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    #61

    When the topic originally came up after the redevelopment, I was opposed to the idea for two reasons. First, that I thought the Thomond Park brand in itself could be better leveraged for income, and second that I thought there was a risk to the overall Munster brand (built as it was on a lot of history and heritage) in being seen to sell that name for cash.

    In the years since, though, I think the practice has become far more commonplace, and I don't think carries the same weight now that it might have then. I think it's also fair to say that as the Heineken Cup went, TV coverage fragmented and the impact of European rugby diminished, the commercial opportunity cost of the whole Thomond Park thing has diminished.

    By the same token, though, I don't think those rights are worth nearly as much as people imagine.
    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

    Comment


      #62
      Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
      When the topic originally came up after the redevelopment, I was opposed to the idea for two reasons. First, that I thought the Thomond Park brand in itself could be better leveraged for income, and second that I thought there was a risk to the overall Munster brand (built as it was on a lot of history and heritage) in being seen to sell that name for cash.

      In the years since, though, I think the practice has become far more commonplace, and I don't think carries the same weight now that it might have then. I think it's also fair to say that as the Heineken Cup went, TV coverage fragmented and the impact of European rugby diminished, the commercial opportunity cost of the whole Thomond Park thing has diminished.

      By the same token, though, I don't think those rights are worth nearly as much as people imagine.
      I couldn't agree more, at the redevelopment stage figures of €750,000/year were being bandied about - now it's more like €300,000 - €400,000/year (and that's being optimistic) of which 50% would have to go to the IRFU so a net increase on current revenue of about €200,000/year. Is that really worth it - Selling your brand and risking a downturn in attendances/goodwill? I for one don't believe so.
      Contrary to what some people on here believe, I am a passionate Munster supporter & I have never said that I would stop going to Thomond Park if the naming rights were sold. I will support Munster until I die come what may.
      My belief is that we are in a very vulnerable financial state right now but selling the naming rights will not have any significant effect - in fact it could be negative, a case of diminishing returns. I think that we should 'sub-let' Thomond Park to an independent promoter e.g. Dolans or someone else to use the brand for concerts/events etc. For some reason we have been unsuccessful in this regard for a number of years now, and in the same timeframe we have had hugely successful concerts (King John's Castle/Docklands/Milk Market) in Limerick, I don't profess to know why this is the case but Thomond Park was redeveloped as a sports & concert stadium.
      The new structure of the Pro14 has predictably had a negative effect on attendances and will probably be worse this season with so first choice players missing on World Cup/6 Nations duty. How many Pro14 games will our top players play in the regular season (pre-knockout) - 3 or 4? Who is going to travel long distances to see a Dragons/Ospreys/Edinburgh 'B' team get hammered by Munster on a cold winters night? The new structure was devised for TV & clubs more income from that, that benefits clubs who traditionally had low attendances but not teams like Munster who were used to big attendances for competitive games.
      Our financial saving grace this season is the H-Cup group that we are in, should be 3 sellout games in Thomond Park, however it's going to be some challenge to get a home Q-Final but 'Nothing is impossible'.
      I also believe that if Ireland put up a great show in the World Cup it will benefit us significantly as the rugby profile/interest is raised, I hope so.

      Finally, I don't believe that any of my posts were personally insulting to anyone, if anyone did take personal insult I apologize.

