Yesterday I was in London at the offices of Capgemini one of the worlds leading business consultancy groups hosts to the International Rugby Boards Tier One Economic Summit. My role at the meeting was to represent the growth of rugby in new markets, my focus being the USA.
by Nigel Melville
Yesterday I was in London at the offices of Capgemini one of the worlds leading business consultancy groups hosts to the International Rugby Boards Tier One Economic Summit. My role at the meeting was to represent the growth of rugby in new markets, my focus being the USA. John Miller (NBC) provided a broadcasters perspective (did a great job) and Peter Kenyon (former CEO of Manchester United and Chelsea soccer clubs and more recently CAA) spoke to the Asian sporting markets.
Assembled together with the IRB leadership were the CEO’s and Chairmen of the top 10 rugby playing nations in the world, all gathered in London to discuss the economic status of the game, share their individual challenges and work together to develop a strategy for the growth and development of the global game.
From USA Rugby’s perspective, the outcomes of the economic summit will play a crucial role in the direction of our organization in the years to come. The distribution of Rugby World Cup revenues across the game is the responsibility of the IRB and as I am sure you can imagine, everyone is keen to maximize their share of the cake.
The encouraging take-away from the meeting for me was the quality of the people in the room, from legends of the game such as Bill Beaumont (England) and Graham Mourie (New Zealand) and more recently Agustin Pichot (Argentina) alongside leading sports administrators such as Mike Miller, Bernard Lapasset, John O'Neil and Steve Tew. Yes, they are all there to represent their unions, protect their individual nations and interests, but they totally understand where the game has come from and where it should be going. They also understand the need to grow the game in key potential markets.
The summit is managed by John Williams at Capgemini, the process is strictly managed with presentations 'cut off' after their allocated times. The delegates work in an open plan workspace with break out groups coming back together to present back to the main group on a variety of topics. It’s a very engaging process, long hours and plenty of heated debate as you can probably imagine. This process will last for two days, when hopefully white smoke will emerge from the chimney and an IRB press release will give us a flavor of what has been agreed.
Following the summit, the IRB leadership will return to Dublin, a plan will be developed for further discussion and at some point implementation. An interesting experience and a worthwhile trip.
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