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Senior marketing jobs go as NRL looks to cut costs

Senior marketing jobs go as NRL looks to cut costs
February 27, 2016

The NRL has been forced into a sweeping strategic management restructure after going into the red and spending more than $100 million on marketing and media in the same year.

Despite record revenues of $334 million, the NRL ran up a loss in the last financial year, largely as a result of propping up the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights, both of which are owned by the NRL, supporting state associations in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria and marketing and media expenses of t $101,095,000 in its last season.

Having spent almost seven times more than it did on marketing and media in 2012 ($14.7 million), three senior staff members were made redundant at League Central in Sydney yesterday (26th February 2016).

Redundancies have been accepted by the General Manager of Marketing and Fan Engagement Michael Johnstone, Senior Sponsorship Manager Mathew Raward and Events Senior Manager Danielle Heptonstall

Fairfax media reported that under former NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith “the NRL hosted extravagant functions”.

However, with Australian Rugby League Commission (ARL) Chairman John Grant taking control of many of the day-to-day operations since Smith's departure last year costs cutting has seen a low-key season 2016 season launch at Sydney’ Royal Botanic Gardens while advertisements for the upcoming season being based on highlights from the 2015 NRL season.

Some of the $101 million was spent on promoting the sport's major events, with millions spent on ensuring a successful visit to the MCG for game two of last year's State of Origin series, while $1 million was spent on the NRL Nation initiative at Darling Harbour which attracted 500,000 people during 2015 Grand Final week.

The NRL also spent funds on ensuring the game appealed to broadcasters heading into television rights negotiations, another factor in the significant spike in marketing and media expenditure.

An NRL spokesman said it had always planned to use the first two years of the broadcasting rights cycle to generate revenue for the game and then increase distributions to key stakeholders, which included clubs, states and affiliates.

The NRL has been forced into a sweeping strategic management restructure after going into the red and spending more than $100 million on marketing and media in the same year.

Despite record revenues of $334 million, the NRL ran up a loss in the last financial year, largely as a result of propping up the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights, both of which are owned by the NRL, supporting state associations in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria and marketing and media expenses of t $101,095,000 in its last season.

Having spent almost seven times more than it did on marketing and media in 2012 ($14.7 million), three senior staff members were made redundant at League Central in Sydney yesterday (26th February 2016).

Redundancies have been accepted by the General Manager of Marketing and Fan Engagement Michael Johnstone, Senior Sponsorship Manager Mathew Raward and Events Senior Manager Danielle Heptonstall

Fairfax media reported that under former NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith “the NRL hosted extravagant functions”.

However, with Australian Rugby League Commission (ARL) Chairman John Grant taking control of many of the day-to-day operations since Smith's departure last year costs cutting has seen a low-key season 2016 season launch at Sydney’ Royal Botanic Gardens while advertisements for the upcoming season being based on highlights from the 2015 NRL season.

Some of the $101 million was spent on promoting the sport's major events, with millions spent on ensuring a successful visit to the MCG for game two of last year's State of Origin series, while $1 million was spent on the NRL Nation initiative at Darling Harbour which attracted 500,000 people during 2015 Grand Final week.

The NRL also spent funds on ensuring the game appealed to broadcasters heading into television rights negotiations, another factor in the significant spike in marketing and media expenditure.

An NRL spokesman said it had always planned to use the first two years of the broadcasting rights cycle to generate revenue for the game and then increase distributions to key stakeholders, which included clubs, states and affiliates.

Images: The NRL 2016 Season Launch (top) and the 2016 #HistoryHappens marketing campaign (below). Images courtesy NRL/Facebook.

26th February 2016 - 2016 NRL SEASON LAUNCH PREDICTS THE MAKING OF HISTORY

16th February 2016 - NRL RECORDS $12.5 MILLION LOSS DESPITE RECORD REVENUE

3rd December 2015 - NRL CLUBS AGREE NEW FUNDING DEAL

27th November 2015 - NRL ANNOUNCES $1.8 BILLION BROADCAST DEAL WITH FOX SPORTS AND CHANNEL NINE

20th October 2015 - DAVE SMITH TO LEAVE NRL AFTER THREE YEARS AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE

27th February 2015 - AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE POSTS $49.9 MILLION NRL PROFIT


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