Premiership Rugby Chief Executive Officer, Mark McCafferty says working at Midlands Bank, Thomas Cook Group and Avis previously, helped prepare him for his role at the English professional Rugby union competition when he came on board in 2005. Mark highlights what attracted him to the position at Premiership Rugby and the challenges that come with running the business side of Rugby, when most of the attention is geared towards the performance of players and clubs.
Mark speaks about the set of values the organisation adheres to, namely being professional excellence and having a personal touch. These values tie into how Mark and his team formulate and nurture the relationships they have formed with stakeholders and investors in Premiership Rugby. Sponsors of Rugby clubs and organisations do not have a natural life span in the sport according to Mark, who explains that Premiership Rugby has had longstanding relationships with some of their commercial partners and the importance of refreshing the partnership to sustain it for as long as possible. Mark says from the perspective of businesses supporting the Rugby community, the values the sport possess and the growth element that exists in the game makes it attractive to investors.
HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme which currently works with over 2,000 teenagers across England every year. Mark details when the charity was formed, what they are able to achieve using the power of Rugby and the charity’s incredible growth with over 12,000 teenagers helped in the last eight years. Mark also mentions the importance of organisations like The Rugby Business Network existing and offering their support to the Rugby community.
Mark talks about how he takes time away from his demanding schedule to keep physically fit in order to remain mentally sharp and the importance of stepping back every once in a while from a 24 hour industry like Rugby to recharge. Mark concludes by saying that in Rugby there are a large number of stakeholders, unlike conventional businesses, and with that comes many lessons to be learnt from building a consensus with each individual entity in the sport.