World Rugby wishes to appoint a Partnerships Director, reporting into the Chief Revenue Officer. Within your remit, you will be responsible for leading the World Rugby team in charge of rightsholders account management, as well as oversee all commercial operations. This role will set the strategic direction of how World Rugby can commercialise, drive consumer growth and deliver world class experiences with our partners. The main function of this role is to ensure:

  • Ultimate delivery of a world class partnerships program for all the stakeholders (sponsors, suppliers, host cities, others) which have contracted WR rights.
  • The implementation and delivery of all commercial and marketing rights of the various WR stakeholders across all World Rugby events and properties, with a strong focus on men and women Rugby World Cups.

This role will require integration and coordination with all other departments of the Revenue division (including Business Development, Media Sales, Ticketing, Product and Fan Experience) as well other key divisions within World Rugby Events and Media (Events, Marketing)


As a member of the Revenue Division senior leadership team the Partnerships Director principal accountabilities will be to lead the following:

  • Structure, build and manage a team in charge of delivering the department priorities, in line with World Rugby values and strategic ambitions.
  • Plan, deliver and report on the annual department budget, as well as tournament time specific budgets, especially around the delivery teams implemented in venues.
  • Forge and entertain important relationships internally (Senior Leadership team, other department directors, LOCs…) and externally (senior team members of all rightsholders).

The Partnerships Director will manage the account management team in charge of WR main rights holders, and in particular this role will lead:

  • Defining the strategy and structure for the partnerships team to deliver a first-class program in terms of clients servicing:
  • Set the department up for success with a scalable team in place, in order to create a sustainable partnerships program that has clear objectives and targets leading to a high level of efficiency and effectiveness..
  • Support a portfolio of World Rugby partners, working with the business development team to define the best category and rights model.
  • Facilitate and take a leading part in all renewal discussions, in close and constant collaboration with the Business Development team
  • Own the responsibility of every aspect of day-to-day partnerships delivery is managed efficiently, contractual rights are professionally delivered
  • Clearly define partners objectives and ensure these are known, understood and met with a robust understanding of the partner brands and businesses, as well as World Rugby main strategies in this area.
  • Facilitate and coordinate key contractual rights: announcement planning, campaign planning, approval of brand, use of WEC if appropriate, digital activations, unique promotion activations, access to archive, VIK Management…
  • Constantly challenge processes and develop a culture of agility for new and innovative ways to provide value to both the Partners and World Rugby.
  • Ensuring that all World Rugby Events and Media departments (Marketing, Events, Digital, Ticketing, Finance, Fan Experience…) as well as all LOCs are engaged in the partnerships and provide the necessary support to deliver.
  • Support the delivery of partner workshops
  • Ensure timely delivery of compelling and insightful case studies (to aid renewal conversations and support new business sales).
  • Foster the best possible professional and personal relationships with Partners, third parties such as agencies and internal stakeholders.
  • Develop a deep relationship with marketing/content and wider revenue teams to ensure we identify and take advantage of new opportunities and these opportunities are engaged with partners.

The Partnerships Director will manage the team in charge of all commercial operations, and will in particular ensure the following :

  • Structure, build and manage a central team overseeing commercial rights delivery on WR properties and events.
  • Plan, in collaboration with LOCs and other stakeholders all aspects of the commercial operations program in and outside of venues.
  • Planning for the implementation of all stakeholder commercial rights in the build up and during tournament time, including (but not limited to) : signage, dressing, branding, catering operations, premium experiences operations, retail operations, Commercial Activations, accreditation, and the overall venue Commercial Compliance principles.
  • Planning, management and reporting on all dedicated commercial operations budgets, including leading on some specific key procurements for providers of specific services.
  • Management and delivery of all commercial activity at Tournament time in all controlled areas, particularly focusing on venues and fanzones including delivery of product category exclusivity.
  • Leading in the drafting of all commercial rules ahead of tournaments, as well ensuring Participating Teams compliance with the Tournament Terms of Participation (TOP).
  • Lead operational delivery discussions on commercial rights internally, working with Partnerships, Business Development, Ticketing, Product and Fan Experience, Events, and Finance departments.
  • Ensure correct project management processes are followed.
  • Produce post event reviews.


  • 10+ years’ experience in a senior partnerships/commercial operations role in a global sports organization,
  • Experience of building and leading successful teams, fostering a high performance and results-driven culture.
  • Demonstrable evidence of achieving and exceeding commercial and sales KPIs and revenue targets.
  • Track record of managing major commercial relationships, including with c-suite-level stakeholders.
  • Experience of navigating complex stakeholder groups and collaborating cross-functionally, seeking out opportunities and solutions.


  • A passion for sport and a desire to contribute to the further growth of Rugby.
  • Takes positive action to build a diverse team and develop a culture of inclusion and belonging.
  • Role-models World Rugby’s values of Discipline, Respect, Integrity, Passion, and Solidarity.
  • A positive, ‘can-do’ attitude; someone who is resilient, flexible, curious, and delivery focused.
  • A strategic and visionary mindset; someone who sees the big picture and thinks long-term.
  • Adept at working under pressure in a fast-paced environment, delivering work to deadlines and honouring commitments.
  • A collaborative team player, who builds strong relationships with colleagues and a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • A flexible approach to working within an organisation that will grow and adapt to the needs of that time.
  • Can navigate ambiguity and cut through complexity, taking a logical and creative approach to problem-solving.

About us

World Rugby is the world governing and law-making body for the sport of Rugby Union. In addition to its governance functions, World Rugby organizes a number of major international tournaments and events, such as the Rugby World Cups (women’s and men’s), the annual Rugby Sevens Series and the developmental Women’s WV international tournament.

World Rugby is now on a mission to innovate to excite, inspire and engage new audiences in existing and new rugby markets, to grow the sport for all. Through World Rugby Events & Media (WREM), the delivery of major tournaments under a new model will be key to the success of a ten year strategic plan which will see Rugby World Cups in England in 2025, Australia in 2027 & 2029, and culminating in ground breaking tournaments in the USA in 2031 and 2033. Under the new model, World Rugby will have a more direct role in the setting up, running and delivery of the Rugby World Cups and aims to be the leader in the delivery of major international events.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

World Rugby is committed to building a diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups. We are committed to equality and inclusion and welcome applications from all individuals, regardless of their background. We strive to be a diverse and inclusive workplace, which reflects the global sport we want to be and where everyone can be themselves and feel they belong.

Flexible Working:

Most of our roles offer hybrid working, with two core office days (Tuesday & Wednesday) and a third day of your choice to be with colleagues in the office. This applies to our Dublin and London offices. The remaining two days are flexible, so you can choose to work from home or be in the office.

Deadline is 10th June.

Apply here – Partnerships Director | World Rugby | LinkedIn

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