Welcome to Part 2 of the Samurai Sportswear introduction. This will focus on what to expect from the Samurai and the PRP for the 2018 season.
No doubt there will be fireworks on the field as all six teams look to secure an early lead at the top of the table. For the first time in many years, this PRP season is wide open in terms of who will be crowned Champion. The foreign player quota rules will be reinstated, to comply with USA Rugby’s Player Eligibility requirements. This serves two purposes, allowing teams to bolster their squads with talent and experience from overseas, which can also help develop home grown talent but at the same time ensuring that US based players are getting the opportunities they need. This is crucial for ongoing player development, often the only way to get better at rugby, is to play more of it.
Samurai will be focused on delivering a polished display of the PRP throughout the season. For many fans of the teams, competition and rugby in general, the first and only interaction is online. If we want to build the competition to a point where additional sponsors are possible, it now all starts with metrics, numbers and presentation.
Content is king. We will be continually managing the content delivery over the course of the PRP season. Part of this is creating new and exciting ways to engage with our audience.
Match Highlights – High quality & Accessible. The PRP has an exciting partnership to announce between now and the season start date. This will help with video quality and delivery. As with social media trends now, condensing match highlights to within sixty seconds is crucial for fan engagement. If we can help get teams to secure the quality of video required to produce appealing highlight clips, this can become a tool for sponsor exposure.
Man Of The Match – Expect to see weekly MOTM awards per game. The PRP represents a wide spectrum of players with varying levels of commitment and goals, however it remains a key proving ground for those who wish to excel and move on to further opportunities i.e. MLR, Eagles, and Abroad. Weekly recognition of those who perform well provides incentive and crucial exposure, required to secure this next step.
Pundits – We will introduce a number of well respected, online rugby pundits for the season, who will provide alternative commentary on; the season, key match ups and their selections for key content including Tackle of the Week, Play of the Week, Try of the Week, Team of the Week/Season.
Fan Engagement – The goal is to create a community that is engaged and involved with the competition. Without the fans, the Clubs are simply free standing groups. Via Social Media, we can plan to create an infrastructure that encourages fans to become involved with the weekly match ups. Fans Photo of the Week, polls on key match ups, season competitions. One exciting idea has been to explore GPS player tracking data and how that can be adopted for fan entertainment. See how key players match up in head to head positions; who covered the most ground, who achieved the highest speed, who did the most work and how analysis of that data can translate to win/loss margins.
The 2018 PRP season will certainly be action packed on the field. For Samurai, our goal is to enable the Clubs to be successful both on and off the field. To add value to the competition for the players, the Clubs and the fans.
We look forward to seeing you all at the games and/or around the online community.