Can a rugby match be crowdfunded?



Crowdfunding has taken the world by storm. Only recently Neil Young managed to raise $800 million in 3 days to fund the “PONO Player” – a device that lets you hear music at the same dynamic and rate as it was recorded in studio. Just a quick glance on sites such as Kickstarter will make you appreciate the scope of crowd-funding projects out there.

This had me thinking, why not try and crowd-fund a rugby match? If 300 000 individuals each pledge $10 they will cover the costs to host the game, and then be able to sell to Sky or whomever the television rights, while paying the players and their respective federations.

Any profits generated from the game is then distributed back equally – just as it would be on any other crowdfunding project. Even if no profit is made at all – we will still all get to see one hell of a game!

To get the conversation going I will suggest we link with loads of other blogs around the world to get a project going whereby we finance a live game between the Chiefs and Toulon at Twickenham.

Why not?

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  1. Wonder what the costs are involved? Insurance, Stadium Hire, Flights, Players match fees etc.

    $3 million?

  2. Well not to rain on your parade, but I couldnt care less to host a game between Toulon and Chiefs. What about you we wait and see who wins the superrugby tournament before going all gaga over the chiefs

  3. @Aldo:

    Yes we should fund the Bulls to play – and have Steve travel with to sing a tune, and at half time we can get some bloke to hunt a bokkie on the pitch

  4. Now your talking Brendon. Get the Bulls and steve to do a roadtrip. That I’ll assist with crowdfunding. Nah not really. Point is, if you do something like this, make it work. Make it between Heinken cup and superrugby champs.

  5. @DavidS:

    I bet a better barometer will be to call the various retailers of rugby replica gear in the UK and ask them which SH team sells the most.

    In Ireland its hard to find any SA gear – bar the odd Bok jersey, whereas the kiwi stuff are everywhere. Even the Force and Rebels are starting so sell well now that BLK distributes their stuff over here.

  6. @Cheetah Glory:

    No it won’t (be a barometer)… the entire basis of your ‘crowd-funding’ scheme being profitable comes down to being able to sell the television rights to one of the big boys…

    A better barometer would be using the viewership breakdowns of all the Super 15 games across the Southern Hemisphere (and the on-sold games into the America’s/UK et al)… and then similarly across the teams and regions of the HC (and the on-sell from that)…

    Using that barometer you might not even see a Kiwi nor perhaps even French side there…

  7. I also presume you’d be wanting to ‘pay-off’ the individual unions to national bodies?

    There is no way in such a tight schedule of fixtures they would allow some outside entity come in and simply use their property ( i.e. the players) to make some moolah when they could (and have been) doing the same for years now… whether that be Sharks/Saracens, World XV against the Boks, Wallabies/AB’s in Singapore… or any other combination of what has transpired in the past since things went pro…

  8. @bryce_in_oz:

    I reckon 80% of the funding for such a venture will come from Europe where people have $10 to spend and where they will want to see such a match – even if just for novelty value.

    The thing with crowdfunding is that its a form of real democracy where ordinary people get to fund projects so those projects do not need big banks or other established institution to act as the gatekeeper.

    Once it gets going its hard to stop – and I cannot see the teams/federations saying no once serious cash starts rolling in.

    Money talks, and crowds often raise serious cash

  9. Or start our own rugby base crypto currencies.



    RuckCoin or MaulCoin for the forwards.

    RunCoin or FairyCoin for the backs.

  10. I think you may be on to something though. There are opportunities, even on a small scale.

    Cheetah fans from all over the world can crowd fund money to be paid directly to Willie as long as he stays a Cheetah.

    Their reward flows from being able to watch him do his thing in their team’s colours.

    Fan groups can set up crowd funds to pay rewards directly to players for scoring tries, winning matches etc.

  11. Setup a crowd funded bonus for your team to be paid to the players upon winning the SR title.
    If they don’t, the kitty transfers into the next year and keep growing.
    With a large enough fund, we may see talented players from everywhere trying to sign with your team.

  12. @Timeo:

    Hell yes wow thats a scary thought.

    No wonder the establishment is so scared of crowdfunding as it can seriously reduce the power some individuals have over brands.

    The arts use a slightly different model where you fund someone in exchange for an exclusive ‘product’ like a free signed CD or a hand made drawing on a McDonalds box or whatever.

    In rugby for example people often dont buy season tickets for the simple reason that they dont live near enough to their favorite team or dont have the time. So apart from your purchasing of replica gear – how can you contribute to your teams financial well-being?

    Crowdfunding the signing of 10 promising local school kids to be signed by the Cheetahs for example does not seem like such a far fetched idea.

  13. CG you’re the sexpistols of contemporary rugby football thought.

    I’d like to crowd fund Zee Bulls to keep their false idol hooves off any & all Cheetah talent & instead grow their own.

    Any mention of Messerschmitt-Willie is chumming the water.

  14. @JT_BOKBEFOK!:

    Feel free. I’m believe in communism as far as ideas are concerned.

    @Cheetah Glory:

    You’d have to think if you want to fund the inputs or the outputs.
    Paying salaries for youngsters will only work if the union can be trusted not to just use the freed up cash for other purposes. Lunch for the executives, say.

    Setting output goals like winning a certain number of games or reaching the semis and paying the money directly to the players will keep the administrators’ fingers off it and will also motivate the fans to contribute and the players to perform.