New O&O research has found that despite
recent calls for reform to the Six Nations, the competition is widely
appreciated across the UK and is actually more popular now with both core rugby
fans and more casual followers than it was a few years ago.
Rugby Sevens has been seen as a way to grow
the profile of the sport; whilst this may have had some impact in developing
rugby markets, it is not proving to be a way of increasing the reach of rugby
in its core markets such as the UK.
There is, however, significant interest in
a potential world club competition, featuring a dozen of the best and biggest
club brands from the UK, France and the Sanzar countries.
This may provide an opportunity to bring in more fans from all markets – core markets and new markets, through a more accessible global club competition eventually involving top sides from more nations.
It may suggest that more focus should be
given to pushing and reformatting club rugby and looking to create new global
franchises as a way to break into emerging rugby markets, such as the US.
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For comments from O&O contact Nick
Beazley on +44 (0) 207 313 5900
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