The Fiji NSWRL Bid led by Petero Civoniceva and Greg Browne is aiming to join the National Rugby League (NRL) Tier Two by targeting entry into the NSWRL’s – Intrust Super Premiership NSW for 2018. The competition effectively is filled with NRL Reserve Teams from NSW and New Zealand and other independent clubs from around New South Wales.
The Fiji NSW Cup platform despite not participating in the competition yet has seen large social media support and audience increases, most notably on Facebook building 137, 895 Likes (Fans) within a few years. Their statistics when compared with other pages from Fiji using the Social Media Statistics website: SocialBakers is already the sixth largest in Fiji behind leading group Tourism Fiji (593, 085). The Fiji NSW Cup Rugby League page is also the fastest growing brand in Fiji having seen an increase of 6, 793 Page Likes since August 1, which is ahead of Jacks of Fiji (+4,991) according to Socialbakers.com.
On Twitter, again the @FijiNSWCupBid account is the sixth largest in Fiji possessing over 13,400 followers, behind FRU and Tourism Fiji.
The potential Fijian club could provide a huge boost for senior and schoolboy players being recruited into the NRL System, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rugby competition, which has the most number of contracted Fijians with 25 NRL First Grade squad players (excluding the u20s and un-contracted reserve grade players). With Fiji NSWRL Bid Social Media boasting a large following of the Fijian Expat and Fijian descent population in Australia, the club with a potential 13 home and 13 away games would help provide positive national pride and Fijian Tourism to the over 150,000 Fijian descents in Australia (61,472 Fijian born and their 88,595 Fijian children) that would be attracted to attend games in Australia and in Fiji, as well as boosting Fijian Sports Tourism through millions of rugby league fans in Sydney and Australia who are attracted to the Pasifika style of players and teams. A full-time Fijian Rugby League professional franchise would play for over 26 weeks of the year and a majority of half of those games would regularly cater to the over 61, 904 Fiji born and their children in Greater Sydney.
The Sport Tourism benefits of having a full-time Fiji Rugby League playing in an Australian based rugby league competition could be huge with Rugby League being of the two most dominant sports during the year (winter), along with AFL. While, Rugby League dominates Free to Air on Channel 9 having numerous TV shows dedicated purely to the NRL and Rugby league and this is the same case for AFL on Channel 7, while both have dedicated PAY TV channels dedicated to both, including ‘Fox League’ and ‘Fox Footy’ (AFL) – which doesn’t exist for any other sport in Australia.
Fox Sports says: “TV figures remain robust — with average audiences of just over 1m a game when free to air and Fox Sports figures are combined. Online, rugby league is the game that never stops giving, with more than 6 million unique visitors consuming rugby league content at foxsports.com.au this year — an increase of 155 per cent year-on-year”, while says “rugby (union) in Australia is battling. crowds and TV ratings are down in line with on-field results although there is still a strong heartbeat in club-land. “
While; Rugby League’s Trans Tasman Rugby League Test between Australia and New Zealand in Canberra from May were far stronger than Bledisloe Cup (Rugby Union) TV Figures from August 19: “This year, the Anzac Test from Canberra attracted 860,000 metro free-to-air viewers and the rugby union Test on Saturday night just 371,000. The league Test out-rated the union in Melbourne but union remained ahead in Adelaide and Perth, where there is no NRL team. Saturday night’s rugby union audience was comparable to Penrith-North Queensland the previous weekend. If you add the pay TV audience for the Bledisloe, it comes out at 600,000 which is still well short of the Canberra Test (not live on pay TV).” Quote was from Sydney Morning Herald
For the recent Wallabies Test against All Black from 26 August just from Free to Air Television; NRL had 508,000 (LIVE figures were only from Sydney and Brisbane METRO cities) from Thursday’s Broncos vs Eels game on Channel 9 compared with 498,000 in the Rugby Union Bledisloe Cup match on FTA (Network Ten), which was from all 5 METRO cities.
Fiji’s annual Visitor Arrival numbers are dominated by Australia and New Zealand with 2016 numbers equating to: Australia – 360, 370 and New Zealand – 163, 836 of 792,320 in 2016. With most visitor numbers from Australia expected to be from the Eastern seaboard, Fiji Tourism from rugby league dominant states Queensland and New South Wales has a potential 6.14 million (QLD) and 7.77 million (NSW), while AFL dominant Victoria has 6.14 million.