Rugby Expo has confirmed its biggest ever line up of main stage speakers across four hard hitting plenary sessions taking place on day one of the event, focusing exclusively on the professional game.

Taking place in the purpose-built main stage auditorium in the exhibition hall, the plenary sessions will be supported by the largest ever workshop programme run by the event which will be announced later in the week.

This year’s plenary sessions are as follows:

1. Rugby finance: A ticking time bomb?
How can rugby maximize income and bring costs under control to ensure the sustainability of the professional club game.
Facilitated by Roger Blitz, Financial Times

– Robert Norster, Engagesport LLP & ex-CEO of Cardiff Blues
– Dan Jones, lead partner Sports Business Group – Deloitte
– Simon Gillham, vice president – Brive Rugby Club
– Brendan Guilfoyle, partner – P&A Partnership

2. Marketing master class
Barry Hearn and George O’Grady discuss strategies for building sports brands and revenues and the specific lessons for rugby in the hugely competitive commercial sports marketplace.

3. Winning strategies to maximise ticket sales
How the partnership between the New York Mets and sells three million tickets a season in the world’s most competitive sports market.
Facilitated by Kevin Roberts, editorial director – Sport Business

– Derek Palmer, International MD,
– Leigh Castergine, VP ticket sales & services – New York Mets

4. Going for growth
The Olympic debut of rugby Sevens and consecutive World Cups in England and Japan will provide rugby with global exposure and new revenues to fund growth and development. But is the game set-up to maximize the opportunities?

Panelists will include senior figures from the Russian Rugby Union who will be hosting the 2013 Sevens World Cup, Ian McMahon, CEO of Hong Kong RFU as well as representatives from clubs who are key in delivering both commercial success and facilitating access to a new market as the sport builds up to some key events.

Commenting on the plenary sessions, John Hockey, chairman of Rugby Ventures said: “The names that make up today’s announcement are testament to the growth and progression that Rugby Expo is experiencing year-on-year and we look forward to what will be two busy and thought provoking days at Twickenham next month.”

The workshop programme will be announced on Wednesday 17th October.

If you would like to attend Rugby Expo as a delegate, or for further information on exhibitor or sponsor opportunities, please contact Jason McMahon on +44 (0) 7881 288900 or at

Editor’s Notes
Rugby Expo 2012 is the fourth occurrence of the event and will take place on 14 – 15 November at Twickenham Stadium, London.
The event, which combines an unrivalled conference programme, master class workshops and a live exhibition, is set to attract 1000 delegates and 40 exhibitors from the global rugby industry, providing those in attendance with ideal environment for learning of the latest developments in the game, networking and generating new business opportunities.
For all media enquiries, please contact Kevin Roberts, Event Consultant, using +44 (0) 7710 192960,
For additional information, please contact Jonathan Wilson, Event Director, +44 (0) 7980 826781,