North America’s Major League Rugby (MLR) has agreed a long-term partnership with premium experiences company Legends to drive commercial revenue and grow its competition.

Through the tie-up, Legends will manage global partnerships, digital marketing, and business intelligence to “drive fan engagement and optimize revenue generation.”

To support the partnership, Legends will build a dedicated sponsorship sales team for MLR that will guide sponsorship valuation, go-to-market strategy, and partnership execution.

The firm also will implement a data-led digital marketing strategy to drive revenue across every fan touchpoint for MLR, from the ticket purchase through the gameday experience.

Additionally, Legends’ technology solutions division will deliver “innovative, data-driven actionable insights and solutions” to support MLR across all commercial aspects of the league.

The US will host the men’s and women’s editions of the Rugby World Cup in 2031 and 2033, respectively.

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Nic Benson, MLR chief executive, said: “This collaboration will help drive engagement and value for our fans and our partners, which will always be our highest priority as we continue to grow the game.

“Major League Rugby has had great success with partnerships in our first six seasons and deploying these additional best-in-class resources will allow us to supercharge our growth in the years ahead.”

Mike Tomon, Legends co-president and chief operating officer, added: “This is an exciting time for the sport of rugby in North America as interest is growing at a dramatic pace and the Rugby World Cup is coming to the US in 2031.”

MLR is entering its seventh season and will expand to 13 teams in the upcoming 2024 campaign, featuring 12 from the US and one from Canada. 

The league’s matches are televised on national network Fox Sports, as well as other national and local market platforms. It also owns The Rugby Network OTT platform which streams MLR games.

Legends has a strong track record in rugby including work with the 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cups, Irish Rugby Football Union, New Zealand Rugby, and Rugby Australia.

In the US, it has partnerships with teams such as the New York Yankees (MLB), the Dallas Cowboys, and the Los Angeles Rams (NFL).

Outside of its home market, it has deals with several major European soccer clubs including England’s Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool, and Spain’s Barcelona and Real Madrid.