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My 2c worth

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by rmd, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. rmd

    rmd Active Member

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    A ‘newbie’ on the site but a long time Manly fan and reader of both the MWSE Forum and Silvertails and even back to the time when, correct me if I am wrong, but Aaron actually ran a separate site that was them amalgamated with the MWSE site. I thought, finally, after seeing so many ‘passionate’ posts (Mark, you got me) in the last month or so and apparent frustration, I’d throw my 2 cents in for what it’s worth.

    As a CEO of a multi national organisation, I completely understand why the club stopped the forum. Communication as to why may have been better but that’s history now so let’s move on and we do have another site for ‘free speech’. I can’t see any benefit in revisiting negative criticism about their decision of cessation of the MWSE Forum other than thanks Dan and the moderators here for providing so many Manly fans with the opportunity to vent their spleen… so to speak. It can be a great read and humorous on many occasions. But, thankfully it is dissociated (to some extent) with the Manly brand that we all love.

    Communication is critical to the success of any organisation and Manly RLFC management as an organisation may be perceived by many on this site to have done so less than you expect. Unfortunately that’s a sign of the times where communication is now almost instant and obviously MRLFC management need to address this in some way and come to terms with fan expectation. I think when Aaron was there they managed it quite well but in his absence they have struggled.

    My organisation actually works with MUFC and Chelsea FC so I have fair understanding of the changes in fan expectation with the new communication technology but, you need to bear with MRLFC management as they come to terms with it, it can be quite frightening and unexpected by all us over 40’s, but we need to adapt and so to does MRLFC management.

    This is not a Graeme Lowe love fest that follows but I think at least he needs some sort of compliment for what he has done to date even though many appear disaffected by the lack of communication.

    So we are after a new sponsor to commit somewhere in the vicinity of $1 million a year and what do they see at the moment in a due diligence review of the potential value of the sponsorship? (some figures may be inaccurate to some degree but bear with me)
    1) Manly has a home ground which is probably rated the worst of all home grounds in terms of quality in the NRL
    2) Attendances at Manly home games is one of the lowest of all Sydney NRL clubs
    3) Manly ticketed membership is the lowest of all Sydney NRL clubs
    4) Manly has the lowest incidence of free to air television games
    5) Manly has recently cancelled its own website forum due to disaffected fans and members
    6)Manly is one of the most disliked teams in the NRL by fans of other teams
    7) Manly has supposedly one of the highest fan bases of any teams but this cannot be quantified accurately

    Graeme Lowe to my mind has been doing quite a good job for his first year and given his lack of experience in a similar role, he seems highly respected by the media as I certainly haven’t heard anything negative about him and player managers, in the main, seem quite content.

    He has screamed loudly about the quality of Brookvale Oval and made threats to a seemingly dysfunctional council regarding the quality of the facilities and playing surface which has now been widely reported in the media. Although nothing has happened to improve facilities to the standard we all would like and MRLFC would like, at least noises are being made and I am sure, well hope at least, that something will happen and potential sponsors may also feel the same.

    Given the low attendance at Brookvale Oval, Lowe has sought out other venues where income could be forthcoming but clearly the club needs to try and attract additional fans to home games at Brookvale and all this talk about the poor facilities may also be impacting on the club’s ability to draw fans to the ground so too is the scheduling of games by the NRL. So, maybe his tactic of taking Manly games elsewhere, although disliked by many on this site may actually contribute to the survival of the club financially.

    I don’t know what Graeme’s doing about Manly ticketed membership but it seriously is an issue that needs to be addressed and comments on this forum seem to indicate that it will be lower next year which makes it even a worse proposition to a potential sponsor. I am sure many of you have wonderful ideas how the club can add value and make membership more attractive and how we can attract new members so why not start a separate heading on ‘Building the membership database’ on this site. I am sure Graeme realises that every input no matter how stupid it may sound in original concept can potentially turn into a brilliant idea.

