4 Nov 2023

ROCHDALE HORNETS IMG GRADING – HOW YOU CAN HELP

Following on from the release of IMG’s indicative club grading, as part of the ‘Reimagining Rugby League’ strategy Chairman Andy Mazey explains how we scored and how YOU can help.

FANDOM – 2.25 POINTS FROM A POSSIBLE 5 POINTS

Firstly It is important to note that Rochdale as a Borough with over 230,000 people in our immediate catchment area, with Hornets being the only professional Rugby League club within, provides massive potential for future growth. Ultimately however our average attendances for league fixtures over the last three years are simply not good enough and require urgent improvement.

Since the arrival of our new General Manager Matt Rigby, we have trailed various offers, promotions and significantly improved the match day experience towards the back-end of 2023 season, with the cooperation and support of our landlord RAFC. We now believe we have a greater understanding of the best way forward in 2024 but we will ultimately need greater levels of engagement and support.

As a minimum and what we believe to be a realistic target, we need an average home attendance in 2024 of over 1000, with the aim of averaging 1500-2000 by no later than the end of 2025. We will soon be putting on sale our 2024 season passes and packages. YOU can help move YOUR club forward by buying a season ticket and encouraging others to join the journey with you.

We also need to increase engagement across all platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube. This is critical and there are some very simply zero cost ways you can make a difference.

You may see the Rochdale Hornets pages on various social platforms and our news stories, but please check have you liked, followed and if applicable subscribed to the page itself?? Do you like, share and repost all of Rochdale Hornets posts and content on all our platforms? This costs you absolutely nothing but the more people that do it, the higher we can score moving forward.

Matt, the board and I often hear “I only use Facebook”. Id urge you however to please sign up for Twitter (X as it's now known), Instagram, TikTok and YouTube and like, share and subscribe as a bare minimum. This really counts so encourage others to do so and if needed consult your kids and grandkids as if you’re like me they will be able to guide you on this as it really matters to YOUR club.

We need to maintain and increase our website traffic, please visit the site as often as you can. Be aware that by sharing Rochdale Hornets content, most of which has links to the website within, across all social media platforms as detailed above, YOU can help YOUR club without spending a penny.

PERFORMANCE – 0.34 POINTS FROM A POSSIBLE 5 POINTS

Clearly, we need to improve our on-field performance as the past three years one field performance is simply not good enough for a club with the ambition we have. The board have addressed this by making the necessary changes we did 12 months ago and backing Gary Thornton to carry out a total rebuild in a much more professional and sustainable fashion with the aim of longer-term success. We are confident with the retention and recruitment carried out ahead of 2024 that we will improve our on-field performance and the product on field will be far more worthy of YOUR support.

FINANCE – 1.25 POINTS FROM A POSSIBLE 4.5 POINTS

It is not by mistake and more by design that the Board and I have promoted a culture of living within our means, sustainable investment and sound financial management since taking over in 2020.

Our score ultimately reflects success within the other pillar's and our overall business performance which we must improve.

Having inherited a failing model in 2020 before suffering the disruption and effects of an unprecedented global pandemic, closely followed by seismic central funding cuts and other off field challenges. The current ownership and management team have safeguarded the club through some very challenging times and positioned it well to be able to grow within the parameters of the IMG grading pillars.

Here is what YOU can do to help YOUR club grow.

In addition to helping grow our season ticket sales, digital engagement and match day attendances and associated revenues there are some very cheap and cost-effective ways which YOU can help to grow YOUR clubs revenues right now.

Sign up below to our official supporter’s club “ALL HORNETS”

https://www.hornetsrugbyleague.co.uk/allhornets#form

Sign up below to our club “LOTTERY”.

https://www.hornetsrugbyleague.co.uk/Lottery

With more opportunities than ever before, our commercial opportunities accommodate businesses and individuals and range from player sponsorships to kit sponsorships for our men’s first team and our growing ladies, wheelchair and community programmes and teams.

Please contact Matt Rigby directly at matt.rigby@hornetsrugbyleague.com for more information on how YOU can help.

STADIUM – 1.69 POINTS FROM A POSSIBLE 3 POINTS

Our stadium scores well generally however sadly due to poor utilisation of the stadium which is determined by the average attendance over three years divided by capacity we do not score as highly as we would like.

We also score poorly due to not having primacy of tenure (not owning our ground and being able to dictate when fixtures are played).

Once again, i emphasise we need to grow our average home attendance in 2024 and beyond.

COMMUNITY – 1.5 POINTS FROM A POSSIBLE 2.5 POINTS

The board and i have eluded to our community many times during my tenure as this pillar or building block as it's often been described is an important one.

The size of our town and borough (catchment area), the outstanding support of RMBC and our other key partners, along with the close working relationship between the respective club board, foundation board and management teams is ensuring our our ongoing strategic planning and development cross fertilise.

We are focused on our growing outreach and engagement and providing new and improved facilities and opportunities across the townships we operate across the borough. This is undoubtably the catalyst to enable the growth of numbers in all other areas and pillars sustainably.

Back to on field which is ultimately the driver for supporter’s interest. We are building on the core of the squad of 2023, improving the coaching setup and each player that we have signed or re-signed for the 2024 season knows what we are aiming to achieve as a club. 

All the lads I have spoken to have expressed the same ambitions and are eagerly anticipating the challenge ahead. Further player signings will be announced in the coming days which will finalise our 2024 squad. 

Moving forward into the 2025 season and beyond we are looking to build a team that can compete competitively in whatever the second tier of the sport will look like. Growing numbers and improving grading is central to this so your support is needed and i cant stress this enough.

On behalf of the board, Matt, Gary and our staff and players we wish to thank every supporter, sponsor and partner who is invested in the club, financially or emotionally. We remain 100% focused on delivering to our supporters and the Borough of Rochdale a club to be proud of. Working TOGETHER I have no doubt WE can grow to become an ambitious Grade B club delivering within for our communities.

Yours in Sport.

Andy Mazey

Principal Club Sponsor

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Principal Foundation Sponsor

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