      Here's to a great season

      Comment


        #63
        Originally posted by Soda Bread View Post

        I couldn't agree more, at the redevelopment stage figures of €750,000/year were being bandied about - now it's more like €300,000 - €400,000/year (and that's being optimistic) of which 50% would have to go to the IRFU so a net increase on current revenue of about €200,000/year. Is that really worth it - Selling your brand and risking a downturn in attendances/goodwill? I for one don't believe so.
        Contrary to what some people on here believe, I am a passionate Munster supporter & I have never said that I would stop going to Thomond Park if the naming rights were sold. I will support Munster until I die come what may.
        My belief is that we are in a very vulnerable financial state right now but selling the naming rights will not have any significant effect - in fact it could be negative, a case of diminishing returns. I think that we should 'sub-let' Thomond Park to an independent promoter e.g. Dolans or someone else to use the brand for concerts/events etc. For some reason we have been unsuccessful in this regard for a number of years now, and in the same timeframe we have had hugely successful concerts (King John's Castle/Docklands/Milk Market) in Limerick, I don't profess to know why this is the case but Thomond Park was redeveloped as a sports & concert stadium.
        The new structure of the Pro14 has predictably had a negative effect on attendances and will probably be worse this season with so first choice players missing on World Cup/6 Nations duty. How many Pro14 games will our top players play in the regular season (pre-knockout) - 3 or 4? Who is going to travel long distances to see a Dragons/Ospreys/Edinburgh 'B' team get hammered by Munster on a cold winters night? The new structure was devised for TV & clubs more income from that, that benefits clubs who traditionally had low attendances but not teams like Munster who were used to big attendances for competitive games.
        Our financial saving grace this season is the H-Cup group that we are in, should be 3 sellout games in Thomond Park, however it's going to be some challenge to get a home Q-Final but 'Nothing is impossible'.
        I also believe that if Ireland put up a great show in the World Cup it will benefit us significantly as the rugby profile/interest is raised, I hope so.

        Finally, I don't believe that any of my posts were personally insulting to anyone, if anyone did take personal insult I apologize.

        Here's to a great season
        you keep saying there is lots who will lose interest/care considerably If naming tights were sold but would they?
        Did aviva/kingspan cause outrage and cause boycotts?
        you are selling your brand which can be a good thing. Everyone will still attend games. Watch games. Nothing is lost there.
        Thomond stadium management have tried get concerts. But can be difficult for the city. Yes the king John castle series is there but how many others are around the city for big concerts...

        Comment


          #64
          I wouldn’t like to see the naming rights sold. It wouldn’t stop me going to games though. Same way I still attend Ireland games at Lansdowne Road.

          Comment


            #65
            Keeps banging on about the value of the brand, complains when anybody suggests actually monetising that value.

            Attendances wouldn’t drop. A decent wedge of cash would come in handy. We’d all still call it Thomond. The IRFU debt monkey on our back would be a little smaller and not quite so bitey.

            Comment


              #66
              Should a stadium sponsorship eventually go ahead, I hope it will follow a similar template to "BT Murrayfield" in retaining the original name. Plucking a random company out of the ether ... "Diageo Stadium" would be pretty meaningless, damaging* our identity in the public eye - it would never benefit from getting the same high profile media exposure as "Aviva Stadium".
              *To be clear, I am in no way suggesting that it would in some way damage our reputation - simply that "Diageo Stadium" could be the place where any random team plays. Nothing exists in the public consciousness or in that sort of name to indicate which team it is, which country, even which sport ... From an aesthetic/purist point of view, something like "Diageo Thomond Park" would still be crap but would at least keep a link to our heritage and to the actual name, which I think is unique in how widely recognised it is throughout the rugby world (and even outside it). I think it would also go some way towards winning over stick-in-the-muds like me, whatever that's worth. But echoing jagawayagain's contribution above, I wonder whether the 50% arrangement with the IRFU might ultimately make a sponsorship deal less likely.

              PS In response to the comment up the thread about "why should Thomond Park not be renamed when it happened in Cork?" - firstly, I never liked that either and would far rather that some other means had been found to generate that income. Secondly it's pretty daft to essentially argue that if something undesirable happens in one ground it must therefore be inflicted on the other. Finally, of all possible sponsors, IMO being associated with the Indo is a blight on us.

              Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post
              That new deal is in return for dropping regular annual payments on the debt from 500k to 100k.
              So they’re swapping fixed repayments for 50% of very variable income (corporate boxes), very occasional and also variable windfalls (10-year ticket sales) and a sale of naming rights that may never happen.
              It’s a re-structure of the debt that probably won’t significantly speed up or slow down repayment but will make things easier by reducing our obligations when times are hard. Not a bad deal.
              The IRFU owns MR so they could just write it off but demanding repayment, albeit at a leisurely pace, is largely a means for the parent organisation to encourage a bit of financial discipline and commercial performance, rather than just letting them off the hook.
              This certainly seems like a reasonable and more sensible approach. How does it compare with what has happened at other provinces when it comes to paying for stadium upgrades (not a rhetorical question, just a request for information)? It would have been great if Munster had been able to access the same grant support from central government funds for the rebuild of Thomond Park as Ulster did for Ravenhill, but there we are. Despite that, didn't the IRFU still have to step in subsequently to bail Ulster out - how did that all work out in the end? What's happening with the RDS and with the Sportsground?
              Tis but a scratch.

