USA Rugby, the sport’s governing body in the country, has appointed the international sports agency Sportfive as its exclusive global marketing partner.
In this role, Sportfive will provide the US rugby union organiser with expertise in delivering services for global rightsholders, including “insights and research, digital audience development and fan engagement, commercial and sponsorship development, media rights negotiations and experiential marketing and live event production”, USA Rugby has said.
The Sportfive data and insights team will use research tools to analyse potential growth avenues for USA Rugby in terms of its fanbase, while the agency’s digital division will work with USA Rugby to “develop and execute a social media and creative strategy across their digital channels.”
Sportfive will also provide sales support to help grow USA Rugby’s stable of corporate sponsors.
In addition to this, the media arm of Sportfive will “provide strategy and marketing services for USA Rugby’s media and content relationships in an effort to maximise the organisation’s audience.”
The Rooftop2 subsidiary of Sportfive, meanwhile, will help provide the body with live event services and activation.
Ross Young, USA Rugby’s chief executive, said: “Sportfive’s proven expertise and track record will increase our ability to deliver value for fans, commercial partners and the rugby community across the spectrum. Their portfolio of clients and range of services across digital marketing, sales and public relations will complement the foundations we've built and allow us to build our positioning.”
Marc Tarozzi, executive vice-president of Sportfive and Rooftop2 Productions, added: “With Sportfive's long history of driving the businesses of global sports properties, and with our extensive knowledge of sports like rugby, we’re excited at the opportunity to help USA Rugby grow its business and fanbase.”
Late last month, USA Rugby formally announced its bid to host the men's Rugby World Cup in either 2027 or 2031, as well as the women's edition in 2029.
The country's Major League Rugby competition launched in 2018, and in recent years a growing number of high-profile test matches, including games featuring New Zealand's iconic All Blacks – have been held in the country.
In terms of its rugby union portfolio, meanwhile, Sportfive has relationships in place with several clubs from French rugby union’s top-tier Top 14 league and with the European national teams’ Six Nations Championship.
Earlier this week the agency entered into an exclusive two-year partnership with the Nigerian national soccer federation, and with that country’s top-tier domestic league.
Under the deal, which will begin this year and run to 2023, Sportfive will sell commercial rights on behalf of the Nigeria Football Federation and the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The agency will be responsible for the commercialisation and distribution of NPFL marketing rights and said it will particularly target new partners for the league and expand the commercial marketing.
Sportfive signed a contract with the NFF and the League Management Company Limited, which operates the top-flight NPFL.