BY THOMAS ALDERSON
Toronto Wolfpack RLFC have made plenty of waves in the rugby league sporting world so far. Since coming into their first ever professional rugby league campaign, the RFL’s Kingstone Press League One, the Wolfpack have produced countless headlines for both their on and off the field achievements.
Currently sitting unbeaten in the regular League One season and favourites for automatic promotion into the Kingstone Press Championship with a plethora of stars in their roster, Toronto have worked tireless away from the pitch to ensure the club has been a booming success in every aspect.
Toronto boast the largest ever sponsorship deal of any rugby league club in the northern hemisphere through primary partners Air Transat, which goes a long way to making the logistics behind the travel to and from the Wolfpack’s home ground Lamport Stadium on the other side of the Atlantic a reality.
The endorsements behind the club are impressive and this is largely due to the efforts of many behind the scenes, and none more so than Director of Rugby Brian Noble MBE and Business Development Officer Martin Vickers.
A former CEO of Super League club Salford Red Devils, Vickers’ invaluable networking skills combine perfectly with the charismatic and business minded Noble to secure investment and sponsorship of the club through their promotion of not only Toronto Wolfpack as a business and sports team, but as a vision for the future.
Staging a high brow networking event at Sedulo, the UK financial advisors to the Wolfpack, in central Manchester last Wednesday; successful entrepreneurs were invited to enjoy an evening getting to know the Wolfpack. This involved an intriguing viewing of Toronto’s exciting docu-series ‘Last Tackle – Inside the Toronto Wolfpack’ followed by a first-hand presentation on building a successful business from the most successful coach in the Super League era Brian Noble himself.
The presentation was terrific and brilliantly presented by Noble. Combining his obvious passion and knowledge of the game with some strong, and at times uncompromising, business ethics, Noble was able to strip back and break down the creation of so many successful sides under his guidance. Further to that, the talk demonstrated the similarities in building a successful business in sport with other more conventional business frameworks, showing the guests how these attributes could be transferrable to their own firms.
Noble and Vickers were, above all, keen to emphasise the ambition and dream the Wolfpack is chasing. To gain back-to-back promotion into Super League for a side that only came into existence 18 months ago is quite frankly astounding but, with the momentum this club has generated thus far, the men and women in the room found themselves fully enticed with the vision and will no doubt be ready and willing to join the journey the Canadian franchise is on.
The event received fantastic feedback and high praise, generating a lot of genuine interest towards the club from the delegates:
“The club seems to have the right balance of northern England and Canadianism which is married together really well at the moment with that common vision. By the end I found myself sharing their dream! I want to be there for round one of their first Super League match.”
“The documentary was fantastic. It reminded me of the old programme that went behind the scenes, rugby league raw, it was great. It really makes the players look marketable and it was very entertaining.”
Last week’s event was but the tip of the iceberg of the effort that goes into drumming up hype, investment and support needed to maintain a successful sporting club. From what I’ve seen Toronto Wolfpack are doing everything right to ensure their club continues to evolve into the champion rugby league side they want it to be; it’s something everyone should undoubtedly be excited to witness.