Major League Rugby has gained another commercial boost ahead of its third season by partnering with sports performance technology company Catapult Sports.
All 12 MLR teams will be equipped with Catapult’s wearable technology to track and improve their performance in training and games.
“I’m pleased to be partnering with Catapult once again to utilise their top of the line sports technology capabilities,” said MLR commissioner George Killebrew, who used the company’s technology while working for the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks. “I know the difference that their products can make for professional athletes and I feel this partnership is crucial for continued development of our athlete’s training, and our league analytics.”
The Melbourne-based Catapult recently signed similar deals in the United States with the Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Red Bulls academy in Major League Soccer, and college sports’ Texas Tech University, Stanford University, and University of Iowa.
Earlier this month, MLR announced Rhino Rugby as its official ball and technical training equipment supplier for the 2020 season. The London-based Rhino Rugby will provide the Vortex Elite ball as the official MLR match balls for all 12 teams, as well as Hurricane practice balls and innovative ruck and hit shields.
MLR is expanding to 12 teams this year with the addition of New England Free Jacks (Boston), Old Glory DC (Washington DC) and Rugby ATL (Atlanta). To help with travel costs and to help build local rivalries, MLR is switching to two six-team conferences next season. Killebrew replaced Dean Howes as MLR commissioner in December.