Morné

Building a rugby empire


Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content on 9 Jun 2010 at 12:17
Tagged with : , , ,

Securing a sustainable and profitable future as a union or franchise depends on your ability to apply the same principles you require for your business, to your resources and assets.

Every industry is faced with inherent risks, and those risks have to be managed correctly if any company hopes to obtain sustained success in their specific industries.

Professional rugby is a high risk, high turn-over industry for both unions and franchises as-well as their most important resources in their players they employ and manage. The very nature of rugby union almost implies that players should not get a ‘normal salary’ but instead receive danger pay, because every time they go out to apply their trade either in practice or in matches, they put their careers and their futures on the line risking injury, which also puts their employers’ business and sustained future success at risk by standing to lose out on their resource or investment.

For most part managing these risks in professional sport is a lottery, but it should not be.

When analysing risks in any industry succession plans need to be implemented to minimize these risks to the point where the company will need to rely less on miracles or hope (that it would not happen to them) and more on supporting structures or mechanisms to minimize the impact such risks brings to their assets or future growth potential.

Setting up these structures is not simply a plug and play implementation, but requires time to build, maintain and strengthen your structures which may even include breaking down certain aspects of these structures in order to ensure the final product remains strong.

What rugby unions and franchises should effectively aim for is to have a system in place where once a player is identified and incorporated into these structures (your investment in him begins), will be to ensure he does not get lost in it, and/or make it as difficult as possible for him to leave this system.

This structure will consist of multiple levels, each with its own goals and objectives to both union and player but importantly, link up and work jointly with all other levels within the main structure to ensure a mapped progression and growth for both union and player.

In any career an employee mainly requires job security, this will include satisfying of monetary requirements as well as a growth path to ensure job security and longevity in that specific choice of career. Rugby has unique risks, but the building blocks or foundation of success in the professional environment remains exactly the same.

From time to time, as with any business, you will cut out or cut down certain resources or strategic alliances and allegiances if it falls out of scope with company objectives or goals, as much as you will add to those structures or departments at all levels.

Rugby union will be the same. All businesses invest in resources or development same as rugby does in coaches, administrators and players. Some of these investments are successful and some not. Rugby, like all professional companies need to make strategic decisions and identify possible threats to these overall objectives in time and ensure overall strength in these structures are maintained.

This means in rugby terms that you will sometimes have to let players go and cut your losses, while also import or acquire new resources even at the higher ends of these structures (professional or highly paid and experienced players) to maintain the overall integrity of your business. The trick again as with any business is to try and minimize this and to do this on your own terms, and not be forced into potential disruptive acquisitions.

This is accomplished of course by ensuring the building blocks, or foundation of your business is sound where in rugby this will mean your feeding and youth structures operate at optimal efficiency.

As mentioned in the beginning of this article this will require time, but without proper planning failure will be imminent and success short term.

In accordance with setting up and managing the internal structure processes effectively, rugby unions and franchises will also have to adapt and adopt to trends and and when, but preferably before they occur. This means constant re-assessing of the company and market to continuously update all potential threats and strengths internally to fall in line with global and national trends.

With the threats Southern Hemisphere rugby is currently exposed to like the player exodus to other unions and the Northern Hemisphere, it is vital that we start re-assessing our internal structures and positions in the rugby market both locally, and globally.

We will also have to constantly remind ourselves that because of the unique challenges rugby players face specifically through possible injury and even career ending injuries every time they take the field, monetary incentives are not the only bargaining tool in the global market when competing for resources.

A proper internal structure that offers players not just a monetary security but also social, cultural and future securities through a properly mapped out career path within any organisation (or player roadmap) could go a long way to ensure sustained success as is currently the case in the business world.

You will not always be able to hold onto everyone, because as I did myself at one stage of my life, chasing money will be more important for some as it was for me, but as with any profession, you are quickly exposed to the inherent risks of any industry if there is no career path mapped out for you.

Currently in a South African context one union is getting this right, and if SA Rugby union and even the remaining SANZAR unions and franchises want to limit the threats they are currently exposed to, they will do well to adapt and adopt the Bulls rugby union’s structures into their own franchises as well as on a national scale.



66 Comments

  • Too heavy for me right now

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.06.10 12:19:42 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 1) :

    hehehe :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.06.10 12:25:12 by wpw Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 1) : :lol:

    Morne and his novels.. :roll: :wink:

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.06.10 12:26:30 by Ice Reply
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  • I’ll wait for the comments to sum it up

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.06.10 12:37:59 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • That is heavier than Piri Weepu.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.06.10 12:43:10 by Oubaas2009 Reply

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  • @Oubaas2009 (Comment 5) : So it has to be a Ricky January :lol:

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.06.10 12:45:06 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Julle is LELIK!!! :twisted:

    Ok, no let me go read the darn thing!! :grin:

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.06.10 12:45:22 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 7) : that might take a while… :twisted: see you this afternoon! :lol:

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.06.10 12:48:27 by Ice Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) : Never. Piri makes Ricky look like he is on Weighless.

