Thursday, August 23, 2018

MLR Enter Strategic Negotiations With Professional French Rugby

Major League Rugby has announced that they have entered into strategic negotiations with Ligue National de Rugby (LNR), the French organization that runs the Top 14 and the Pro D2. The two organizations "have agreed to enter into a negotiation period to explore potential areas of strategic collaboration between the two leagues." Potential areas of collaboration include television, media and digital strategies, player and referee development, and other topics. Negotiations should conclude before the end of the year.

What exactly comes out of these talks is unclear but it has the potential to deliver something good for both sides. The Top 14 has been consistently one of the more proactive competitions in the world in expanding their market. It would make a lot of sense for them to want to partner with MLR. Not only would it help them reach into the American market but it could also provide a destination for players that didn't get the needed playing time in the Top 14 and it would provide a source of potential new players. For MLR it would provide them with a connection to the top tier of professional rugby and accelerate their development.

Take the jump to read more.

Here are some quotes from those involved:

Dean L. Howes, MLR Commissioner: For Rugby to succeed in the United States, the game has to continue to thrive and grow on the global stage. The potential partnership with LNR would be a powerful driver for the global game, linking competitions in two of the world’s largest global rugby markets.

Paul Goze, LNR Chairman: This first agreement is part of our 2016-20203 Strategic Plan logic, which includes TOP 14 international brand development. Professional rugby needs to raise worldwide and the LNR wishes to be part of this development, being the organizer of the most attractive championship in the world.

Alain Tingaud, LNR vice-Chairman: We’ve had many meetings with the MLR these last 10 months. LNR 20 years’ experience in structuring and developing professional rugby in France with, for example, ambitious regulations on Academies, Marketing, or even the game regulations, are strategic topics for the MLR who has a strong ambition to develop its professional championship after a promising first season.

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