The RFL has today launched a pioneering marketing campaign – ‘The Rugby League of the Extraordinary’ – to attract new audiences to the sport.
The campaign celebrates the amazing feats and human endeavours in the sport of Rugby League and goes live next week across outdoor media sites in Manchester.
Players from the eight competing teams in the 2012 Super League play-offs have been selected and will be characterised as super heroes showcasing their outstanding attributes that make them supreme athletes in professional sport.
The Wildcats ‘super hero’ is The Wakefield Wizard Tim Smith with his key skills being his visionary, game reading and being a key playmaker.
The aim is to attract general sports fans to major Rugby League events starting with the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford, Manchester on Saturday October 6.
“We want to engage with a broader audience and get more people to join in and experience the excitement of Rugby League,” said RFL’s chief executive Nigel Wood.
“The ‘Rugby League of the Extraordinary’ campaign, which has been developed by marketing consultant Matt Lowery and leading top London agency VCCP, is focused on increasing awareness of the strengths of Rugby League, utilising the highly skilled attributes possessed by our athletes.
“The combination and intensity of speed, skill and power of a live Rugby League game are extraordinary. They can provide a compelling experience to a broad audience of general sports fans in addition to the passionate following of the sport’s traditional support.
“The RFL and Super League Clubs are committed to increase the visibility and profile of the sport and make a step change in those actively following the sport ideally by attending live games or by watching the live TV broadcasts of Super League matches.”
Alongside the outdoor media activity, a film will be released bringing the campaign to life showing the players’ demonstrating their ‘super powers and fans can also engage via social media including the creation of hashtag #extraordinaryrugby when tweeting about the sport.
Huddersfield Giants and England prop Eorl Crabtree, The Hulk of Huddersfield, one of the players illustrated in the campaign, is excited about being involved and looking forward to transforming the sport and opening it up to the masses.
“The RFL should be applauded for coming up with a new creative approach of promoting the sport,” he said.
“It is great to be involved and has been good fun. Everyone in the sport wants to engage with a broader audience and I’m happy that my skills have been brought to life in this new creative approach.”
Trinity’s number 20 Smith also believes the campaign is a great idea.
“To have each team from the top eight represented is fantastic and although I have been chosen to represent the Wildcats as the Wakefield Wizard I am very much part of a team here.
“Any fresh ideas to help advertise rugby league to the wider public is something I am a supporter of and I am hoping to play in front of a packed Headingley on Saturday night in the play-offs. I am sure our supporters will be singing their hearts out once again to help us to victory.”
The video, which will be seeded across a number of websites and social media platforms, will also be hosted on extraordinaryrugby.com, which will go live on Monday 17 September. The microsite will inform a new audience of the extraordinary attributes of Super League players and experiencing Rugby League live.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.