Rugby in England is set for an exciting time, from developments in its governance through to the expansion of the professional and community game. That combined with the impact of Rugby World Cup 2015 and its legacy in this country in particular, suggests that London Irish is well placed to be in the vanguard of club rugby on and off the pitch for years to come.
London Irish – An Overview
London Irish ranks among the oldest rugby clubs in England. Founded in 1898 by a group of eminent Irishmen based in the capital, over the past 117 years the club has provided a “home from home” not just for Irish men and women but also for emigrants from many countries united in their passion for the game of rugby.
The club is known throughout the rugby community worldwide for the warmth of its welcome and the hospitality that it generously dispenses to friend and foe from far and near.
When the game went professional in this country in 1996, London Irish was a founder member of Premiership Rugby and has retained its status in the top tier of the game ever since.
London Irish is the only professional club to maintain a successful amateur section which currently plays in National League 3 South as London Irish Wild Geese. There is also a thriving mini rugby section.
After an itinerant existence in its early years, London Irish settled in Sunbury-on-Thames in 1931 when it bought a property on The Avenue that served as the club’s base until 2014 when it moved just under a mile to a purpose built, state-of-the-art training and administration complex at Hazelwood.
In December 2013 the ownership of the Club was taken on by a consortium of leading London Irish business people led by Mick Crossan, Chairman of Powerday plc.
Over the past twelve months the new owners have undertaken in-depth reviews of the club’s rugby and commercial operations. A rugby strategy that will enable the club to compete consistently in the Premiership and in Europe is now in place and being implemented.
A similar strategy for the club’s commercial operations is in hand. The new Head of Commercial Operations will be expected to contribute to the development of that strategy and to play the key role in its delivery.
Position: Head of Commercial Operations
Location: Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex
Reporting to: Executive Chairman
The Company: London Irish RFC
The role will have responsibility for London Irish’s commercial operations and key revenue generating activities including the London Irish brand, sponsorship, ticketing, retail, special events and stadium matchday-related revenues and for identifying new, profitable business opportunities.
The Head of Commercial Operations will establish strong partnerships and effective relationships at all levels with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.
- Lead and develop a commercial strategy for London Irish in line with the Club’s business objectives and to identify new commercial opportunities in line with the strategy.
- Work with the Finance Director to develop the annual budget and manage cost and revenue streams throughout the season.
- Develop and execute a ticket sales strategy to maximise awareness of home fixtures and drive sales of match tickets.
- To develop the Club’s season ticket package to ensure take-up and revenues are maximised.
- Lead the sponsorship strategy, manage and develop existing sponsors and proactively identify new opportunities.
- Lead and develop hospitality sales.
- Maximise advertising and promotional revenues for London Irish through all media, stadia and online.
- Work with the Retail Manager to constantly develop new, innovative and profitable merchandise.
- Explore options for developing the London Irish ‘brand’ recognising the huge latent potential of the name and the image both nationally and internationally.
- Relentlessly extend the ‘reach’ of London Irish through the pursuit of new supporters and ensure the effective capture of their information.
- Be part of the Club’s senior management team and ensure that each area of the business operates to the highest standards
- Provide leadership and support to ensure that individual commercial business areas have the resources and capability to deliver their results, take appropriate corrective action where required, ensuring that the highest standards of quality and service are delivered.
To provide inspirational leadership to the commercial department;
To champion a culture of continuous improvement in the department, ensuring that high standards of quality and service are constantly delivered.
To act as an ambassador for and to promote the best interests of London Irish;
To ensure that individual business areas have the resources and capability to deliver their results.
Skills and Experience
- Proven experience of success in a demanding and high profile commercial environment at a senior executive level;
- Excellent management, organisational, communication, teamwork and
time management skills
- Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines;
- Strong leader with experience of successfully leading and managing
- An adaptable and flexible individual who has the ability to think strategically, devise and execute plans as well as have a hands-on approach to work
- Strong financial literacy – able to develop a practical system of results
and monitor progress against the operating plans and objectives.
- Excellent experience in sponsorship or B2B sales.
- Experience as a public spokesperson with evidence of confident communication experience with a range of stakeholders.
Excellent people development and communication skills;
High value selling, negotiating and persuasive skills with a demonstrable track record;
Ability to pitch concepts and negotiate partnerships with commercial organisations;
Demonstrates good commercial judgement, creativity and drive to plan and deliver effective and revenue-generating commercial campaigns;
Unquestionable integrity with high levels of resilience and a team ethos;
Willing to take ownership of projects and is clearly accountable;
Well respected and experienced leader.
Customer focus – commits to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; values the importance of high quality customer service;
Interpersonal sensitivity – interacts with others in a sensitive and effective manner;
Leadership – creates an environment in which people want to do their best.
How to apply
Interested candidates should send the following via post or email to Jackie Roy, London Irish RFC, Hazelwood Centre, Croysdale Avenue, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex TW16 5QU. Email: [email protected]
Letter of application highlighting relevant experience; up-to-date Curriculum Vitae and details of current remuneration.
Closing date for applications: 16th February 2015