    Graeme Lowe has also screamed loudly to the media about the low incidence of Manly free to air television games and in reality it was not for the fans but for the sponsors, the clubs bread and butter. To what effect this has had on Channel 9 will be seen in the next 6 weeks but at least he has been seen by potential sponsors to be doing the right thing.

    There was obviously a conscious commercial decision to cancel the website forum as no potential sponsor would like to be associated with disaffected fans and members. You may not like it but, if it was your company and your brand I am sure you would do the same. Sure, it could have been handled better.

    As for the fact that we’re probably the most disliked team in the competition (well aside from Melbourne now)  I am not so sure that ‘No one likes us we don’t care’ really helps the brand. I can’t imagine Pespi being too thrilled with ‘Pepsi.. no one likes it we don’t care’, but it is good as a tongue in cheek and it was fun for a while but it’s not really attractive for a major sponsor. MUFC is probably the most hated club in the UK but they certainly don’t boast about it.

    Lowe has tried to expand Manly’s fan base by expanding it to NZ and PNG thereby expanding the potential reach for a potential sponsor which would certainly also make it more attractive.

    I don’t know what strategies he is trying to implement to entice Manly’s supposedly high passive fan base but that’s obviously an objective he has to try and address. Ideas I am sure would be welcome.

    Graeme Lowe has a huge job to do and he hasn’t been helped by what happened in 2009. Whoever let what happened in 2009 at the launch party at the Wharf Hotel should be sacked and I sincerely hope they were as they contributed to a massive destruction in the value of a brand that will take quite some years to build again, not from a fan perspective but from a sponsorship value perspective. I believe this event was the most destructive event for the brand in the Manly’s history aside from the merger with Norths.

    Manly in 2008 was a benchmark for other clubs. They had the personal security manager, the flat where players used to retreat to, to do whatever, Poker, drink etc, I used to be so proud that our team were never in trouble, that we’d taken steps to provide them with a separate venue, that from all reports they enjoyed. They were the ultimate model for the NRL. They set the benchmark and that was all destroyed in one crazy day.

    Player signings also seem to be a major concern at the moment among a lot of posts here, particularly Steve Mattai but please let’s try to be a little realistic. None of us know what Steve’s manager is asking for in a new contract and it may be totally left field. If I was Steve, I would be asking for a 3 year contract at $200k+. But, given his potentially limited life in the game due to his injuries and taking into account his suspension history, in terms of due diligence, those that decide his new contract have to decide how many years does Steve have left to play in his current value status. Don’t get me wrong here because I think Steve has been one of our best, if not our best player this year but, he’s already missed several games due to suspension and injury. So, relative to other players, how much per game are we prepared to pay him? Let’s now benchmark others who we have in Toyota Cup or Sunshine Coast (in terms of potential) or those that are available off contract from other clubs. Is Steve affordable at his asking price? Maybe not! But all due credit to Steve and his manager, he has to look after his life because what is he going to do after Rugby League? The guy’s less than 30 and out of a job and most companies, given his medical records, will not touch him with a barge pole! I’d rather he didn’t leave but if he has to look after his family, I wish him the best in the future and thanks for the enjoyment you’ve given all of us and your commitment to the club in the past.

    So what is Manly missing in 2010 that has us 2 points outside of the top 4 at this stage of the competition? Yes everyone, that’s right, we are just 2 points outside of the top 4 and while the sky was falling at Parramatta last week all of a sudden it’s back to the Hayne Train and they are 2 points behind us and the media’s talking about Grand final again.


    I don’t know any of the team members but from everything I am aware of from 2008 and before, it seems to be the player management between games…Beaver and…. The Kennedy culture is missing. Certainly, the best coach in the competition is still there even if you don’t agree with his selections or even think he's qabout to be sacked, he’s still achieved what most coaches aspire to and have never achieved and will continue to do so.