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.06.10 12:55:30 by Oubaas2009 Reply

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  • has anyone actually read this yet? :)

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.06.10 13:09:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : The first and last paragraph.

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.06.10 13:11:15 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • Took the time to read it actuallly quite interesting !!

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.06.10 13:13:57 by Dalz Reply

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  • Morne, just to let you know I am busy reading :razz: still … :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.06.10 13:13:59 by rekinek Reply
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  • I can’t understand the first sentence ! :oops:

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.06.10 13:14:07 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • I was scanning through IRB Regulations and there is a mention of payment to unions for talent development if a young player moves to a diffirent union – so not all is lost.

    Regarding danger pay – it would be interesting to know how it works with insurance and look at it from the insurance perspective as well.

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.06.10 13:19:50 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 14) : :?: Are you not English speaking :mrgreen: ;-)

    Rugby unions must look at the players and prospective players (schools, clubs etc) as assets and resources and manage them in a businesslike fashion. – me thinks this is what Morne’s saying in this particular sentence.

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.06.10 13:22:16 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I did :!: do we get prizes for reading as well ? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.06.10 13:23:07 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 17) :

    Yes, a Sharksworld t-shirt that reads:

    “I finished an article from Morne in time for Christmas!”

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.06.10 13:25:32 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 18) :Hahahahahahah

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.06.10 13:29:35 by Ice Reply
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  • After carefull perusal the Ratio Decidendi of the article seems to be :

    NRU should be run more professionally.
    Send some head hunters up north and convince some of the bulls management to replace our current management.

    Obiter : Our support structures aren`t up to scratch and more carefull planning should go into development and retention of young players

    There you have it. ;-)

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.06.10 13:30:02 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 18) : :lol: can’t wait – will wear it with pride.

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.06.10 13:30:48 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 18) : and since you are here :
    do you really think that rugby has such a high turnover when it comes to players when comparing with other businesses.
    I think it is actually not that bad. Most people change jobs at some point or other.

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.06.10 13:33:31 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 20) :but we knew that?!

    Wonder why it takes Morne so long to say that…must be bad with words.. :wink:

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.06.10 13:34:23 by Ice Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 20) : i thought you were doing sth in economics and not law. :lol:

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.06.10 13:34:58 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 24) : Macro economics gets tedious after a while. I branched out into roman and private law as well :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.06.10 13:39:40 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 22) :

    The area in the game with the highest retention rate from a year-to-year basis is from school leavers to semi-professional rugby.

    The highest turn-over area is in the area of first year professionals, i.e. as soon as they break onto the scene as professionals they are most likely to move.

    The lowest turn-over is at the level where unions have managed to hold onto their players for 3 years (least movement).

    I do not know how accurate that study was but in some ways it is logical to me.

    It basically mean that if you are able to secure the services of a youngster (school leaver or semi-professional) for more than 3 years he is more than likely to stay with you than move.

    It all comes back to proper investment in youth structures.

    The risk with movement of fully professional and established players is usually the price tag and baggage (demands) that comes with them.

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.06.10 13:39:54 by Morné Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 23) :

    Aaahhh, but the question is that if it (the problem) is so well known… why is it still a problem??? :twisted:

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.06.10 13:42:13 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : interesting.
    It does make a lot of sense. In certain professions that require to do articles to qualify ( lawyers, accountants and alike) there seem to be a lot of movement in freshly qualified. Then once yuou are established it is more difficult to move.
    Just shows you in how many respect rugby is just like any other business.

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.06.10 13:46:41 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 8) :

    Yaso. I only finished reading it now!!

    You were spot on Ice!! LMAO :lol: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.06.10 13:47:05 by wpw Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 27) :not because of the fans… That’s why I wrote the shoppingguide for dummies…with the emphasise on DUMMIES!

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.06.10 13:48:39 by Ice Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 25) : :shock: ooo gooosh – you must have too much time.
    Though Roman law is quite :cool: – You must do Latin as well.

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.06.10 13:48:51 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 27) : Because Straueli suffers from Bullterrier/Louis Luyt sindrome? ( he just won`t let go . .. )

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.06.10 13:49:58 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 14) :

    Thats cos you’re a New Zealander!! :twisted: ;-)

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.06.10 13:58:36 by wpw Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 31) : Yeah well lately I do seem to have more time available, not being involved in semi`s or finals gives me an extra 2 weeks every semester!

    I`ll leave Latin for when we get relegated out of the super 14 though . . . ceteris paribus of course.

