Gosper to leave World Rugby and join NFL

03 Dec 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The NFL has appointed World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper as its new Head of Europe and UK.

Gosper will leave his role at rugby’s governing body in 2021 - though an exact start date for his role at the NFL is yet to be confirmed - and will be tasked with the execution of NFL business strategy across the UK and Europe, including fan growth, live games and commercial success.

He will report to Christopher Halpin, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, NFL.

As CEO of World Rugby - a role he held for nine years - Gosper oversaw record-breaking Rugby World Cups in England in 2015 and Japan in 2019. He spent a decade playing club rugby in France, while his roles in business include serving as CEO of McCann EMEA, and President of McCann USA.

“We are tremendously excited to have Brett joining the NFL in such an important role,” said Halpin. 

“The UK has been a core market of investment and growth for the NFL over the last decade, and we believe broader Europe presents a number of similar attractive opportunities to expand the game and our fan base. Brett’s exceptional skills and experience make him the ideal leader to build on our momentum and grow the NFL.

Gosper added: "I feel very privileged to have led a great organisation like World Rugby for the best part of a decade, but I am now ready for a new challenge. I am incredibly excited to be joining the very impressive and ambitious team at the NFL and helping the most valuable and watched sports league in the US win even more hearts in Europe and the UK.”

Under Gosper’s leadership, the 2015 Rugby World Cup saw 2.47 million tickets sold and commercial and ticketing revenues in excess of £650 million, generating more than £260 million in profit for reinvestment in the global game. Further records were set at Asia’s first Rugby World Cup in 2019, with commercial and ticketing revenues reaching £750 million, leading to a profit of £240 million, and digital engagement totaling 1.7 billion video views.

Chief Operating Officer Alan Gilpin will step up as World Rugby’s Interim CEO until a replacement for Gosper is appointed.