’Raunchy’ rugby targets women

A raunchy new ad campaign is being launched for rugby league in a bid to build the game’s national appeal.

A raunchy new ad campaign is being launched for rugby league in a

bid to build the game’s national appeal.

The cinema and outdoor campaign targets women, using the strapline

’You’ll Love it Super League Style’. The cinema ads, running in 14

cities nationally, feature women gazing at a man walking into an office.

One woman says, ’I like it hard and fast and straight up the middle,’

causing the man to spill his coffee. It transpires that the woman is

talking about Super League.

Super League Europe (SLE), the body responsible for marketing rugby

league in the UK, is behind this first national advertising campaign,

which kicks-off in early March.

The ads, through newly appointed Leeds-based agency Charles Walls,

coincides with the unveiling of a strategy to expand SLE beyond its

Yorkshire and Lancashire heartland.

SLE is also attempting to grow the sport nationally by encouraging teams

from Wales, the south of England and Edinburgh to take part from next

year. A new team, Gateshead Thunder, is joining the league this


Ian Ruddoch, marketing manager of SLE, said: ’We have a policy of

expansion. If the league becomes truly national it will be far more

attractive for sponsors beyond the local level.’

The league is a year into a five-year broadcast deal worth pounds 45m

with BSkyB and is negotiating a highlights package with ITV


SLE’s main sponsor is JJB Sports, which has one year of its contract

remaining. It pulls in pounds 720,000 a year from sponsors, but has

failed to attract supplier sponsors in areas such as soft drinks,

confectionery and financial services, which could earn it up to pounds

500,000 a season.

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