Tuesday, June 14, 2016

News: Titans aiming to get more people onside

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Rotherham Titans, the borough's rugby union club, has a new CEO and a three-year plan aimed at creating a new identity, forging closer links to the community and engendering a passion for the team - which is hoped to become a competitive Championship side again.

It was this time last year when it was announced that Nick Cragg and Martin Jenkinson wanted to take to step back from their custodianship of the club. The successful Rotherham businessmen were part of a consortium that saved the club in 2004 after the previous owner withdrew their financial backing.

New CEO and investor, Richard Lamb was in town last week to outline his vision for the club. The businessman owns the Lucid Group, a London-based group which includes a digital and print design agency and whose hospitality arm works with the sports governing body, the RFU, and was official hospitality partner of Rugby League World Cup 2013.

A former student at the University of Sheffield, Lamb came close to taking ownership of London Welsh and Rugby League's Bradford Bulls.

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Richard Lamb, CEO at the Titans, told The RugbyPaper: "If you look at what Rugby League have done very well, in a very tight footprint of places like Wake­field, Castle­ford, Leeds and Brad­ford, it's created identities that the people in those areas feel passionate about.

"I think we've spent too much time here in the past hoping that the fans will follow if you simply produce the goods on the pitch. There are too many other distractions in the leisure industry to rely on that model."

The club ended the season in the playoffs to reach English Rugby's Premiership again in 2015 but fell to a lowly 15th last season.

A re-branding sees the introduction of a modern logo with the word "Rotherham" and Thomas Rotherham's mitre replaced by a Marvel superhero style Titan.

The first effort to raise the club's profile is the announcement of a partnership with Prostate Cancer UK - the national charity that fights to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life.

From the start of the 2016/17 season the progressive club will raise money, promote awareness of the charity and its work across all of its communication and commercial mediums. As part of the partnership, Titans will carry the Prostate Cancer UK "Men United" livery across their shirts.
Lamb added: "Last year the opportunity to become more involved presented itself, and I have spent time with the team to better understand the challenges of running a Championship club.

"We've put in place some exciting plans and initiatives for next season, putting Ti­tans rugby firmly on the national rugby landscape.

"This is year one of a three-year plan, designed to take us to the top of this highly competitive league and enable us to have a solid financial footing, based on community support and strong commercial partnerships."

Rotherham Rugby website

Images: Titans / Lucid Group

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