The current economic climate and increases in competition experienced by Rugby League in Australia, serves as a useful case study of strategic risks in sport. With relatively high interest rates and petrol prices, fans have less disposable income to attend matches or to spend while at the games. This coincides with the overseas ‘player drain' to Europe, as well as successful marketing strategies from other codes (such as the AFL), into traditional NRL heartlands. The impact of these risks are likely to be lower revenues for the league, brand erosion of the game, and reductions in participation levels at the grass roots.
These are complex risks with numerous drivers and far reaching consequences for both the game of rugby league and other sports.
They provide good examples of the increasingly complex environment under which our national sports operate and reinforces the need for effective strategic risk management to identify key risk drivers, anticipate foreseeable impacts, implement critical controls, and establish measures for monitoring control effectiveness.