Norton Rose Fulbright advises Harlequin Football Club on strategic partnership with commercial arm of USA Rugby

Global Business April 4, 2017

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Harlequin Football Club (Harlequins) on its agreement to become a minority shareholder and strategic partner in USA Rugby’s commercial subsidiary Rugby International Marketing (RIM) and in the governing body’s digital video platform, The Rugby Channel (TRC).

Under the terms of the deal, which closed in February 2017, Harlequins will commit its content and programming expertise to help enhance TRC’s value proposition and engage more American sports fans in the game of rugby.

RIM will represent Harlequins' commercial interests in the USA and will be appointed as the the club’s sales agency of record for the country.

In addition, as part of the partnership, USA Rugby will use The Twickenham Stoop, the Harlequins’ grounds, as a "home away from home" for its national teams when touring in the UK and Europe. Harlequins and the governing body will also collaborate on the delivery of a new "home and away" event to excite the sport and engage new and existing supporters.

Harlequins' investment into RIM and TRC will expedite the fulfilment of the club's strategic growth plans in America. Those plans include pre-season tours and related matches; the identification of US rugby talent and the creation of effective pathways for talented players to realise their potential within the domestic game; the development of a new grassroots rugby competition in California; and the expansion of all aspects of the youth and elite game, from facilities through coaching and playing.

RIM was established in 2015 as the commercial arm of USA Rugby, representing its commercial rights with the responsibility to identify and secure new revenue streams that will support the development of the game in the United States. To build interest in the game, RIM launched earlier this year The Rugby Channel (TRC). Other strategic investors in RIM include the England Rugby Football Union and CSM Sport and Entertainment.

The Norton Rose Fulbright team advising Harlequins was led by partner Michael Flynn (New York) with support from partner Chris Grieves (London). Norton Rose Fulbright has enjoyed a successful relationship with Harlequins since it first became an official partner to the club in 2007. 

For further information please contact:

Louise Nelson, Senior PR Manager
Tel: +44 (0)20 7444 5086; Mob: +44 (0)7909 684 893

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