Grand Prix Sports Partners with American National Rugby League
By Community | May 11, 2012
Grand Prix Sports, a subsidiary of Grand Prix Entertainment, LLC, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company, has announced the acquisition of The American National Rugby League(“AMNRL”), the governing body for the development of Rugby League in the USA.
The AMNRL is exclusively sanctioned by the Rugby League International Federation (“RLIF”).
“We’re very pleased to add the sport of Rugby League, led by our new partners at Star Group Communications, to Grand Prix’s sport investment portfolio,” said Alan Rothenberg, Chairman of Grand Prix Sports. “The AMNRL has been making great strides in the development of Rugby League across America. Acquiring the exclusive rights to Rugby League is a major Grand Prix score on and off the field.”
Seen by many as a move to consolidate its growing influence on the “Father of American Football,” Grand Prix Founder William Tatham said: “Clearly International Rugby Board (“IRB”) Union Rugby is the NFL of world rugby, but RLIF Rugby League is a formidable foe both on and off the field and growing stronger every day. Thus, we felt this expansion was a very important move for Grand Prix in our efforts to package the “Contact Sport of the World” and compete in the United States “Sports Market of the World.”
Grand Prix is most known in rugby world for its pioneering efforts to organize professional Rugby Union Sevens through its strategic and exclusive joint venture partnership with USA Rugby. USA Rugby, an official member of the Unites States Olympic Committee as well as the Rugby World Cup’s International Rugby Board, recently extended through 2018 Grand Prix’s exclusive U.S. sanction, license and global broadcast rights to own, operate and globally broadcast the professional sport of Rugby Sevens. Rugby Sevens will debut as a new Olympic sport at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games.
Former President of CBS Sports Neal Pilson, endorsed the move, stating, “While maintaining the independent integrity of the Rugby Union and Rugby League operations, yet folding them under one production umbrella, we at Grand Prix felt from a broadcast perspective this transaction was a smart move to avoid unnecessary confusion in a U.S. media market at a very critical time in rugby’s growth.”