Sports and live entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has formed a new division dedicated to rugby union.
Announced today (Monday) at the World Rugby Congress and Exhibition in London, AEG Rugby will seek to expand AEG’s reach into the sport by developing strategic partnership opportunities and programing that utilise its global network of stadiums and venues.
Former US national team player Dan Lyle, who previously served as executive vice-president for sports and entertainment group United World Sports, has been hired to serve as the division's director.
“From both a business and participation perspective, rugby has seen unprecedented growth over the past several years both in the US 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,” Steve Cohen, chief strategic officer of AEG, said.
“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.”
AEG Rugby will be developed under the AEG Sports business unit which oversees professional sports franchises such as NHL ice hockey team the LA Kings, Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy, Deutsche Eishockey Liga outfit Berlin Eisbären and the Tour of California UCI WorldTour cycling event.
AEG Facilities own, manage or consult with more than 120 leading venues around the world including London’s O2 Arena, the Sprint Center in Kansas City and the Mercedes-Benz Arenas in Berlin and Shanghai.
Lyle said: “Today the game of rugby is at an inflection point as its popularity soars around the world. 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.”