The International Rugby Board has today announced the renewal of
IMG as the exclusive commercial representatives for Rugby World Cup
2015 in England and Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
The agreement extends a long-standing relationship between the two parties stretching back to 1995 and will see IMG continue to represent all primary commercial rights sales and management functions for Rugby's showcase tournament, most notably broadcast, sponsorship marketing, commercial ticketing and licensing.
The relationship between IRB and IMG is one of sport's major success stories. The partnership has overseen the growth of the tournament to the world's third largest sporting event, generating record commercial revenues and underpinning the development of Rugby worldwide.
Tournament surpluses for reinvestment in the Game have significantly increased from £32 million for RWC 1995 to a record £122 million at RWC 2007. New Zealand 2011, England 2015 and Japan 2019 are expected to raise the bar higher. These surpluses underwrite a range of major funding initiatives aimed at increasing global growth and stimulating participation. In total the IRB will invest over £153 million during the period 2009-2012.
Mike Miller, International Rugby Board Chief Executive Officer, said: "Rugby World Cup is now firmly established as one of the world's premier sports events and continues to reach out to new audiences around the world through a successful broadcast and commercial platform."
"The International Rugby Board's relationship with IMG is long-standing and built on shared values and vision, and as Rugby enters a decade full of exciting new opportunities we are pleased to be extending our close working partnership. IMG's international resources and dedicated team have helped us to maximise our revenues for the good of the Game."
Broadcast coverage of Rugby World Cup has also doubled during the partnership with all the action from 2011 tournament in New Zealand set to be watched in over 200 countries. With a potential television audience of over 4 billion, Rugby World Cup is now firmly established as the world's third largest single sports event.
Julian Brand, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Events and Federations at IMG, said: "The Rugby World Cup is now one of the world's largest and most keenly awaited sporting occasions. IMG's relationship with IRB/RWC is a long-standing and proud one which we are delighted to continue. We look forward to maintaining the extraordinary growth of the RWC story throughout New Zealand 2011."