2020 State of Origin Media Opportunity
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 27: NRL CEO Andrew Abdo speaks to the media during a State of Origin media opportunity at Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour on October 27, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

With the end of the NRL season just days away for half of the competition, the league has reminded players of their obligations to protect the game, urging them to continue the current run of good behaviour that has led to a tangible boost to the image of rugby league.

The reminders have come after it was revealed the game’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures fan satisfaction with wider elements of the game, is up 20 per cent on the previous season in a welcome boost for the game’s public perception.

The survey data is compiled by an independent agency but is seen as an accurate reflection of the way the game is seen by the public. While it’s currently riding high, the NRL remembers the 2019 pre-season, where over 20 separate off-field incidents caused the NPS to plummet to a negative score.

Though 2022 hasn’t been without controversy, the overall conduct of players has been exemplary, and NRL CEO Andrew couldn’t be happier.

“(The NPS) is up, which is great,” Abdo told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Any time the brand health is up, it indicates fans are generally having a net positive experience and would advocate for others to become fans of the game. That’s a good sign, that fans are happy.

“(The NPS) is made up of a lot of things. You can never pinpoint any particular issue or incident and say that’s the reason (for the score). It’s an accumulation of things, and it’s trending up, which is a really positive sign that fans are proud of the game."

ARLC Chairman Peter V’Landys was also elated with the score and the broader behaviour of the league.

“Because of the excellent behaviour of the players and because there have been few off-field incidents, the Net Promoter Score is high,” V’Landys told the Herald.

“Players have to use common sense. Ultimately, they only affect themselves if they damage the game. If you damage the game, you damage the revenue capability you bring in for yourselves.”

That philosophy works the other way too, and the positive results are excellent news for players as the Rugby League Players’ Association is currently negotiating a collective bargaining agreement talks, with an expected rise in the salary cap next year.