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.06.10 13:59:22 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 18) : thanks morne just remember to send me mine ii’ read the first couple of lines and will carry on later :cool: ;-)

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.06.10 14:06:46 by chaz Reply

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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 34) : :lol:

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.06.10 14:09:09 by rekinek Reply
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  • Oh my thats was long hope i can remember all that

    Danger pay yes agree with because like any job that has danger in it you get paid extra :roll: so guys you play a dangerous game so danger pay is really a must :roll:

    Well like any job if you do the job right and the big guys can see that you 1005 your best you get a raise and my our XV teams go to CC gets to play the S14 and done well there 100% given from your part well move onto the SPRINGBOKS now that must be some Raise

    and if you don’t do the job or haven’t given 100% well then i’m afraid
    go abroad because you’ll be drop like a piecse of potato in a sack

    ;-)

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.06.10 14:20:23 by chaz Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 18) : ok i’ve read and did my part please get Rob to send me my t Shirt :lol: ;-)

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.06.10 14:22:13 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 38) :

    In the mail.

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.06.10 14:24:29 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 39) : :cool: thank me friend and must say its a good artical ;-)

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.06.10 14:32:16 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 40) : NOOO! Don’t compliment him, just now he writes anothet novel!! :twisted:

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.06.10 14:40:49 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 41) : eeee give him space he must just learn to write :roll: short novels because its so longgggggggggggg and when you get in the middle got to think of what was said at the begining or just start reading all over again ;-)

  • Comment 42, posted at 09.06.10 14:44:13 by chaz Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 39) : ok gave you a great compilment now how about the S14 or lets make it a S15 CC or what the he!l just a rugby jesey for me pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee or try and get me a white jersey from the team the one they play in abroad :lol: ;-)

  • Comment 43, posted at 09.06.10 14:47:06 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 43) : How about that pink Force option of some years ago? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 44, posted at 09.06.10 14:57:41 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 44) : no thank you (pink FORCE) am i reading you right :smile:

  • Comment 45, posted at 09.06.10 15:31:10 by chaz Reply

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  • Dude seriously!!

  • Comment 46, posted at 09.06.10 16:08:17 by Poisy Reply
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  • SUPER RUGBY must become the Ultimate stage in world rugby within 5years…it must be the UEAFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE,of world rugby with the best of the best wanting to compete in this Tournament…IPL did it with cricket…then we will be able to hold on to Global broadcasting rights. Just imagine a Sevens tournament based on IPL FUNDAMENTALS…or a super rugby leage where the best invests in this tournament…I leave it up to imagination. I bet the Ausies are already worrking on the business plan

  • Comment 47, posted at 09.06.10 16:20:57 by BoerSeun Reply

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  • @Poisy (Comment 46) : which dude? :)

  • Comment 48, posted at 09.06.10 16:24:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • I see Boersun is refining his use of capitals. :lol:

  • Comment 49, posted at 09.06.10 17:59:56 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 49) :

    I hope you noticed I changed the opening/introduction paragraph/sentence just for you…

  • Comment 50, posted at 09.06.10 18:07:14 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 50) :

    Brilliant…..totally understand, will continue with the article now…… looking forward to it.

    PS I’m well up for a Sharksworld TShirt :mrgreen:

  • Comment 51, posted at 09.06.10 18:13:46 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 51) :

    I will print them personally with the permission of Rob and KSA…

  • Comment 52, posted at 09.06.10 18:19:48 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 52) :

    Sharkworld Merchandise Manager what a great role.

    I could be your NZ Distributor ! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 53, posted at 09.06.10 18:31:41 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • The mind boogles at the potential phases that could be adopted !

  • Comment 54, posted at 09.06.10 18:32:34 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 53) : except you are in UK :mrgreen:

  • Comment 55, posted at 09.06.10 18:35:44 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 52) : and how long will it take to receive them :?: ;-)

  • Comment 56, posted at 09.06.10 18:45:30 by chaz Reply

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  • Hello ladies, gents… Oh and hello to you too HH!! :twisted:

  • Comment 57, posted at 09.06.10 18:47:56 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) :

    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 58, posted at 09.06.10 18:50:09 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 55) :

    Plans are afoot :cool:

  • Comment 59, posted at 09.06.10 18:50:45 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) : howzit bro ;-)

  • Comment 60, posted at 09.06.10 18:58:17 by chaz Reply

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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 59) : coming to SA thats great :???:

  • Comment 61, posted at 09.06.10 18:59:05 by chaz Reply

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  • @chaz (Comment 61) :
    ….arhhh no maybe not….however will get there to follow the AB’s one day soon !

  • Comment 62, posted at 09.06.10 19:04:11 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) : you always seem to make it to SW but gone at the same time :roll:

  • Comment 63, posted at 09.06.10 19:21:23 by chaz Reply

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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 62) : only testing :roll:

  • Comment 64, posted at 09.06.10 19:21:50 by chaz Reply

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  • Sorry chaz! Had to bath the little one!! :wink:

  • Comment 65, posted at 09.06.10 19:57:09 by wpw Reply
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  • best article i,ve read so far on this site don,t agree with everything but great article

  • Comment 66, posted at 10.06.10 06:53:48 by zvision10 Reply

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