Professional 7's Competition

Discussion in 'IRB Sevens, World Cup & Premiership 7s' started by theo, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. theo

    theo Guest

    I posted this in the General Rugby forum, not seeing that there is a separate 7's forum as well.


    I was able to get an exclusive interview with a Sports Entertainment Group that is currently working on a World Professional 7's Competition. Americans will know of them already as they purchased all of the rights to any professional 7's competition in America from USA Rugby a couple years ago. Great deal for the group, not so great for USA Rugby as they gave up rights to a precious commodity.

    I'm interested to hear what the rugby public, both Overseas and American, has to say about the venture.

    Here's the link to the article.

    Sorry for any confusion.

    Moderators, if you want to delete the topic in the other forum, it's o.k.
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  3. O'Rothlain

    O'Rothlain Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (theo @ Jan 21 2010, 02:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I don't like the idea. 7's suites a tournament, not a proffessional league. USA Rugby is probably the bennifactor to that sale as I don't think it will ever go anywhere.
    Also, it's quite the dream of poaching NFL players. Most of those dudes wouldn't take off pads and tackle ever. Have you ever talked to pro-football players about rugby? They think it's insane, which leads me to believe Football is becoming a bit wussy in the US. Anyway.
  4. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Yeah, I don't think it's gonna work out, but who knows...
  5. theo

    theo Guest

    It'll take time and money (lots of it) before they're competing for full blown NFL talent. All of the executives involved come from the major American sports (NFL, NBA, MLB) so they've seen first hand how athletes have driven up salaries. They have no plans to kill themselves chasing overpriced talent. If they do get if off the ground right, they will certainly compete for the fringe NFL prospects. Guys that weren't quite good enough to stay in the NFL long term, but have all of the athletic ability.

    Two of the USA 7's most recent project players are NFL castoffs, one of which also ran hurdles in the Olympics. The first one adapted to rugby way better than expected. It's too early to call on the second player since he's currently in his first camp with the team.

    You get the idea though. Each year there are hundreds of those kind of guys that end up going into the workforce or making peanuts playing football in Canada or one of the small-time arena leagues.

    There are also quite a few American rugby players that call it quits when they finish college in order to get jobs, because a professional rugby career is unlikely. This type of setup certainly could extend the careers of some worthwhile players. The USA 7's Captain and 15's player Kevin Swiryn nearly quit the game when he graduated, but ended up sticking it out and he's turned into a huge find.

    As for the competition, I do know more about it than I included in the article. Some of it is directly from the source and other parts are from an unnamed source, so I'm holding onto the infomation until I piece it all together. But, I can say it's defintely not a league setup such as the Magners League, Super 14, etc. It would be too hard to pull something like that off with 16 teams from around the world. Plus, as you said... it just doesn't fit with the 7's format.

    Expect it to be more of a tournament type format as with other 7's events. The way they plan to package, broadcast, and market the competition revolves around it.
  6. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Mmm, okay. It's a bit hard to have a balanced opinion on the matter since we know actally nothing on this competition/league thing.
  7. theo

    theo Guest

    Very true. It's going to take more tangible evidence before they'll be able to prove they're for real.

    The interview was a good way to break the ice, but until there is a major press conference and official releases it's still just an interview.
  8. theo

    theo Guest

  9. <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (theo @ Jan 24 2010, 07:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Nice to have your info Theo.. Love to get those.. and quite a good time to have such ease filled articles..
    Tanks for sharing the cool information.

  10. They should instead, fund a professional league of 15s and develop our 15s players. That's where the money is at.
  11. theo

    theo Guest

    No problem. Glad to share the info. There should be more as things develop.

    As for developing a professional 15's competition, it's a long ways off in America. They've tried and tried for years, but can't seem to get it done and it all comes down to money (or lack there of). I've spoken with a few network/media types regarding their feeling towards rugby and they do not like 15's. Not enough room to fit in commercials without creating built in timeouts or cutting into live action. Without commercials, the networks don't make money, if they can't make money on something then it's not getting on TV. Without TV, there's no way to draw in investors or sponsors to pay for the players.

    On the flip side, they do see potential in 7's. Not because it's a superior game to 15's, but because of the plentiful opportunities for commercial breaks. In the past year 7's has been on network television twice in the United States and will be back on at least two more times before the end of the year. I expect that trend to continue.
  12. Haysie

    Haysie Guest

    This will completely wreck the tournament atmosphere!
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