Rugby: Groups in the game
Organizations, and the executives and partners behind them, who are at the center of rugby in North America.
■ Position: The world governing body, with 120 member unions, it organizes the Rugby World Cup every four years as well as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the World Under 20 Championship and the Pacific Nations Cup.
■ Key executives: Bill Beaumont, chairman; Brett Gosper, CEO and secretary general; Alan Gilpin, head of Rugby World Cup
■ Sponsors: Canon, DHL, Emirates, Heineken, Land Rover, MasterCard, Société Générale
■ Media: NBCUniversal networks will televise the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and the 2023 World Cup after signing a seven-year, nearly $10 million deal last month, which also includes profit-sharing clauses. In addition, NBCU has the rights to international championships in women’s rugby and the Sevens Series, with the next Rugby World Cup Sevens set for San Francisco in 2018.
■ Position: The national governing body for rugby in the U.S. It controls official sanctioning of rugby events in America, for both domestic and international players, and oversees the U.S. Olympic effort for the sport.
■ Key executives: Will Chang, chairman; Rob King, vice chairman; Dan Payne, CEO; Jim Snyder, CFO; Matthew Bailey, director of global partnerships
■ Sponsors: Adidas, American International Group (AIG), Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Emirates, Gatorade, KT Tape, Gilbert (sports equipment), Thorne Research, WorldRugbyShop.com
■ Media: Grand Prix Entertainment holds the exclusive right to own, operate and globally broadcast USA Rugby-sanctioned professional sevens matches, leagues or tournaments through the 2024 Olympics.
United World Sports
■ Position: Owner, operator and producer of the two largest annual rugby events in the United States — World Rugby’s HSBC World Sevens in Las Vegas and the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship. UWS announced last month that its North American Super 7s Rugby League will launch with a barnstorming six-city tour across the U.S. in 2018.
■ Headquarters: White Plains, N.Y.
Collegiate Rugby Championships
■ Sponsors: Aspire Wealth Planners, Atavus Rugby, CallidusCloud, Coors Light, DHL, Dunkin Donuts, Fiji Airways, HSBC North America, Lyft, Magnus Irish Ciders, NormaTec, Penn Mutual, Rhino Rugby USA, South African Airways, Tag Heuer.
■ Headquarters: New York City
■ Key executive: Owner and CEO Doug Schoninger
Grand Prix Network
■ Headquarters: Los Angeles
■ Key executives: William Tatham, chairman and CEO; Kevin Wynne, executive vice president and chief sports officer; Bruce Skinner, COO; Karyne Bazzano, CMO; Rich Rose, EVP/CRO; Ruth McCartney, chief entertainment officer.
Major League Rugby
■ Position: A startup league owned collectively by 10 existing rugby clubs, who have in some cases sought local co-investors to help professionalize their organizations and fund the league. Expects to start play in 2018 with teams in Austin, Texas; Dallas; Glendale, Colo.; Houston; Kansas City; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Salt Lake City and Seattle.
■ Headquarters: Salt Lake City
■ Key executives: Dean Howes, commissioner; Nic Benson, deputy commissioner
Rugby International Marketing
■ Position: Created by USA Rugby in 2015, RIM is a for-profit entity designed to monetize the national governing body’s commercial rights and develop new revenue streams. RIM represents the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams, the Americas Rugby Championship, Grand Prix Rugby and the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens. RIM also oversees The Rugby Channel OTT platform, launched in April 2016. Minority investors include the England Rugby Football Union, CSM Sport & Entertainment and Harlequins FC.
■ Headquarters: Lafayette, Colo.
■ Key executives: David Sternberg, CEO; Melissa Brennan, vice president of corporate partnerships
CSM Sport & Entertainment
■ Headquarters: London
■ Key executives: Harlan Stone, chairman, North America; Jeff Shifrin, group CEO; Ross Meltzer, executive vice president of properties; Rob McQueen, president of North America; Dave Mingey, managing director; Tori Stevens, senior vice president of sports strategy
■ Headquarters: London, New York City and Melbourne, Australia
■ Key executives: Bart Campbell, chairman; Mike Principe, CEO; Greg Genske, president and partner; Donald Malter, CFO; Dwight Mighty, COO; Howard Schwartz, senior vice president of sales and marketing
■ Headquarters: New York, London and Beverly Hills, Calif.
■ Key executive: Nick Chesworth, senior vice president, IMG Media