(USA Rugby Release) LAFAYETTE, CO – In April, USA Rugby and EY announced a new partnership where the global leader in advisory services would become principal partner to the National Governing Body (NGB). As part of the partnership, EY will provide consulting services to USA Rugby during this transformational period with the goal of developing an organizational strategic plan. A primary focus of the partnership will be the overall digital strategy within USA Rugby, with the goal of growing participation and rugby fan base through a digitally enabled method. In turn, leveraging increased business opportunities for the organization.
EY and USA Rugby have kicked off the consultancy portion of the partnership by completing research within the organization and a new corporate strategy that looks forward over the next 10 years. This work meant understanding USA Rugby’s role as an NGB and delivering a purpose-driven strategy as well as growing the fan base in the US to drive wider engagement. Primary pillars of the strategic plan include a sustainable operating model, transformation of USA Rugby’s digital strategy, and development of organizational diversity and inclusion.
“EY has been incredibly supportive through the early stages of the partnership, bringing members of the organization together for very insightful evaluation,” noted USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young, “As we embark on this critical turning point, EY's expertise and understanding for the business and rugby landscape is more than encouraging as we navigate a long-form strategy. A very promising path ahead, to say the least."
Over a six-week period, EY advisory worked with USA Rugby to conduct research into the organizational structure of the NGB and its ambitions moving forward. Through inclusive interviews and workshops with USA Rugby stakeholders, including Board of Directors, National Office, committee leaders, community partners, World Rugby and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), EY was able to collect information from the broad spectrum of the sport here in the United States. From this activity, USA Rugby has established relevant purpose, vision, mission, and values to centralize the development of a strategic plan and help set the foundation for growth over the next 10 years.
“We’re excited to partner with USA Rugby to empower America to embrace the rugby experience. By assisting USA Rugby to grow the player and fan base for rugby in the United States, we are uniting the community, igniting sustainable development and growing opportunities nationwide,” according to Norman Lonergan, EY Global Vice Chair, Advisory.
A primary focus of the partnership will be the overall digital strategy within USA Rugby, with the goal of growing participation and rugby fan base through a digitally enabled method. In turn, leveraging increased business opportunities for the organization.
Ambitions through the digital transformation will be for USA Rugby to better engage with members, fans, and donors through targeted communication and marketing. This effort is driven by improved insights and analytics in addition to more effective communications. Proper insights will support the organization in further understanding the multiple personas within the rugby community and how each individually engages with the sport. Restructuring USA Rugby current data architecture becomes an emphasis in this objective.
“Our vision is for rugby to be recognized as a mainstream American sport, offering lifelong opportunities for people to connect with the game in any manner they choose. We feel rugby can serve as a platform to unlock personal potential and unites communities through a shared passion and participation in the sport. So, by reimagining our purpose and digitally enabling our organization, EY is helping us do just that” says Mark Griffin, Commercial Director, USA Rugby.
EY and USA Rugby will also focus on increasing diversity and inclusion (D&I) throughout the organization and community. From leadership representation at the national office and Chula Vista to developing more opportunities for the public to get involved with rugby. Through the partnership, each entity will cooperatively develop a road map for this progression to see growth fulfillment over the 10-year plan.
This partnership comes at a momentous time for USA Rugby, as the both U.S. women's and men’s rugby teams qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the closing weekend of the Women's Super Series is upcoming and the Men's Rugby World Cup kicks off in September.
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