              Comment


                #67
                Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post
                Keeps banging on about the value of the brand, complains when anybody suggests actually monetising that value.

                Attendances wouldn’t drop. A decent wedge of cash would come in handy. We’d all still call it Thomond. The IRFU debt monkey on our back would be a little smaller and not quite so bitey.
                How do you put a value on Munster Rugby as a brand? It's possible, as an example The Irish Times logo appears as an Asset in the Parent Groups Balance Sheet, but I wouldn't know where to even begin valuing such an intangible.

                Broadly speaking, I agree that renaming Thomond Park takes something away from Munster Rugby. I don't like sponsors on jerseys too, I think it cheapens the efforts of the individuals who have earned the right to wear that number - as someone has paid for the privilege (all seems a bit Leinster to me). For National jerseys if a sponsor was entirely necessary, it should be a brand associated with that country, Quantas with Australia as an example. Although knowing our lot we'd expect Aer Lingus and end up with Ryanair.

                Comment


                  #68
                  Originally posted by MOS View Post

                  How do you put a value on Munster Rugby as a brand? It's possible, as an example The Irish Times logo appears as an Asset in the Parent Groups Balance Sheet, but I wouldn't know where to even begin valuing such an intangible.

                  Broadly speaking, I agree that renaming Thomond Park takes something away from Munster Rugby. I don't like sponsors on jerseys too, I think it cheapens the efforts of the individuals who have earned the right to wear that number - as someone has paid for the privilege (all seems a bit Leinster to me). For National jerseys if a sponsor was entirely necessary, it should be a brand associated with that country, Quantas with Australia as an example. Although knowing our lot we'd expect Aer Lingus and end up with Ryanair.
                  In commercial terms, there are people who can put a value (depending on what you want to measure) on a brand. For Munster, it's basically going to be about engagement levels, participation in junior rugby, shirt sales, season ticket sales, corporate entertainment revenues and sponsorship (I may have missed some stuff out here).

                  There are tools for measuring the level of engagement people have with that brand and (importantly) what drives that engagement. That can be varied - lifestyle brands give us a certain feeling about ourselves and the life we're living, heritage brands a sense of connection with past and identity etc.

                  The question for me would be how far the selling of name rights would represent a shift in identity for Munster (and the brand), how important that shift is perceived to be by consumers and, finally, the potential impact of that shift on revenues.

                  All of that is withing the competence of a professionalised marketing function in most industries. The important thing is that it's not a sentimental decision. Or at least that if it is sentimental, it's because sentimentality often drives consumer behaviour.
                  "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                  "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                  "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                  Comment


                    #69
                    The Grauniad has an interesting piece on how Football Clubs are raising their profiles and money through Social Media.

                    It quotes the Real Madrid MD in 2015

                    “Seventy years ago, when the soccer economy was based on ticket sales, the president of Real Madrid built a huge stadium to house 120,000 people. He thought that having the biggest stadium would provide the biggest revenues so he would be able to acquire rights to biggest players in the world. That’s exactly what Santiago Bernabéu did. Now we have over 450 million fans so we have to build the virtual stadium to put them all in and understand what they are expecting from us so the club can benefit from what they want.”
                    Last edited by Piquet; 7th-August-2019, 08:45.

                    Comment


                      #70
                      Bah.

                      And there was me thinking there was a whole thread given over to soda bread. Perfect off season debate.

                      Comment


                        #71
                        Originally posted by Amar56 View Post
                        Bah.

                        And there was me thinking there was a whole thread given over to soda bread. Perfect off season debate.
                        Yeah, it has moved on thankfully . I was beginning to think I was a contestant in 'Hate Island'...!

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Nonono, like actual soda bread.

                          As in, do most people use porridge oats in theirs or maybe sweeten up with a dab of honey etc. Proper order.

                          Comment

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