DOMINIC MCKAY is Scottish Rugby's director of commercial operations, communitions & public affairs. He joined the organization in '08 and took up his current role in '11 in which he is responsible for all commercial, media, marketing, events, ticketing and public affairs activities. He is also affiliated with the Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland's two professional teams. McKay talked with SBD Global about investing in the game, building the fan base and his passion for sailing.
On last year's record attendance of more than 600,000 ... Dominic McKay: We have worked really hard as a business to support our customers as best we can. That means listening to their feedback and creating new products and ticketing options for them such as the introduction of our Scotland team Season Pass which sold over 10K in its first year. We have also invested in our marketing and advertising to widen our audience and to attract new fans from all across Scotland. It's been really pleasing to see that we are growing a new audience and are attracting more women and families to our rugby matches than ever before.
On where last year's record turnover of £40M will go ... McKay: We will continue to invest our income in developing and growing the game of rugby throughout Scotland.
We have recently announced four new initiatives around developing rugby for women, growing our local grassroots clubs, establishing four performance academies, and developing schools rugby and our income will support these programmes amongst other activities.
On how the organization recently landed some blue-chip deals ... McKay: Teamwork! We try whenever possible to over-deliver for our partners, this greatly assists with renewal discussions but also creates wider interest in the marketplace. I have a great commercial and marketing team who work really hard to make sure our partners are looked after and at the center of our commercial program. We have also spent time getting to know the market and potential partners before moving to agreements with them. Its obvious, but developing a genuine relationship with partners from the outset is vital we feel to ensuring a strong long-term relationship flourishes.
On transitioning from drinks brand Pernod Ricard to Scottish Rugby ... McKay: It's a very different industry but with some similarities. Both industries are based on growing and developing brands and innovating as much as possible to keep the customer engaged in the product in the long-term. I certainly took across ideas gleaned from the drinks industry to my work in sport and with many of our parners based in the FMCG sector it's really helpful to understand their needs from being in that space.
On his sports interests outside of rugby ... McKay: I am a passionate yachtsman and try and spend as much time as I can afloat. I'm motivated to get young people excited about trying sailing and work closely with sailing charity Ocean Youth Trust to promote the thrill of ocean sailing to young Scots. I'm also an avid soccer fan and have been following the World Cup with great interest.
The Federation of Int'l Motorcycling (FIM) has appointed TONY SKILLINGTON as commission director.
Skillington replaces WOLFGANG SRB, "who was elected as FIM Europe president during the FIM Europe Congress held in Krakow (Poland) in early July, as CMS Director until the current mandate expires" on Nov. 22 (ISPORTCONNECT, 7/24). ... TV pundit LEE YONG-SOO was named as the South Korean FA's new technical chief on Thursday, "charged with appointing a new head coach for the upcoming Asian Cup."
Lee, who does commentary for the KBS station and is a professor of physical education at Sejong University in Seoul, "resumes the role he held in 2002 when South Korea finished fourth at their home World Cup."
He replaces HWANGBO KWAN, who, along with head coach HONG MYUNG-BO, "stepped down after the Koreans managed only one point in a group stage exit" (REUTERS, 7/24). ... The Japan FA on Thursday officially named Mexican JAVIER AGUIRRE "as Japan’s new national team manager."
Aguirre, who "has twice led Mexico at the World Cup and has managed several club teams in Spain and his native country," succeeds ALBERTO ZACCHERONI "after the Italian stepped down following Japan’s first-round exit at the World Cup in Brazil last month."
JFA Technical Dir HIROMI HARA "would not reveal the details of Aguirre’s contract," but local media have reported that "he will be handed an initial two-year deal with an option to extend to the 2018 World Cup in Russia," on an estimated salary of $2.45M a year (JAPAN TIMES, 7/24). ... Former Real Madrid and Brazil coach VANDERLEI LUXEMBURGO "has been appointed manager" of Brasileiro side Flamengo "for a fourth time."
Luxemburgo replaces NEY FRANCO, "who was sacked after the club picked up just seven points from their first 11 league matches." Luxemburgo "becomes Flamengo's thrid coach this season" (REUTERS, 7/23). ... The Turks & Caicos Islands FA named SONIA BIEN-AMIE its new president. Bien-Aime, who served as the FA’s general secretary for the last eight years, was elected president during its annual general meeting (AGM) held at The Regent Grand Resort on July 21 (TCIFA).
Singaporean businessman ERIC DING SI YANG "was sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday after being found guilty of bribing three Lebanese soccer referees with prostitutes to fix a match."
Local media said that Ding's defense counsel, HAMIDUL HAQ, "told the court his client planned to appeal both the conviction and the sentence" (REUTERS, 7/24). ... Former cricket senior national coach ANDY FLOWER "will lead England Lions in their triangular series against New Zealand A and Sri Lanka A next month."
Flower, who stood down as England head coach following the disastrous Ashes tour last winter, "remained as technical director of elite coaching at the England and Wales Cricket Board and will now play a key role in developing players for the top team" (PA, 7/24). ... Britain's KATE CAITHNESS "is set to retain her position as president of the World Curling Federation" after being named on Wednesday as "the only candidate for the next four-year term." Caithness is "the first female president of any Olympic Winter Sports Federation" (INSIDE THE GAMES, 7/23). ... ANDY MURRAY "is set to continue his ground-breaking partnership" with coach AMELIE MAURESMO. The pair "initially teamed up just for the grass-court season but had talks immediately after Murray's quarter-final loss to Grigor Dimitrov at Wimbledon." The key factor for Murray "will have been the amount of time Mauresmo is prepared to travel with him."
But photographs from Murray's training camp in Miami "showed Mauresmo with him and the rest of his team, indicating an announcement of an agreement is close" (London INDEPENDENT, 7/24).