USA Rugby Renew Licensing Agreement with Grand Prix Entertainment

By Community | March 12, 2012

Grand Prix Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company, and USA Rugby, a member of the United States Olympic Committee, announced an extension of their U.S. Exclusive Sanction and License Agreement for a 2nd six year term through 2018.

This ground breaking partnership between a national governing body and private enterprise exclusively grants Grand Prix the rights to own and operate USA Rugby sanctioned Professional Rugby Sevens, including the equally exclusive worldwide broadcast distribution rights across all media. The exclusive and extensive sanction rights cover both indoor and outdoor professional rugby sevens leagues and/or tournaments.

USA Rugby is a member of the United States Olympic Committee, governing the new Olympic sport of Rugby Sevens, as well as the U.S. member of the Rugby World Cup’s International Rugby Board.

“To say the least, much as happened since we joined USA Rugby in this crusade to bring the World’s Contact Sport to the World’s Largest Market” said William Tatham, Founder and Chairman of Grand Prix Entertainment. “When USAR initially awarded Grand Prix these unparalleled exclusive, extensive and long term rights in 2005, we decided to honor USA Rugby’s trust and instead of staging “on the field” events prematurely, we wisely committed to a multi year – multi million dollar “off the field” investment focusing on the three critical pre launch start-up phases of planning, protecting and projecting. We’ve been blessed by exclusive rights that are invaluable, a sport that has gone Olympic, and USA Rugby partners that are priceless.”

Newly appointed Grand Prix Chairman Alan Rothenberg said, “The exclusive long term rights granted to Grand Prix Rugby, including global distribution rights, coupled with the mutually beneficial partnership with USA Rugby, provide Grand Prix Rugby with a unique opportunity to develop and grow the sport to its fullest potential.”

USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville concurred, saying “USA Rugby is pleased to see Grand Prix’s progress and is equally excited to continue this exclusive partnership with Bill and his Grand Prix team. Grand Prix has exciting plans; the next six years will be equally exciting times for American Rugby.”

GPE broadcast representative and former President of CBS Sports Neal Pilson echoed the unique opportunity these exclusive and global media rights represent stating, “These live telecast rights to Grand Prix’s exciting rugby sevens tournaments have great value here in the US and abroad. We fully expect to finalize a carriage agreement with a U.S. network partner very soon.”

“On a global basis, these exclusive multi year rights make my job much easier as the ability to deliver consistent major league sports content over a period of years vs. a single season is what international carriers strive to acquire,” said former President of MGM Worldwide Television Gary Marenzi, who now oversees Grand Prix’s international distribution rights.