The Roosters averaged a shade under 20,000 attendees per match during 2013, a season that it could be argued is the most successful in the club’s history. They won the premiership. Boyd Cordner, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Trent Robinson won Dally Ms, and Sonny Bill Williams was named the world’s best player according to the RLIF.
They had the best attack and defence in the NRL, and made history by holding six teams to nil on their march to the premiership. And never before has a team been better placed than Easts to repeat those feats, losing just one regular first-grader in the offseason (Luke O’Donnell) but replacing him with a younger international (Remi Casty), and losing just one assistant coach (Paul Green) and replacing him with a national coach (Steve McNamara).
If they repeat as premiers, they’ll become the first team to do so in a combined competition in more than 20 years — and they will start the season as favourites to do so.
They have a chance to build a dynasty at Bondi — and the club knows it. But now is the time to build the fan base, convert casual fans into diehards and build a foundation that will last well beyond the departure of Sonny Bill Williams.
This should help:
It’s an advertisement launched yesterday by the Roosters with the tagline “Create a Legacy”. According to their social media team, which is more engaged than most with its fans, the Roosters are targeting 20,000 members this year.
The hope must be that the commercial — along with other membership promotions and drives — will attract the casual fan on the edge of diehardedness, and also those diehards who haven’t felt the need to sign up as a member before.
Many Roosters fans simply aren’t members; some are members of the stadium, others only attend a select number of games, and others are reticent to fork out a fee at the start of the year.
The 20,000 membership drive seems ambitious, but televised ads could put the club over that edge. After all, it’s in stark contrast to many clubs who rely on the NRL’s advertisements and the occasional mention in the media for their promotion.
And this ad? Yep, it will be appearing on TV. According to the Roosters via Twitter, ad slots are still to be confirmed but are “expected to run on [Free-to-Air] and Fox”.
The Roosters are taking it upon themselves, and could be set to reap the benefits.
Will it be enough, though, to get fans to fork over money at the start of the year? Well, if fans did the math on this, there simply is no more affordable way to watch the footy — or really, to do anything entertainment-wise in Sydney.
Let’s look at the Adult Bronze Membership as an example. For $150 you get access to 12 games, and can sit anywhere except for the more expensive Chookpen seats — but that doesn’t stop you from getting in early and sitting in the bay right next to it, becoming a part of the Chookpen by association.
And there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, to be honest.
Mathematically, you are getting tickets to 12 games for $12.50 a pop — well under the $30 or so it costs to get in if you buy a single ticket online or at the gate.
Further, look at it this way — if you were going to attend, at a minimum, five games, you’ve saved yourself the queue-up straight away while also getting a sweet truckers cap with the old-school Easts logo on the front. Kids get boots and a water bottle in the children’s kit — which is forcing at least one Easts fan, known on Twitter as Easts Fan (@EastsFan — he’s a fan of Easts) to consider shelling out for both.
Even with the increase in price from $99 in 2013 to $150 this year, it’s still pretty darned cheap. You know what’s more expensive in this city?
Tickets to the John Farnham and Lionel Ritchie concert — yes, a guy who has said goodbye roughly 50 times with a set of farewell concerts a decade ago has teamed up with a guy who sang “hello” — cost, at a minimum, $115 of your hard-earned, for a single ticket, to sit in the nose-bleeds at Homebush.
Sydney Kings memberships costs $280 for the equivalent membership. They get 14 games at a cost of $20 per game, and while the atmosphere at a Kings game is underratedly great — and at the moment they have a must-see NBA talent on their roster in Sam Young — they aren’t the defending premiers.
Two Super Drys at any given pub costs $12 bucks — or 50 cents less than the average cost of a ticket to the Roosters at a GA adult membership rate. So even the old adage that “ahh, can’t be bothered, I’ll just watch it at the pub” loses a shitload of merit, because the atmosphere at a game, when the crowd is pumping and the tries are flowing, shits all over that of a pub where you’re crammed in and staring up at a HD TV with the borders cut off because the bar staff haven’t figured out how to switch the effin’ thing to widescreen.
A membership, on so many levels, makes sense. And this isn’t meant to be a free plug for the Roosters, nor am I getting paid for this. It goes for any Sydney club, really
I just want crowds at the games. It makes for a better experience, and nothing beats a full Allianz:
In every game of NRL, we get to see the best athletes in the sport — in their primes — going around. It’s something that the A-League can’t match, nor can the basketball, and Aussie Rules doesn’t count because its a ridiculous sport played only in this country.
Membership really is the best way to attend games, it’s dirt cheap despite the Capex, you get a free hat and bag, and you get the opportunity for another year to see this guy:
The Roosters are about building a dynasty this year on the field, but are putting all the tools and required effort into building a legacy off it.
You should try and build some savings by getting a membership.
Put it this way: would you rather see Sonny Bill say goodbye to the NRL 12 times; or Johnny Farnham, who has said goodbye 50 times already, just once?
I thought so.