    So, that’s my 2 cents worth, well may be quite a few dollars more but certainly much less than most of you post in a week from what I’ve seen. I hope you take it in the context it was meant in trying to take a balanced view. Graeme Lowe may not be the best administrator we have ever had but I feel he has been unnecessarily criticised by many who know as much as I do about the objectives he has been asked to achieve by the owners of the club. Manly is a brand, like it or not, and the major part of that brand is the team. Manchester United and Chelsea recognised that they are brands many years ago and as a result it has created extreme wealth for the clubs because they have managed it well and they recognised they not only need exposure in the UK but also throughout the world. It looks to me that Manly are not so much expanding the brand throughout the world but now trying to expand in Asia Pac which augurs well for the brand and the future of our club.
     
  2. Dessy

    Dessy Active Member

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    Agree with many of your points.
    Correct me if i am wrong but is Graeme Lowe only signed up for 12 months? If so, he seems to be a stop gap solution? He has done his job as he was appointed to do. He is the kind of person that Manly has needed to restore so called "peace" between the Delmage and Penn families. At least these dramas are not being played in the papers as they were last year.

    Remember after 2008 the players who played in the Grand Final, there market price would have increased just for being in the team. It is not realistic to think that we are going to keep all the players from our premiership winning side.
    The decision has to be made soon. Whether to keep a top 8 team for the next few years and try and keep most of our aging players. e.g Kite, Robertson, Matai, Rodney, Gnaluvao, Cross, Bailey.
    Or sacrifice top 8 positions in the next few years for a premiership in 4-5 years with players such as Foran, Hopoate, Lussick, T-Rex, Cherry Evans, Buhrer. Short term pain for long term gain?

    Manly as a brand is suffering from playing at Brookvale Oval. With no more funding coming from the state and federal govts. and Warringah Council being the constant pain in the arse that they are, Manly are going to struggle to survive by playing at Brookvale as sponsors just won't have a bar of us. Whether this means moving a substantial amount of our home games to different venues then maybe that has to happen. It is good that Lowe is looking at alternative options.
     
  3. TokyoEagle

    TokyoEagle Well-Known Member

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    Great 1st post there rmd, agree with most of what you have said and hope that some read it and think about their stance on some of the issues being thrown about lately.
     
  4. Innes

    Innes Member

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    Great write up mate, totally agree with everything you have written.
    I just get the feeling that our club (CEO in particular) could be doing so much more - just look at what Todd Greenberg has done for the Dogs, look at the membership sales of Souffs.
     
  5. Mark from Brisbane

    Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

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    WOW......RMD what a first post...welcome mate...also to Lyon-Roars and Innes as well (if we haven't already welcomed you on board).

    RMD will be interesting to see how the many "scribes" on here react to what you have said.....I wait with great interest!!
     
  6. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Terrific first post.
    On membership the club has employed Sarah Brady from the Brisbane Lions to boost the numbers and provide packages that appeal to supporters.
     
  7. bob dylan

    bob dylan Well-Known Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Top post and welcome.

    I keep hearing things about Greenberg and Searle and what great CEO's they are.

    Can someone let me know what they are doing that is so good??

    At least when when Waldron was at the Storm we seen a result, this other pair just get "talked up" and "talked up" but cant can't see any great results.

    Actually under Greenberg the dogs should change their name to "The Lost Dogs" because it seems they sign every second player on the market that no one else wants.
     
  8. WAMF

    WAMF Well-Known Member

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    RMD, a good read and well thought out.
    However, can you not see the contradiction you put forth?

    On one hand you say many fans have become disaffected by the actions of Sea Eagles management re forum closure, perceived lack of up to date communication ect. On the other hand, you suggest that those same disafected people come up with ideas for a business that they feel don't care about them once your money is in their bank acct.  
    Worse still the club has not asked it's members and fans to provide membership suggestions to the club.
    Lowe could have maintained the same level of communication/consultation with members as his predecessor did so well. Not to be and the horse has bolted as far as that is concerned.

