DEREK Beaumont thinks Leigh can change her position as the Leopards – they won’t look like a ‘snide Versace bag’ at first.
It all points to the future of rugby league, where location will not matter.
Promotion back to the Super League meant the end of the Centurions and playing in red and white, the same colors as neighbors Wigan.
But the moans of fans – and the taunts of rival fans – have been silenced by off-field deals and the future looks brighter than sticking with old, business-as-us.
Beaumont said: “The new name makes us a little different. The rebranding also sets us apart from Wigan.
“People can say, ‘We were the first with cherry and white.’ If we were as tough as we were absolutely smashed by Wigan there is no doubt they are a much bigger club.
“We almost looked like the derogatory Versace bag on a market stall. That’s what makes us different – that’s us, that’s what they can be.
“The rebranding has made us more attractive to a wider audience. Look at the NFL, it’s no longer the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers, it’s just Cowboys and 49ers.
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“People talk about the geographic spread of our sport – ‘we need to be out of the heartland, we need to be here, there or wherever.’
“In fact, more people, especially younger ones, are just getting interested in digital and the action part of it. They only want the bits that matter. So when looking at the big picture, brand is key.
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“It doesn’t matter if you’re based in Leigh, London, Wakefield or France.
“When you’re in Norfolk there isn’t a team there, but you could have seen the World Cup and enjoyed it and thought, ‘This is interesting.’ You want to attach yourself to a club, you won’t say, “What’s local?” You look at the brand.
“The facts are in the numbers. We have our biggest sponsorship deal yet for the front of the shirt as they absolutely loved it and what it’s about.
“Most of the other partners have stayed at a higher cost and we have gained new ones. There are also more memberships – we did 2,000 by mid-November, last time in the Super League we did 1,200 season tickets.
“Last year we sold 1,200 shirts. This year, 1,600 memberships are inclusive of jerseys – and how many times can you redesign a red and white striped jersey?
“When we put Red and White in the kit, based on feedback we actually had 38 downgrading their membership, only 3 getting upgraded – it had a negative impact!”
Leigh is in a much better position to stay awake than she was when she was last promoted, past the last minute following the Toronto Wolfpack collapse.
They have kept most of their best players out of the championship and added a strong top league base.
And with his target of more than 10,000 spectators for the opening game against Salford, Beaumont looks well past 11th place next year.
He added: “Last time it was about going to a supermarket and everyone else had £2million to spend on whatever they wanted.
“We were held outside and when they were done we had £1million to buy what was left.
“When clubs were circling our better players I risked my neck to keep them and the Super League players were signed back in May otherwise we wouldn’t have a chance to keep up.
“We’re not talking about staying on top, we’re talking about building the playoffs for years to come.
“For our first game what we are doing will fill the stadium even if there is no rugby match to follow – it will be better than anything that has been done in rugby league.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6936364/super-league-leigh-leopards-rebrand-money/ Derek Beaumont says the numbers show why the Leigh’s Leopards rebrand is working – it’s the future of RL