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NRL looks to bring back the kids in 2009
By Jane Aubrey, WWOS
17:00 AEST Wed Mar 4 2009
  Have your say on the new NRL commercial.

Following a concerted attack on rugby league's heartland by rival codes, the NRL has gone back to its roots to promote the game during the 2009 season.

Using the catch-cry "Feel It" the NRL’s annual advertising campaign features the images of two young boys playing rugby league in a suburban park. The song is a re-worked version of Australian Idol winner Wes Carr's "Feels Like Whoa."

As they contest the game they love, they morph into the League’s biggest stars, Manly's Brett Stewart and Melbourne's Greg Inglis, as a packed stadium emerges around them.

Seven-year-old Penrith junior Cameron Lloyd and 14-year-old La Perouse junior Alex Johnston play the main roles in the campaign, but the message to all juniors is clear: chase your dreams.

The grass roots imagery may also suggest the NRL is in danger of losing its next generation of stars, especially in Sydney's western suburbs and the Gold Coast where AFL and football bosses are mounting aggressive expansion plans.

The commercial was officially launched in Sydney ahead of tonight’s season kick-off in The Domain, with more than 100 NRL club members invited to attend the event.

"At a time when there are plenty of challenges for people in the world, it's sometimes the simple things that stand out as being important,'' NRL chief executive David Gallop said, explaining the theory behind the campaign.

"And an afternoon or an evening getting behind your team at a rugby league game is one of those simple escapes in life.

"Almost all of us can remember trying to do what the stars have just done, whether it's Greg Inglis passing a ball mid air over his head or Brett Stewart miraculously passing between his legs or Darren Lockyer weaving his way past blokes twice his size.''

The AFL invests around $60million into the Sydney market and the push is on for a second team to rival the Swans, based in the west which is the traditional rugby league heartland and currently home to two NRL clubs – Penrith and Parramatta.

Last year, the AFL struggled to attract strong crowds to ANZ Stadium at Homebush, while matches played at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast failed to attract crowds in excess of 10,000.

Around 9000 junior players are registered by Football NSW in Sydney's west – similar figures to those presented by the Australian Rugby League development officers regarding the number of kids who took part in school holiday clinics Australia-wide in July 2008.

The most successful advertising campaign in rugby league history remains the famous "Simply the Best" commercials which ran in the early 1990's starring Tina Turner. Hit and miss campaigns have followed with Thomas Keneally reciting poetry and the re-working of the Hoodoo Guru's song "What's my Scene" to "That's my Team." With nearly a decade having passed since the giddy heights of "Simply the Best", League chiefs are desperately hoping this latest commercial might just do the trick.

How do you rate the 2009 NRL commercial?

