Attention sports governing bodies
There was something very refreshing about seeing Ireland Senior Men's Head Coach Joe Schmidt, Rory Best, Ciara Griffin and Ireland Women's Senior Head Coach Adam Griggs photographed together at the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Rugby Championship launch at the Hilton Syon Park in London.
I support the Irish team. Whatever gender, whatever backround and whoever is deemed worthy of receiving the famous green colours.
It may have taken some time but in the world of today, whatever national team you are playing for should be given the same resources. If not lets hear from you.
The resources issue aside, and that is a massive obstacle for even the best resourced teams, the marketing of the games needs to adopt a one team, one support approach.
An excellent global case study in how this all needs to be presented to your fans is provided by Manchester city.
Guess what sports governing bodies worldwide? If you don't do more of this type of broad thinking you are threatening the future growth of your membership.
And you know whats an even bigger threat?
Lack of smartness in timetabling games to maximise public attendances.
In Ireland's case there has been debate about the GAA fixture calendar for years now.
And while clarification of that can't come quick enough for some, greater collaboration and consultation among sports governing bodies is imperative, if they want to maintain public support.
On the opening weekend of the Allianz Leagues how many journeys would you have to make to support your county's male gaelic football team, female gaelic football team, male hurling team and female camogie team?
Put petrol in the car, buy a burger, match admission, have a bite after the game and drive home from each fixture?
Not a runner for parents of toddlers who are time poor and others who remain unconvinced that the proverbial 'boom is back'.
The days of remaining an island in the world of sports fixtures are gone.
Any governing body that doesnt realise that and respond to the competition out there now for both attention and attendances is on the road to financial ruin, and falling out with its faithful, never mind the difficulties they will experience with player recruitment.