The Fiji Rugby Union has today confirmed that it has partnered with Mr. Brian Thorburn of 24/7 Sport Consultancy on a short term basis to represent FRU as its Commercial Management Manager.
The Australian national is the former Chief Executive Officer for the Professional Golfers Association of Australia (PGA) and comes to this position with a wide knowledge and professional experience gained from more than 20 years in the sports industry.
Before working at the PGA, Brian Thorburn held executive positions for over twenty years in the banking sector with CitiBank, The State Bank of NSW and Westpac prior to moving into sports management in 1996. He was the Commercial Director of the Australian Rugby Union for 12 years and was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000. He then established 24/7 Sports, a sports marketing, promotions and events management company where he consulted to Netball, Football, Cricket, AFL, Rugby Union and Rugby League clients.
FRU Board Chairman, Commander Francis Kean, says that the Fiji Rugby Union Board and Management is excited about this new partnership and that it comes with the huge responsibility of marketing the Fiji Rugby brand not only in Fiji but to the world and gain the much needed revenue uplift for the FRU.
“We are pleased to have reached agreement with Brian. This partnership represents an important milestone in the delivery of commercial product and service solutions including the staging of major events, merchandising, stakeholder management, brand marketing, Social media management, Intellectual property management and Public Relations.”
“The position is to provide strong leadership for the commercial team and will focus specifically on ensuring that Fiji rugby is relevant, respected and provides a strong value proposition for all current and future stakeholders, partners and the community. He will also be responsible for the management and attainment of the annual commercial revenue budgets and management and the delivery of commercial and marketing activities for the Union” Commander Kean highlighted.
In his capacity, Thorburn is expected to develop a strong working relationship with current sponsors, new sponsors, external partners, suppliers and stakeholders who hold a vested interest in the FRU and its affiliate members, and will deliver a strong and compelling brand proposition for all stakeholders to engage with including the delivery of FRU’s public relations strategy.
Commander Kean further added that commercial revenue generation will play a highly important part of the future of the Rugby Union and therefore securing international and local channels that provide significant funding for the Fiji Rugby Brand will be a high priority. Broadcasting, ticketing and fundraising strategies that secure income for FRU have also become priorities. Any additional funding will be put back to further develop and enhance grassroots and local rugby but more importantly we are committed to addressing welfare issues for our players.
Thorburn said that he was excited with the new appointment and could not wait to tackle the task at hand.