London Irish RFC – Vacancy – Merchandise Manager

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 15 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 Merchandise Manager will be expected to contribute to the development of one of the Club’s important revenue streams.

Job Title: Merchandising Manager

Company: London Irish RFC

Reporting to: Head of Commercial Operations

Responsible for: All merchandise buying, retailing and related partner  relationships

Role Purpose:   To lead in managing the day-to-day and longer term merchandise operations of London Irish – to include design, sourcing, procurement and sales

To drive the development of new merchandise opportunities for London Irish.

Key Accountabilities

  • To develop and maintain an excellent understanding of the Club’s target audiences, strategic context and commercial activities to ensure that goals and objectives are achieved.
  • To manage the Club’s merchandise operations and budget across all retail outlets.
  • To manage the online store including range available and related accounts.
  • To manage the O’Neills (official kit partner) retail account and range designs to ensure that it complies with contract requirements and maximises revenues.
  • To manage key product, service and fulfilment supplier relationships, including the joint retail operation with Reading FC.
  • To develop a strategy for growth in the Club’s merchandise operations.
  • To liaise with colleagues about the merchandise requirements of sponsors’/partners’ activation to ensure contractual commitments are delivered.
  • To be fully responsible for all stock-movements, and to complete monthly sales and stock reports for all merchandise sales.
  • To be fully responsible for the end of year stock check and end of year sales/stock report.


Skills and Knowledge

  • A graduate with merchandise buying, sports brand marketing and retail experience gained in either a retail or club environment.
  • Track record of delivering brand objectives for a club and its sponsors.
  • Business developer able to drive growth from existing partnerships.
  • Excellent people communication, influencing and negotiating skills.
  • Effective networker.
  • Diligent and well organised with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Able to work weekends and unusual hours as the position requires and matches are played at weekends.


  • Commercial acumen.
  • Understanding of role of merchandise and related revenues in professional sport.
  • Financial literacy.
  • Demonstrates both creative and operational thinking and judgement.
  • Acts as a role model in embodying core club values and culture.
  • Resilient and ability to adapt to changing business needs.
  • Possess drive, motivation and acute attention to detail in ensuring all merchandise opportunities to the Club are captured and explored.


  • Customer Focus - Commits to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; acts with customers in mind; values importance of providing high-quality customer service
  • Planning and organising – Organises and schedules events, activities and resources.  Monitors timescales and plans.
  • Interpersonal sensitivity - Interacts with others in a sensitive and effective way. Respects and works well with others.
  • Quality orientation - Shows awareness of goals and standards. Follows through to ensure that quality and productivity standards are met.
  • Initiative Taking - Takes action to achieve goals beyond what is expected; drives to bring issues to a successful closure; self-starter.

How to apply

Interested candidates should send the following: Letter of application highlighting relevant experience; up-to-date Curriculum Vitae and details of current remuneration to Jackie Roy, Email: [email protected]

Closing date for applications: 27th March 2015                     

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