Aspen Capital Fund Analysis of Rugby Investment in USA

“I love it; this whole atmosphere is why you play and coach rugby.” = Jake White Coach of South Africa and Director of Rugby at Montpellier.

2015 will be the biggest year for rugby in history. The Rugby World Cup will bring just over $1 BILLION to the country of England through the tournament lifecycle. Soon after in 2016 rugby will be in the Olympics. Throughout the world rugby is experiencing growth. In the United States we are seeing tremendous adoption of the sport, the sport is growing ranks among universities, and we are seeing children in academies and youth programs. But the question remains “where is the professional game in the United States?”. That question is answered as a matter of fact but it brings light to just how large the opportunity is for early investors and adopters.

What is happening in the United State is a lot of positioning and posturing but there is yet to be seen a professional game and league. There is a big emphasis on consumer products (shirts, clothing, shoes, etc.) and there are a few big ticket tournaments such as the Las Vegas 7s and the Collegiate 7’s. The international teams are compensated but below that in the United States players have yet to make a salary. There are a number of teams that are making money and see big returns but are still short of paying the players. USA Rugby has rumored an endeavor to start a professional league and was estimated to arrive in 2015 and so far we haven’t seen the coming of that. Finally the NRFL has boasted a number of big games and has failed to launch its plans. There definitely is a thirst for the competition and with the US having such a large base, it is logical that a league will survive.

With the current climate in mind there is a tremendous upside and investment opportunity into the early adopters of the sport. In such an infancy, the first to market would bear high risk but also will have high reward. Returns on investment will soar in media, consumer brands, audience accommodation and community brands. Investment requirements initially will be at early stage finance amounts from as little as $25,000 to $1 Million. The estimated cost for a startup league would be somewhere from $20 Million to $100 Million. Investors and adopters should be aware of the working knowledge of the professional models and build alliances with subject matter experts, and professionals.

Investment in the rugby market in the current climate would be advantageous but would bear risk. There are many opportunities currently and in the very near future there should be an opportunity to invest in a professional league or tournament as well as teams. There will be associated technologies, real estate, brands, products and services that will tie in to the new industry. That industry should see a large adoption in the United States and be welcomed among rugby enthusiasts and new rugby fans.

About Aspen Capital Fund and Gregory Tanner

Mr. Tanner has used his comprehensive understanding of business, experience and his professional network to become a leading expert in Hispanic Strategy. He has built one of the only Hispanic market focused consultancy businesses in the country. At Aspen Capital Fund he has accumulated a broad range of knowledge on fundraising, finance, management, and marketing. Mr. Tanner looked at current business challenges in light of long term goals. It is this perspective that allowed Mr. Tanner to focus on continuous improvement and acquisition of a broad range of subject matter knowledge.

Following his passion as a former rugby player, in 2011 Gregory began looking for opportunities in the business of rugby. Mr. Tanner launched National Rugby Post in 2012 and began to do rugby business analysis – focusing on the business of rugby in light of the coming Rugby World Cup in 2015. Seizing a tremendous opportunity, Mr. Tanner became the sole Rugby Business Analyst in the United States focusing on the business of rugby. As the United States’ only Rugby Business Analyst, he is setting the stage to be well positioned when the professional game arrives in the United States as the authority in how the game creates revenue, how teams are managed and understanding the key stakeholders in the professional game.

He has recently finished his book “The Business of Rugby” and is a rugby agent and founded Pro Rugby Agency to work with athletes, teams, brands and audiences to introduce the professional era of rugby.
To learn more about the opportunities Aspen Capital Fund and Pro Rugby Agency are bringing to market please contact email greg.tanner@aspencapitalfund.com or call 970-300-4560.