The global entertainment and sports management company, IMG, which laid out the establishment plan for IPL and forever changed the face of cricket not only in India but across the globe, is now viewing the World Rugby Series, Sevens on a similar model and market as IPL.
World Rugby has confirmed that it is looking for a radical commercial change and IMG has laid out the most ambitious and intriguing plan which has been used during the establishment of IPL.
While there are a number of proposals on the table, IMG has proposed the plan under which franchisees would be set up in six major European cities, including two within the United Kingdom and one in Ireland, for a tournament that would take place in August. Players, including Team GB Olympic silver medal winners as well as select XVs stars, would be put forward in a draft that would mirror the IPL auction system.
IMG believes that the World Rugby has deep enough pockets to commit to the project in the long run. IMG was also recently appointed by World Rugby to manage its global licensing and merchandising rights for tournaments such as the men’s and women’s World Cups until the end of 2023.
The questions are also being raised over the company whether it could draw the crowds necessary to make the concept financially viable in an already ferociously competitive European sporting marketplace.
However, according to the former England and current USA Sevens coach, Mike Friday, it could be exactly what the Sevens game needs right now.