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World Rugby launches new approach to global licensing programme

Press Release

  • Rugby experiencing record participation growth and fan engagement
  • World Rugby set to expand programme across all major properties
  • RFP launched for globally suitable applicants

World Rugby has announced details of a new universal approach to its licencing programme as the international federation launches a Request for Proposal (RFP).

The expanded approach will include for the first time all its major properties and brands, including Rugby World Cup and men's and women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series properties, reflecting World Rugby's strategic mission to grow the global rugby family as rugby continues to experience record participation, engagement and profile growth across existing and emerging rugby markets.

The licencing programme for Rugby World Cup has been a major success for one of the world's best-loved and successful major sports events, but with rugby sevens' Olympic Games inclusion and Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan opening new markets for the sport, the time is right for World Rugby to expand its approach to capitalise on increased demand. Rugby World Cup 2019 elements will continue to be supervised by IMG.

World Rugby Head of Commercial, Broadcast and Marketing Murray Barnett said: "Licensing is a strong and important growth area for World Rugby and we are looking to appoint a global expert to assist in marketing the sport around the world, including our major properties and brands, which will enable World Rugby to increase investment in the development of the game worldwide.”

All licensing activities across all competitions and assets will be grouped under one master licensee (with certain exceptions). This master licensee will provide minimum guarantees in addition to providing expert advice, guidance and management of World Rugby's licensing activities. While Rugby World Cup remains a major revenue-driver, a key objective is to nurture new revenue streams and visibility of other World Rugby events and assets.

The RFP is available to pre-qualified partners who can demonstrate a track record in global sports licensing. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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