Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Harlequins RL reach out to the public

Quins RL are planning to hold a fans forum down at The Stoop on Wednesday 19th December. The event is being billed as a means for the club to get closer to its fans and supports a number of other initiatives launched recently aimed at raising the profile of rugby league in London.

In recent years the management of Quins RL have been criticised by some sections of the supporter base for distancing themselves from the fans, although much of this criticism is perhaps drawn from the club’s previous incarnation as London Broncos whose often hand to mouth existence required greater involvement from volunteers. Some have lamented a loss of community club spirit whilst others have seen the shift as a positive development placing the administration of the club on a more professional footing.

Other efforts intended to raise the club’s profile include the open day this coming Sunday and various promotions building awareness amongst local communities. Whilst at a London wide level Hector McNeil, chairman of London Skolars, is leading efforts to sell rugby league as a whole to the business community through initiatives such as the City of London RL Luncheon Club and the revamped London Club Challenge.

The marketing of rugby league in the capital is a hard sell, nowhere else in the UK has the same level of competition for leisure spend, whilst the sports entertainment market in particular is dominated by football. It is a mark of how competitive the market is that Quins RU is the only top flight rugby union team still based in Greater London, despite the supposed strength of the code in the area.

New Quins RL CEO Paul Brown is noted for the development work done establishing community links in his time at the helm of South London Storm and as a consultant for the RFL, he will need all of that experience to grow the Quins RL brand.

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