" Translation? How about; 'It was awesome whilst it lasted, USA Rugby desperately needs a professional domestic tournament.'

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 09 Mar 2017, 21:06

A professional domestic structure is a part of the Rugby Strategy 2020. If Doug wants to put forward a professionally run organization that doesn't bring disdain for the game in the greater community At-Large I'm sure USAR would have been behind him and renegotiating the deal would have been interesting.

But, Doug chose to be one of the greatest professional assholes of all time.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby 4N » Thu, 09 Mar 2017, 22:27

TheStroBro wrote:So...if it isn't officially dead, it's about as official as possible. Doug released the coaches from Sacramento, San Diego and Denver from employment.

http://rugbywrapup.com/2017/03/pro-rugb ... y-coaches/


Other than that, Mr. Schoninger said he was not allowed to comment further for now. He did say, however, he is always available to speak with any USA Rugby Board member, member of its Congress or USA Rugby executive in public or in private. When I then asked if he’d be willing to participate in a Town Hall hosted by yours truly that included USA Rugby Board members and/or CEO Payne, Schoninger said:
“How’s tomorrow? I’ll be there.”


Says it all. USAR charged people to attend their 'town hall' in NYC btw.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 09 Mar 2017, 23:17

4N wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:Says it all. USAR charged people to attend their 'town hall' in NYC btw.

Yeah, it's getting edited and will be on youtube for free. It was called a town hall...I call it a fundraiser.

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Re: PRO Rugby USA

Postby 4N » Fri, 10 Mar 2017, 20:11

Don't know about you guys but this is something I would like to see.

https://mobile.twitter.com/ProRugbyUSA/ ... 8838099970

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