RFL backed in to a corner


The RFL has backed itself in to a corner with regards to sponsorship, according to an industry insider.

With just over a fortnight until the start of the new season, Super League, the Championships and the Challenge Cup all remain without a sponsor.

Commercial director James Mercer had said last year that he expected there would be a string of announcements to make before the end of 2012.

But the decision last year to offer sponsorship of the top flight to Stobart in exchange for nothing other than branding on 100 of its trucks, is backfiring.

An industry insider told Running Rugby: “When a company and a rights-holder enter into negotiations for a sponsorship deal they both need to ask themselves where would the partnership fit into their values and mission statements. Quite apart from the structure of the deal, Stobart was never really a good fit for rugby league.

“There will be a lot of tough questions asked: `What do we get out of it? Will any deal be of a high enough profile? What kind of kudos would we gain from it? What is the right level of expenditure?` The RFL seems to have been pushed into a corner.

“Companies will be doing their research not into what rugby league can do for them, but how their involvement would impact on their business. In a recession it would be a tough deal to crack.”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.runningrugby.com/marketing-and-sponsorship/rfl-forced-into-a-corner-in-sponsorship-chase/