WHATEVER everyone may think about the events at Wigan last weekend, in terms of a marketing exercise it was a huge success.
I think the least we say about what went on during the 80 minutes of action on the field, the better!
But everything else about the day was fantastic to witness.
The Wigan club pulled out all the stops to make sure the ‘Big One 3’ proved an overwhelming success, and I think a crowd of over 19,000 easily shows the Warriors got their wish. They’ve certainly never had a Super League attendance anywhere near this figure against the Giants at the DW Stadium before.
This is the third year Wigan have marketed a ‘Big One’ fixture. Their launch was against Leeds Rhinos and last season they chose the game against Warrington Wolves.
Those also attracted bumper home attendances, which is why the annual ‘Big One’ fixture looks like it’ll be around at Wigan for years to come.
So I was delighted to see that we at the Giants have taken the Warriors’ lead and are looking to launch an aggressive marketing campaign for the home game against Hull KR on Sunday, July 31.
This is, of course, the first game back at the Galpharm after spending our last three ‘home’ games at The Shay in Halifax in order for the pitch to be re-laid.
The game is going to be a special occasion anyway, with everyone excited about the prospect of running out onto a magnificent new playing surface.
But the backroom staff at the club are already working flat-out to put plans in place to ensure there’s a bumper turn-out on the day.
Not everything has been revealed at this stage, although it will include offering discounted tickets.
This was something Wigan did, fixing the price at £10 for adults, and the results speak for itself.
I know hoping for a crowd of around 19,000 for the Hull KR clash is a little on the optimistic side.
But I do genuinely believe we can attract an incredibly healthy attendance to reward the efforts of the club both on and off the field.
And with Super League bosses so keen for clubs to record average attendances of 10,000 – it’s something that earns you an extra point in a franchise bid – every effort to gain more fans has to be applauded.
It’s also to be hoped, therefore, that the RFL will soon embark on a big marketing campaign for the Four Nations double-header that’s been announced for Wembley Stadium on November 5.
It’s been revealed England will play Australia, while Wales face New Zealand, although the quiet way this news came out was disappointing to say the least.
Surely it deserved a major fanfare, making clear how big this is.
It’s hoped, therefore, the reason for this is that all the RFL’s time, money and effort is being channelled into a big promotional push between now and then.