User comments
For those who don't like the ad simple solution DON'T WATCH IT for the rest of us I feel the ad is right on the money although it could be a little longer you are all complianing about not seeing your teams in it, but the ad is designed for the younger kids who want to aspire to the dream of playing NRL so GET OVER IT and enjoy the games and just remember it's for the young kids coming up
Personally I think the ad is pretty cool, im going into my last year of juniors and if i was any younger id sign up after seeing that. 'Feel It', ummm that could be better, but meh, you gotta have your good slogans and your bad ones aye. I reckon the add is great, and yeah, Neil from Melbourne.. deal with it aye.. Go Titans.. David Gallop,please be so kind as to go away =)
neil from melbourne get over it mate the cam smith decision was the right one and it needed 2 be made and mate honestly cam smith aint worth 40 POINTS! manly won fair and square get over it manly were too good 4 them on the day and thats wat matters
Very cleverly put together, at great expense too I expect? Put more work into the off season advertising from a month after grand final day until kick off the following season. We get stuck on cricket etc... so put some advertising in between seasons to keep the interest happening. Launching the season a week from kick off is great, but lets aim at advertising for our kids to get ready to enrol with their local club well before kick off
sorry but i hate it. last year commercial was ten times better. they showed all the teams. gallop, have you forgotten theres 15 other teams in the competition not only manly.
i also urge all nth queenslanders NOT to attend the afl Brisbane v Melbourne game being played in cairns this week, the afl is "testing the waters" in nth qld so the smaller the crowd the better. that is somewhere i dont ever want to see an afl team. all nrl supporters please get out to your teams or any other nrl teams games as many times as humanly possible this year, we cant have small crowd numbers again this year or we are just inviting the afl to come in and take over
the ad is ok, nothing special, as already said not long enough. imo gallop needs to be sacked asap the afl is moving into west Sydney and the gold coast, what is the nrl doing? nothing. the nrl needs to move a team into Darwin before the afl gets a team up there, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth need better coverage of games on tv and bringing Perth into the nrl competition would be a big positive. rugby league is the greatest game in australia and i would hate to see gallop stuff it up even more. also, how about turning the our trial games into a mini competition to create more sponsors and tv coverage such as afls nab cup.. gallop step aside, your useless
It dosen't go long enough it doesn't focus on indevidual teams long enough the add should have been made based on each side and run randomly throughout the year.If I had my way it would be all based on the BUNNIES march to the 09!! grand final. I dont like it a WORD FOR THE nrl DONT BE SCARED TO SPEND A LITTLE MONEY ON YOUR GAME!!!!!!
the add doesn't go long enough it doesn't focus on indevidual teams long enough people like to see their team. the add should have been made with each team as its focus and run randomly throughout the season. Me myself it should have been all the BUNNIES !!!!
I must say that song is a shocker ,Wes Carr is a talentless hobbit , which only goes to show how bad Australian Idol has fallen , now they want to "make a star" out of an emergency service worker , who do a fantastic job but to try and get milege out of the Melbourne Bushfires is a disgrace Freemantle and Idol ,you should be ashamed of yourselves , the vision in the ad is average , but the league don't care about the fans it is all about the television dollar these days
What is the song called in the ad??
The footage is pretty good. The song....? Most of these marketing campaigns these days aren't aimed at people my age anyway (30). If I was 12 I'd probably love it. In saying that, I was 12 when my Dad took me to my first game. And 18 years later Im still going....
such a bad song to choose, poor production!!! marketing department must have a salary cap too!!
I looking forward to the season coming up. But not to seeing this commercial again...The bloody commercial is just as crap as the Cam Smith decision at the judiciary last year when Gallop personally handed Manly a premiership.
hmmm could have had a bit more effort put into the add but i'm absolutely stoked that Wes Carr's new song is in it!!
Ho Hum....coming from a family that has ACTIVELY promoted ,supported,sponsored and administered the game in the bush for almost 70 years (two generations) i am disturbed at the "city centric" nature of the game. The bush produces more NRL players,per head of population ,then any mainland city...the kids are extremely well looked after with full time CRL (YOU LEFT THEM OUT MR.RAZRAPS...see what i mean?)funded academys and coaching staff and that is GREAT but....in 10 to 20 years there wont be a senior Club in the bush for them to go to so...WHATS THE BLOODY POINT? GREAT PROMO JOB NRL BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BLEEDIN BUSH?
The Storm is the reason I came back to watch the NRL the last 2 seasons,very exciting team to watch, I am now on the verge of just forgetting about it altogether again after all that *** that went on about nothing just b4 the finals was about to take place...I will give it one last season and if the tribunal and Gallop don't lay off the players....(any player)y'all can kiss my ***!!! GO THE STORM!!!! I think its time you went Gallop!! You make too much fuss over nothing...its no wonder players are leaving to go overseas....take the hint.....actually, how about you go on a salary cap???
I think the ad is good, its a nice change from the ads of past. I enjoy AFL, Union and Soccer but none of them can compete with the excitement and display that rugby league puts on! As long as there are fans who support the game (and there are many!!)the game will never die! GO BRONCOS AND GO RUGBY LEAGUE!!!!
I think it is boring, it doesn’t pump you or make you feel energized to go out or get up to go to a game. There was never a better ad campaign than the Tina Turner hit simply the Best, it was tough, it pumped you, it made you want to get involved, made you proud of the game, these days it sounds like a love song, someone daydreaming. Lets not kid ourselves, the game isn’t rating we'll, nor is it getting national or international new interest, it’s because the management are out of touch and they lack creativity, pack of old horses. Its about sweat and testosterone, girls with hot bods, that’s the truth, and sex sells face it, living sexy is the only way to make people pay attention, not a boring clip of a kid with dreams - that sounds more like a recruitment agency telling you to chase your dream, what are they doing looking for viewers or trying to recruit new players. Out of touch i say, go to youtube and type in Tina turner NRL simply the best n pump it.
think gallop needs to go
AFL is not part of everyone's culture & I'll never support it! I personally find it boring to watch in comparison to the greatest game our country has, Rugby League!! Bring on NRL Season 2009!!! Oh yeah, love the ad!!
Rugby League is the greatest game our country has!! AFL is ok for the southern States.. but it's not part of everyone's culture. I find it boring in comparison to Rugby League. Bring on Season 09!!! Love the ad!!
Loved tha Ad Sumthin very different It wil get peoples Attention, in tha Nxt 5 years NRL has really got 2 push It self Out thre Pushen in 2 Perth And anotha team in QLD!! To Over Power that DAM AFL!!!! Go tha DRAGONS!!!!
First i must say pauls a idiot from illawarra one this games about the passion and the love people have for it and it'll never die. NRL,NSWRL,QLDRL,Victorian Rugby League,ARL and everywhere else france italy greece papua new guinea and the world love this game its not as big as soccer no and maybe several other sports but anyone who has a chance to watch this game freak out by the skill and power involved its exciting and no matter how many players leave to new things because of money theres always us young players who are willing to step up and who have just as much talent and more but are being blocked by people like pauls mr benji i get injured and only play a couple of games a week like sonny bill williams benji is not worth what he earns as is and i know many tigers supporters who agree anyway back to the commercial it shows what leagues all about communitys coming together and friendship mate ship and support and thats showing us the way australia is rugby league the aussie game
slightly cheesy.., thats my team' was a way better campaign and song. the song they have used for this had is rubbish.. go the roosters
NRL = LOL period...
makes no difference what adds they run the nrl is doomed by its own ignorance time for a new leader gallop off david your narrow minded attitude is demoralizing our players. when the season ends so does your authority ie benji in japan let him make a living or is it jelousy!!!!!!!!

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