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07 Jul 2017

World Rugby names Manchester United’s Hill as new commercial chief

World Rugby, the sport’s international governing body, has appointed Tom Hill as its new chief commercial officer. 

He replaces Murray Barnett, who departed the body earlier this year to become global head of sponsorship and commercial partnerships at motor racing’s Formula 1. 

Hill joins the Dublin-based organisation from Manchester United, of English soccer’s Premier League, where has worked since 2008. 

He will have overarching responsibility for all World Rugby commercial and revenue-generating activities, including: broadcast rights; sponsorship and corporate partnerships; ticketing and hospitality; and licensing and retail.
While at Manchester United, Hill served in several roles including global head of sponsorship sales and global head of partnerships and operations.

Prior to that, he was a sales and marketing manager at the RFU, England rugby union’s governing body, from 2005 to 2008, and general manager of the England Rugby Supporters Club between 2002 and 2005. 

His experience in rugby union also includes a five-year stint as commercial director of English Premiership club Saracens between 1997 and 2002. 

Commenting on Hill’s appointment, Brett Gosper, World Rugby chief executive, said: “Tom’s exceptional track record with some of the biggest brands in sport is perfectly suited to World Rugby’s strategic mission to grow the global game through expanding and strengthening our commercial footprint, unlocking partner opportunities in new markets and inspiring new audiences through fan-first innovative broadcast and digital channels. 

“Tom joins a strong and dynamic management team at a time of exceptional global growth, Rugby World Cup going from strength to strength with a record Worldwide Partner programme for the first tournament in Asia in 2019 and strong candidates for 2023, the growth of rugby sevens as an Olympic sport and more fans than ever before engaging with us and the sport through social media.”