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World Rugby Football League All-Star Team to Host July 15, 2023 NYC Champion Sevens, Showcase World Rugby Teams and Offer Major Market Franchises

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RFL New Media Strategy to Live-Stream Pay Per View "All-Tournament All-Access Pass" to a Global Audience of 300 Million Rugby Fans

NEW YORK CITY - April 27, 2023 - The World Rugby Football League awarded ESPN the U.S. and international broadcast rights to the RFL's July 15, 2023 $1 Million NYC Champion Sevens live from Red Bull Arena. Kicking off the RFL's multi-year expansion, the RFL will host the richest sevens championship in World Rugby history. The RFL's NYC Champion Sevens will showcase World Rugby powers New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, France, Fiji, Ireland, Kenya and the USA, all fighting over 8 fast hours of 16 intense 14 minute Rugby Sevens games for World Rugby's richest prize.

To purchase premium tickets to the RFL's $1 Million NYC Champion Sevens visit https://nycsevens.com/.

To ensure short term viability and long term success, the RFL today announced it had recruited some of North America's leading finance, sports, entertainment and gaming experts to provide strategic support of the new league's mission to become America's next major league by producing world class sports content, distributing via an innovative live streaming media strategy and capitalizing on the legalization of online sports betting.

RFL FOUNDERS  RFL Founder & Commissioner William Tatham, Esq. first welcomed Co-Founders Deb Henretta and Sean Murray, forming the RFL's Executive Committee. "The RFL couldn't have dreamed of more strategic, passionate and forward thinking partners to help strategize and fuel the RFL's growth. On behalf of the RFL, I can't overstate my appreciation to have someone with Deb's global stature and expertise to join me in this exciting quest to build America's next major professional league."

Echoing Tatham's enthusiasm, Henretta said, "I've been a fan of Rugby Sevens since my son and daughter first played the sport in Singapore. Enjoying the Hong Kong Sevens many years running, I share William's passion and belief that the new Olympic sport of Rugby Sevens is the ideal sport for today's young demographic. I am also thrilled to support an effort that will add women into the mix in 2024 with World Rugby's top women's sevens teams playing for the richest prize ever paid in the world's fast growing women's game. The RFL is thrilled to be able to recognize and reward the world's greatest rugby players, both men and women."


The RFL's New York based league office empowered with executing the league's kick off $1 Million NYC Champion Sevens and guiding the league's 2024 expansion, includes an executive team comprised of rugby, sports and entertainment leaders including:

  • Ken Yaffe, chief executive and former NHL and World Cup of Hockey senior executive;

  • Rob Cornelius, operations chief who led the record breaking Las Vegas USA Sevens to 80,000 in attendance;

  • Sean Verity, executive producer and sports media strategist formerly working with Google, BT Sport, BBC and Sky Sports;

  • Terry Sands, tournament director and world rugby veteran and playing chairman of the renowned Samurai Sevens;

  • Jason Mitchell, league controller and corporate financing and venture capital strategist;

  • Alex Bryans, league operations.

RFL MANAGEMENT COUNCIL  The RFL Management Council's mission is to provide the RFL strategic advice on key league matters including sports excellence on the field, to league expansion off the field, to franchise ownership.

Chief executive Yaffe then introduced the RFL Management Council, chaired by league President Kevin Wynne, head of the RFL's New Media Pay Per View operation and former executive with Madison Square Garden, IMG and Don King Productions, Council members include:

  • Cary Kaplan, CEO of Toronto's Cosmos Sports & Entertainment, will oversee RFL franchise sales and after guiding the 2023 HSBC Vancouver Sevens to 66,000 tickets sold, will help sell out the NYC Champion Sevens' 25,000 seat Red Bull Arena;

  • Mike Friday, World Rugby leader and current Head Coach and Technical Head of USA Rugby's Olympic Sevens team, leading the young USAR Sevens team to a World Rugby HSBC Sevens ranking of 8th in the world;

  • Eli Combs, Managing Partner of Axis Global Advisory, who has personally raised over $3.5 billion from capital sources globally as a senior member of 3 of the "Hedge Fund 100" largest hedge funds;

  • Mark Fischer, Managing Director of Fischer Sports & Entertainment, personally establishing both UFC and the NBA in Asia, building NBA Asia from a two man operation into a valuation of $2.3 billion;

  • Robert Malandro, Managing Partner of Whitecap Sports Group, with over 25 years of experience with UBS and AXA, MLB and NHL franchise relations, now focusing on -sports and major league sports franchises;

  • Marc Wilson, Founder of Sports Tech Canada and Sports Venture Advisors, who has advised on and sold franchises throughout North American while supporting the sports technology industry;

  • Kenneth White, Vice President of Integrity for Don Best Sports, champion handicapper and founder of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, will help make the RFL's gaming friendly Race Track Rugby a first in American professional sports;

RFL Commissioner Tatham concluded, "I'm honored to partner with, and confident the RFL's world class executive team led by Ken Yaffe will successfully execute the RFL's kick off July 15th NYC Champion Sevens on the field, in the stadium and to millions of pay per view buyers around the world. As important, the RFL Management Council's expansive experience provides strategic leadership needed to guide the league through its strategic 2024 - 2028 playoff and regular season expansion, ultimately creating a 16 tournament regular season in 16 major U.S. media markets, offering top World Rugby Union teams a world record $73 Million over the RFL's six year build out.”

"This is the right team, for the right league, at the right time."

For more information on the RFL and to purchase premium tickets to the RFL’s July 15, 2023 NYC Champion Sevens, visit https://nycsevens.com/

About the World Rugby Football League The RFL was founded to establish America’s first professional major Rugby Sevens league, delivering avid and casual fans an exciting, world-class live sports event and media experience. The RFL's premiere $1 million NYC Champion Sevens will kick-off major league play on July 15, 2023 showcasing the world’s greatest teams playing for the world’s richest prize. The RFL’s innovative "Smart Start" model will target 2024 expansion of two playoff tournaments in New York and Los Angeles, returning to Las Vegas for the RFL’s 2024 Champion Sevens, with the league's three 2024 tournaments offering total increased world record prize money of $4 Million. In collaboration with USA Rugby and World Rugby, the RFL is committed to developing the league’s six-year growth by expanding into the top sixteen U.S. media markets, producing and distributing a range of sports, entertainment and gaming content, marketing initiatives, and grassroots programs aimed at growing, educating and exciting America and the world's rugby fans and players.


The World RFL Media Contact Gregory FCA Britni Ackrivo backrivo@gregoryfca.com