My interview last week with William Tatham Jr. regarding the launch of a World Professional Sevens competition quickly became the most read article I’ve ever written in my time as a rugby correspondent. With so many eyes on the piece, I was contacted with more information that shed more light on the project, and I think it merits a follow up piece.
The information was in the form of marketing material meant for investors, so had more focus on the business of the sport rather than playing, which I help will also come out soon. There’s a lot to cover, so I’m going to break it down into sections.
The Management Team
The management team that has been put together is the #1 reason that I think this endeavour may bear fruit. Without a solid management team working together for clearly agreed goals, something like this won’t even get off the ground – just look at how USA Rugby has struggled up to now. HoweverWilliam Tatham Jr. has put together an impressive roster to steer the tournament.
Chairman – William Tatham Jr; involved at the General Management and Ownership levels in the NBA, USFL, and WFL.
Vice Chairman – Ed Desser; previous senior executive in the NBA Commissioner’s Office and a high ranking board member of a number of media companies
CFO – Bob Finkel; has played a key role in a number of media companies, particularly on the development of HD broadcasting.
Team Director – Nigel Melville; chosen involvement with USA Rugby in the past
Director – Gary Marenzi; comes from working MGM Entertainment, where he held the role of co-president of Worldwide Television.
CRO and President of American RFL – Pat Guthrie; comes from an on-line Rugby broadcasting background.
Director – Ray Harmon; yet another broadcaster (seeing a pattern yet). Previously VP of Business planning for CBS, and has worked extensively on Winter Olympics coverage.
VP of Operations – Mike Keller; background in league and franchise operation.