Premiership rugby final: Winning, attendances and digital growth
The Premiership rugby final is upon us. Favourites Saracens take on Sale Sharks at Twickenham this weekend looking to add to their respective trophy cabinets.
But with the final set to offer a lot on the pitch, how does it look off it?
Here we have looked at some playing statistics, attendance statistics and social data in relation to the showpiece event and the two teams taking part.
Winning a Premiership final
Saracens are looking to win their sixth title in 10 finals. Their current conversion rate of turning Premiership finals into trophies is 55.5 per cent, winning five of their nine finals.
Of the clubs who have won a Premiership title in the play-off era, Sale actually lead the way winning the one final they appeared in at a conversion rate of 100 per cent.
Wasps have won 66 per cent of their finals while Saints and Leicester have each won 50 per cent of theirs – Leicester have won five titles in 10 finals while Saints have won one in two.
While Saracens as a club are looking for their sixth title, their talismanic No10 Owen Farrell is aiming to achieve the same feat. Having been at the club for their first title in 2011, the back has stuck with his team throughout their era of dominance – and relegation.
Sale have a number of Premiership winners in their ranks, too, including George Ford and Jonny Hill.
There have been some reports suggesting that Saturday’s final could see 20,000 empty seats.
Some have suggested that the reason behind this is the cost of living crisis combined with ticket prices – which begin at £50 but quickly rise thereafter – keeping neutrals away. Others argue that neither Sale nor Saracens have the fan bases to make a significant dent in the 82,000 capacity of Twickenham Stadium.
In the Gallagher Premiership this year – excluding their home semi-final – Saracens averaged an attendance of 8,613 at a stadium capacity of 72 per cent.
Sale – from their 10 home games – averaged an attendance of 6,619 with a percentage capacity of 63.
Only Newcastle averaged a lower attendance than these two sides – 5,611 – but they and London Irish averaged a lower percentage capacity than Sale.
So there’s a method behind the theory of fan bases but current ticket prices aren’t easy to justify in the current climate for neutrals, either.
The cheapest price point that a family of four could attend the final based on the tickets which remain available is £140 – not cheap if you don’t support either side and £32 more expensive than a family of four at an otherwise sold-out Wembley for football’s Championship play-off final on the same Saturday.
Down with the kids
We increasingly see clubs and organisations judged on their revenue streams and financial progress but also their social growth.
In data crunched by Horizm, Sale have seen their total followers grow year on year by more than 40,000 from 204,000 to 247,000.
Saracens’ rise has been smaller, growing from a bigger base of 402,000 to 418,000.
Horizm also says that both clubs have posted fewer times this year than they have last year.
Premiership Rugby’s engagement rate is down despite growing its follower base by over 100,000 – though the English top flight’s monetary value of their digital output is higher than rival league the Top14.
This final will be decided on the pitch, of course, but there are data points and statistics that make everything but the game just as interesting.