    I made a suggestion a week or so ago in a separate thread, that the Sea Eagles would be well served sending a questionnaire to members to gauge what those that already pay to support the team would like from the club in future memberships and most importantly, how they perceive the club at present.

    I strongly believe that until the Sea Eagles engage their customer base and show some interest,  little will change off the field.
     
  9. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    That isnt a contradictions WAMF.

    What he is saying is to offer solutions instead of whinging about a problem.

    I am not sure what industry you are in, but in the corporate world, I rarely approach management or my boss with a problem without some at least basic suggestions on how to fix it or improve the situation. If I do, I know what the response will be
     
  10. WAMF

    WAMF Well-Known Member

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    And what I'm saying Dan, is offering solutions to an organisation that has current runs on the board for disaffecting fans, is a waste of time.
    At least until the club acknowledges there is a problem and engages its members and customer base that they have put off side.

    I thought it was a great write up from rmd and I have made suggestions.
     
  11. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    so whinging is less of a waste of time?
     
  12. WAMF

    WAMF Well-Known Member

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    Whining serves a purpose. To bring attention to a particular issue.

    Granted whining won't solve the problem right away.
    The next stage is coming up with a solution for these issues. That can only be don when the club is open to such suggestions and all I'm trying to say (maybe not so well) is that I have not seen any type of invitation or call from the SE for members, fans and customers, to offer suggestions/solutions.
     
  13. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I remember getting an email survey a couple of months ago.
     
  14. Bradza

    Bradza Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    rmd - thanks for going to the time and trouble of putting your thoughts out there for us to consider. I hope it's not the last we see of your input.

    I think the situation with the state of Brookie Oval and it's likely impact on sponsorship, season ticket proceeds and the brand in general is the most serious one we face for long term survival. There is no simple answer unless a miracle happens with Fed govt funding.

    By the way, is your multi national company interested in getting on board Lowe's Asia Pac vision as sponsor?
     
  15. CliffyIsGod

    CliffyIsGod Well-Known Member

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    Manly is Manly. If the ground attendance is bad at Manly, wouldn't the obvious answer to be why, and try and fix that, rather than just start shopping games to PNG and NZ?
     
  16. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Manchester United is nearly $1b in debt and Chelsea is owned and run by a man who ranks in the top 50 wealthy people on the planet. Despite his business knowledge they still run at a loss to the tune of $150M in 2010.

    They might realise they are a brand but without owners of their calibre they are not successful.

    I think lowe gets a hard knock from a lot of people and you certainly need to **** up more than losing an overrated hodkinson before i will start to ride his back.

    Make a decision at seasons end i think. We'll know better how the club is standing then.
     
  17. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Cliffy, haven't you been reading this site about the problems of Brookvale?  There's no federal money due to Albanese's support for Souths, no state money, at least until after the next state election, and the Council is probably broke.  The best we can hope for is Mike Baird as treasurer in the next Liberal state government and for us to brownnose him.

    Good post Flip.
     
  18. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    The difference is, though they run at a loss, their worth and value is worth a lot more than their debt.

    If they were to sell the team and their share in it, they would recoup their losses
     
  19. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    To be fair Manu have had that debt bestowed upon them by the Glazier Family (look at the arse if you want to see a financially sound club)
     
  20. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I saw an excellent story on SBS recently about the difference between English Premier League and the German league.  The English game is stuffed due to private ownership, debt and bloated salaries v the German league where the teams, owned by the masses through local clubs, is going strong.  Sort of showed in the recent world cup.  Dunno the relevance of that to our situation however.  Although I'm not a Liberal supporter, I just hope that a few of our 'Dear Leaders' can get in Mike Baird's ear and for him to throw 20 mil or so towards a new stadium at Brookie.  The Labour Party did it for their electorates, so I can't see why the Libs can't do it in at least one of theirs.        
     

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