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Volume 6 No. 212
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Hangin' With ... Scottish Rugby Commercial Ops, Communications Dir Dominic McKay

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.