World Rugby brings Pace into top marketing role
Marissa Pace is to join World Rugby as chief marketing officer in a newly-formed marketing department for rugby union's international governing body.
Pace (pictured) will officially begin her new role in mid-January, World Rugby said today, and will be responsible for the federation’s fan-engagement and marketing strategies as the sport continues to tap new audiences in rapid-growth markets.
Pace is a former digital media manager at Formula One Management, when the motor racing series was under the control of Bernie Ecclestone.
Since 2015, she has been running her own consultancy business supporting clients from sport, advertising and investment in London, New York, Montreal and Shanghai in the development of their digital and marketing strategies.
Pace said: "It is clear that rugby is perfectly positioned to grow its fan, participation and commercial footprint into new and emerging markets and I hope to boost this by adding my experience and knowledge of digital marketing, fan engagement and international sports growth."
Brett Gosper, chief executive of World Rugby, added: "Marissa’s excellent track record in major brand, sport digital marketing strategy development and execution aligns perfectly with our continued mission to reach, attract and grow our audience, strengthen the relationship with our audience and optimise new revenue opportunities.
"Marissa is joining a strong management team at an exciting time for the sport and, in partnership with World Rugby’s commercial and communications departments and national member unions, we are collectively focused on ensuring that rugby is a major inspirer and innovator in a hugely competitive global sporting environment."
The World Rugby communications department is led by Dominic Rumbles, while the commercial team is led by chief commercial officer Tom Hill, who joined last year from English soccer giants Manchester United, where he had served in several roles including global head of sponsorship sales and global head of partnerships and operations.
Hill was the replacement for Murray Barnett, now global head of sponsorship and commercial partnerships at Formula 1. When Barnett joined World Rugby in 2013, he was head of broadcast, commercial and marketing, but World Rugby has since split up the responsibilities as the organisation has grown.