World Rugby has announced the appointment of former F1 digital media head Marissa Pace as its new chief marketing officer.
With a background in global sports and major brand marketing, the Canadian will officially begin her new role as head of a newly-formed Marketing Department in mid-January. Pace will be responsible for the international federation’s fan engagement and marketing strategies.
World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said: "Marissa’s excellent track record in major brand, sport digital marketing strategy development and execution aligns perfectly with our continued mission to reach, attract and grow our audience, strengthen the relationship with our audience and optimise new revenue opportunities.
"Marissa is joining a strong management team at an exciting time for the sport and, in partnership with World Rugby’s Commercial and Communications departments and national member unions, we are collectively focused on ensuring that rugby is a major inspirer and innovator in a hugely competitive global sporting environment.”
Marissa Pace added: “I very much look forward to joining World Rugby at such an exciting time for the sport and the organisation. It is clear that rugby is perfectly positioned to grow its fan, participation and commercial footprint into new and emerging markets and I hope to boost this by adding my experience and knowledge of digital marketing, fan engagement and international sports growth.
“I feel privileged to join the talented team at World Rugby and together with unions and regions, I am excited to drive rugby as the sport of choice for young people around the world."
Pace brings to World Rugby a wealth of sports marketing experience, having pioneered F1's first digital marketing strategy reporting directly to Bernie Ecclestone, which led to new revenue opportunities and growth for the business.
She also drove FanVision Entertainment's digital marketing, B2B and B2C sales and international operations. Pace has also with major brands such as Coca-Cola and Club Med on agency accounts.
Since 2015, Pace has been running her own consultancy business supporting clients from sport, advertising and investment in London, New York, Montreal and Shanghai in the development of their digital and marketing strategies.