3 min read

Rugby Football League & Super League “Transformed” With IMG Partnership


The Rugby Football League (RFL) and Super League Europe have announced today a new 12-year strategic partnership with IMG, in order to “reimagine Rugby League and its competitions in the UK.”

The move to partner with IMG was made following the RFL and Super League’s recent decision to realign and form a new joint venture company.

According to the media release, IMG has assembled a new team of experts that will work closely with the newly combined entity on strategically repositioning the sport to maximise its commercial potential for long-term growth, build deeper relationships with fans and attract new audiences.

IMG will initially focus on competition restructuring, content production and innovation, domestic and international distribution of media rights, and digital transformation powered by IMG’s digital sports arm Seven League.

Brand strategy and streaming services will also be developed by the Endeavour network.

The second phase of work will see IMG provide data collection and data-driven product development, including sports betting products and streaming rights via its sports data and technology business IMG ARENA.

Rugby Football League chair, Simon Johnson, said: “In recent years, an immense amount of work has gone on, in initially protecting the sport through the pandemic and then setting it on a course for real growth.” 

“The Governance re-alignment was key and a prerequisite to attracting a partnership such as this.

“Coupled with the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair World Cups which are set for the Autumn on home soil, I have no doubt that 2022 will now prove to be a watershed year in the history of Rugby League – and this announcement will be the keystone in future success.”   

Super League chair, Ken Davy, said finding a strategic partner was a key element in defining the future of the competition. 

“We consulted widely on the strategic partner to find someone who bought into our vision for the Super League competition and the sport of rugby league as a whole,” said Davy. 

“In IMG we have a world-renowned partner that has all the requisite strengths to ensure the sport’s continued growth and development.”

IMG co-president of media and events, Adam Kelly, added: “Rugby League is loved for its thrilling, fast-paced action and we see tremendous potential to further energise the sport and its competitions in the UK, engage with fans on a deeper level and drive long-term growth.”

“We are excited to embark on this long-term partnership with the RFL and Super League and look forward to utilising IMG and Endeavor’s unparalleled expertise, experience and global network to create and add value for Rugby League and its commercial partners,” said Kelly.

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