Rugby union bets on converting America as World Cup decision nears

The governing body of the Rugby Union is considering external investment to fund the growth of sports in the U.S. ahead of the World Cups for men and women in the early 1930s.

World Rugby is Set for approval Next month the U.S. will host the men’s tournament in 2031 and the women’s tournament in 2033, having entered into exclusive negotiations with U.S. rugby so that the country can host the competitions for the first time.

Alan Gilpin, CEO of Global Rugby, said the governing body from Dublin would invest in increasing the popularity of sports in the US over the years leading up to tournaments, possibly backed by outside investors.

“Can we be smart and fund growth from other people’s money? You know, if you can say it blatantly, great. But then the question is, what part of the return on investment might you transfer to a third party?

“We need to help U.S. rugby. . . Fund participation programs and competitions through schools, colleges and universities [and] Get their own [teams] “Playing in competitions,” Gilpin told the Financial Times. “It’s an investment across the spectrum, from base to elite sports.”

Rugby is the latest sport to focus on the US as it tries to grow beyond the traditional markets. The Formula 1 and Premier League racing series have reaped the benefits of expanding to the US, despite previous struggles to compete against local sports. The US is set to be a partner in hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Gilpin, who gave priority to the women’s game, stressed the rise of the U.S. women’s team in rugby sevens, a shorter and faster version of the main game of 15 players. “The women’s game could be the leader here,” said Gilpin [the US]. It has nothing to do with women following men, it has to do with women at the forefront. “

As a sign of interest from global companies, technology consulting firm Capgemini agreed last month to sponsor a program to accelerate the growth of women’s rugby, in addition to backing it up at the Women’s World Cup later this year. “It does not make sense to sponsor only men’s sports,” said Virginia Reggies, vice president of marketing at Capgemini.

World Rugby did not hold a bidding contest to determine the host of the World Cups of the early 1930s, instead it intended to make rugby more popular by targeting the US as a growth market.

It aims to be based on the 2019 Men’s World Cup in Japan, the first in Asia. Some 857 million people watched television, up from 678 million in 2015, and generated revenue of £ 360 million, compared to £ 330 million four years earlier.

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