Thursday , July 7 2022

Super League and RFL announce 12-year deal with media giant IMG | Sport

Rugby league’s governing bodies in the UK have agreed a groundbreaking 12-year strategic partnership deal with the global media brand IMG to revolutionise the sport’s long-term prospects. The Rugby Football League and Super League have been in discussions about a new joint-venture company for almost a year, with the end goal finding a third party that could maximise the sport’s growth.

That process has now reached a conclusion with IMG, one of the most recognisable sporting and events brands in the world, joining forces with the sport. Rugby league has not sold any of its assets or competition rights to the brand, with IMG instead coming on board as a strategic partner to help deliver improvements on everything from digital transformation to competition restructuring and the distribution of the game’s media rights.

IMG will be central to a new commercial arm of the sport that will drive all event, marketing and sponsorship rights. That will enable the RFL and Super League to focus on its own on-field competition matters.

“Rugby league is loved for its thrilling, fast-paced action and we see tremendous potential to further energise the sport and its competitions in the UK, engage with fans on a deeper level and drive long-term growth,” said the co-president of IMG, Adam Kelly.

“We are excited to embark on this long-term partnership with the RFL and Super League and look forward to utilising IMG and Endeavor’s [IMG’s holding company] unparalleled expertise, experience and global network to create and add value for rugby league and its commercial partners.”

The chairman of Super League, Ken Davy, said: “Over the last 18 months, Super League has focused on analysing and defining the future of the competition, with two key elements being identified. These were to grow commercial revenues in a realignment with the RFL and the other was to find a strategic partner.

“We consulted widely on the strategic partner to find someone who bought into our vision for the Super League competition and the sport of rugby league as a whole. In IMG we have a world-renowned partner that has all the requisite strengths to ensure the sport’s continued growth and development.”

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