World Rugby is set to launch a new plan to accelerate diversity and inclusion across all levels of the game in line with the recommendations of the organisation’s wide-ranging governance review.
To promote and increase engagement in a marketplace where the competition for attention is continually increasing, World Rugby says it will facilitate knowledge sharing as well as generating insight and materials, such as marketing and communications toolkits for regional associations and unions.
The new plan targets a 10 per cent increase in global followers and fans by 2025 is being targeted. World Rugby is also committed to further enhancing the way it works with stakeholders across the rugby family by introducing a new ‘State of the Union’ survey to gather feedback and better understand the needs of its partners.
The organisation’s commercial, broadcast and content strategy will be focused on growing spot’s audiences around the world, delivering compelling and relevant content to fans and developing new and increased revenues for re-investment in the game.
“This will include optimising digital platforms, building interest and engagement in between events and ensuring insight and value from audience data is maximised,” the organisation said on Friday in a statement.
World Rugby’s values are inherent in everything it does, and diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and good governance are at the heart of the Strategic Plan 2021-25. It will see the implementation of measures that build on the transformational reforms made in 2015 and the recommendations of the independent-led Governance Working Group, as well as the publication of a Sustainability Charter.
World Rugby chair Sir Bill Beaumont said at the launch of A Global Sport for All – True to Its Values on Thursday, “The ambitious Strategic Plan 2021-25, recognises the current challenges and sets out a long-term roadmap to support and develop rugby around the globe. It will focus and guide us as we work to ensure the game is as enjoyable, accessible, appealing and safe as possible, with player welfare remaining our number one priority.
“This is not just a plan for World Rugby, it is a plan for the whole rugby family that has embraced input from across the rugby community, from unions and regions to partners and stakeholders. Everyone has a role to play, whether they be a player, parent, fan, volunteer, coach or administrator and we look forward to driving the sport forward together.”
In his address, World Rugby Vice Chair Bernard Laporte observed, “This is an important moment for World Rugby and the sport – a clear and aspirational plan that will protect and promote the growth of the sport worldwide, beyond its traditional nations. Now, more than ever, the game needs unity, vision and leadership and this reflects our ambitions as we look to support our unions through the most challenging period in sporting and societal history.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin. “In these uncertain and challenging times, it has never been more important to map a route ahead for the sport. This new Strategic Plan 2021-25 provides a framework for the continued development and expansion of rugby as we strive to continue our journey towards becoming a global sport for all,” Gilpin said.
“As an organisation, a sport and a family, this plan will guide how we tackle the three Cs of Covid, calendar and concussion, and build the foundations for a safer, stronger and more sustainable game for all. We will focus on advancing player welfare and international competitiveness, increase participation, grow revenues and deepen fan engagement.”
“In delivering this plan, we will work in full partnership with our unions, regional associations and partners and look to tap into the expertise across the rugby family and beyond, as well as listening to our fans. We will further enhance our governance and decision-making structures and, importantly, our strong values, which we know are central to our sport’s appeal, will remain at the heart of all we do.”
- A Tell report