Life in the Front Office has partnered with Sportsdigita for an 8 episode series in which Ep.3 features our partner, Commissioner of Major League Rugby, George Killebrew alongside our CEO & Founder Angelina Lawton to discuss “Rugbytainment”.
For our third episode in partnership with the “Life in the Front Office” podcast, we were honored to host George Killebrew Commissioner of Major League Rugby (MLR) alongside Sportsdigita CEO Angelina Lawton for a conversation about:
✅ The sport and history of Rugby
✅ The importance of technology and partnerships in today’s landscape
✅ A bright future of “Rugbytainment” ahead
With many powerful insights and a wealth of knowledge, we thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with George. Here are 5 key takeaways from this action-packed episode:
- Rugby on the Rise – it is no secret that the sport of Rugby, while still growing in the U.S., is a worldwide sensation when it comes to international sports. From overseas leagues paving the way for popularity in the states, to a youth movement building its momentum, it’s just a matter of time until Rugby joins the ranks alongside leagues such as NBA, MLS, NFL, NHL, and MLB. This year’s draft class for MLR was the first of its kind and included over 475 top-tier athletes, something never before seen by this league. Additionally, many international athletes have recently joined franchises in the U.S. bringing a huge new following to the sport with major opportunity!
- History of Excellence – as a longtime partner of Sportsdigita, previously with the Dallas Mavericks for an impressive 27+ years, George knew that bringing Digideck to Major League Rugby was a “no brainer.” In fact, within the first month as Commissioner he began looking into bringing the platform to the entire league, which he later did. George states that using Digideck at the Mavericks “tripled their team’s productivity,” something that would only elevate MLR’s reach with a similar approach.
- Learning from MLS – with any new league joining the world of professional sports, it is important to examine those who have embarked down a similar journey. With MLR, George states that the league is using Major League Soccer (MLS) as its “north star” giving the league a nod for its ability to grow the sport of soccer in the United States. George plans to leverage a similar approach when it comes to MLR starting with a focus on youth athletics and growing rugby from the ground-up.
- Poised for Partnerships –professional sports wouldn’t be what they are today without sponsors. For MLR, many new partnerships worth noting have been recently announced including:
- Genius Sports
- American Airlines
- Are you ready for “Rugbytainment”? The best term we’ve heard so far in 2021? Probably! Coining the term “Rugbytainment” for its reliance on both: the sport of rugby + the importance of entertainment, George introduced this new buzzword to the mix stating, “we have to have something for everyone” when fans tune into a game and that its “all about the experience.” With plans that are moving full-steam-ahead we could not be more excited to witness Rugbytainment in action!
In 2021 MLR is slated to air 35 matches on National TV and continue to spread the word about this quickly emerging, fast-paced sport born from tradition. We are honored to work across the league with its franchises continuing to power Sponsorship efforts + drive wins with our cloud-based presentation platform, Digideck. Thank you to George and MLR for joining us on this must-hear episode. The future of MLR is bright!