Monday, November 14, 2016

Afternoon Notes: Notre Dame & IRFU Partner, AEG Launches Rugby Division

A couple of notes to pass along to you this afternoon regarding an agreement between Notre Dame and the IRFU and AEG getting more involved in rugby.

Notre Dame & IRFU Partner

Notre Dame University and the IRFU announced today a partnership between the two organizations. As part of the partnership they "will share knowledge and expertise and develop joint projects in areas including player development, coaching and conditioning, sports medicine and psychology. The agreement will also be the building block to generate awareness of the Irish Rugby brand among the 33 million strong Irish-American community and create new commercial opportunities."

The moves comes on the heels of Ireland's big win in Chicago. As they showed over The Rugby Weekend and in previous matches against the Eagles Ireland can draw in fans from around the U.S. with Irish heritage. Ireland will visit the U.S. again next year to play the Eagles sans their British & Irish Lions players.

In a press release it was mentioned that "the partnership is likely to involve coach development courses, youth development camps, joint innovation and technology research, reciprocal internship programmes for IRFU and Notre Dame staff as well as reciprocal academic scholarships. In addition, Notre Dame will host training camps for Irish teams, while University of Notre Dame teams will train and play matches against University teams in Ireland."

AEG Announces Rugby Division

On the heels of hiring Dan Lyle AEG has announced that they have formed a rugby division. Lyle will serve as the director.

"From both a business and participation perspective, rugby has seen unprecedented growth over the past several years both in the U.S. and throughout the world, not only among the number of participants, but also among the number of amateur and professional leagues and tournaments available to those who want to play competitively," said Steve Cohen, Chief Strategic Officer of AEG in a press release. "We believe that rugby's national and international popularity will continue to rise and we see great opportunities to align our business ventures and venues with the expanding growth of the sport."

Cohen added, "There is no better leader for this new initiative than Dan and we are delighted to welcome him to the AEG family. His deep knowledge of rugby and strong experience with the business and operational aspects of the sport will provide us with a solid foundation to launch this exciting new division."

"Today the game of rugby is at an inflection point as its popularity soars around the world," said Dan Lyle. "I believe that it will rival other sports in terms of future opportunities and between advertising, licensing, facilities, sponsorship and partnerships there are tremendous growth prospects ahead. AEG's global sports leadership and worldwide network of facilities makes them an ideal partner and I am thrilled to be joining their team."

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