Non-Executive Directors

Ref: 5896

RL Commercial

The Etihad Campus, Manchester

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Role Managed by:

Ikem Nwankwo

Research Associate

t: +44 (0)20 7340 6208


Primary Practice Group: Arts, Culture and Sports

Salary & Benefits: £19,000 plus expenses

Closing Date: 11/07/2022

The governance of Rugby League is currently being transformed. This involves the formation of a unique new joint venture company, RL Commercial, and the assignment of all commercial rights in the Sport to that Company. This includes the rights previously held by the RFL (including the Challenge Cup, Championship and League 1, Women’s Super League and the England Teams) and the rights previously held by Super League Europe, creating an exciting opportunity for new board members to shape the organisation from the very start.

The objectives of the realignment include:

  • Maximising the value of and revenues from the Sport by aggregating all commercial, events and media rights enabling rights across the Sport to be offered to potential commercial partners.
  • Maximising returns to the RFL and SLE and, in turn, Clubs.
  • Creating efficiencies.
  • For RL Commercial and the RFL (the governing body of the sport) to have distinct but mutually aligned goals and to each benefit from the success of the other.

The overriding principle of the financial aspects of the realignment is that of ‘shared destiny’. All Members will celebrate and participate in the successes of RL Commercial, with all benefiting from growth in RL Commercial irrespective of which asset delivers that growth. This is delivered by all commercial returns of RL Commercial being divided on the basis of pre-agreed percentages.

RL Commercial will be focused on maximising the value of the Sport across all revenue driving areas including:

  • broadcast
  • sponsorship
  • delivery of events
  • merchandising
  • marketing
  • ticketing
  • digital and media

The Sport has also recently announced a 12-year strategic partnership with IMG (a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion owned by Endeavor) to reimagine Rugby League and its competitions in the UK. Maximising the value and benefits of the partnership will be a key function of RL Commercial.  

RL Commercial now seeks to appoint three Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to its founding board. The successful candidates will be 1 of 4 NEDs on the first substantive Board of RL Commercial. In addition, there will be an independent Chair and a director nominated by IMG.

Formally 2 of the NEDs will be nominated by the RFL (of whom one will be the current RFL Chair) and 2 nominated by SLE; however, the RFL and SLE are working together to ensure that collectively the Board has a range of skills, experience and diversity.

It is anticipated that the 2 NEDs nominated by SLE will also form the SLE Board responsible for calling SLE Shareholder meetings to consider reserved matters.    

Successful candidates will bring to bear expertise and knowledge in a combination of the following:

o          Finance

o          Marketing and Corporate Communications

o          Commercial Revenue Generation

o          Broadcast

o          Digital

o          Insight and Data

o          Staging of sports or other large events

o          Sports Data

o          Working with a strategic partner

With demonstrable commercial acumen, they will have the know-how and ambition required to help drive value and investment across the sport. Adept at developing and maintaining strong working relationships amongst diverse and complex stakeholder groups, they will provide balanced judgment and constructive check and challenge at board level. They will champion and celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion at all times. Whilst a knowledge of the game is desirable, a passion and dedication to supporting our future and goals will be critical.

Time Commitment:

A flexible commitment of circa 25 days per annum including:

  • attendance at regular Board meetings per year (and additional Board conference calls as reasonably required)
  • match attendance as required
  • other key meetings and events as required.


RL Commercial will be based at the Etihad Campus, Manchester in June 2022 (the new home of the Sport). The Etihad will be an accessible venue, but we would be pleased to discuss any specific accessibility needs on a one-to-one basis.


Initial term of two, three or four years. Non-executive Directors may serve a maximum of nine years (made up of 2, 3 or 4-year terms).


circa £19,000 plus expenses.

RL Commercial recognises the enhanced creativity, performance and legitimacy of an organisation that embraces and celebrates diversity, and is actively striving to realise these benefits at Board and beyond. We recognise that to fully deliver on our mission and be true to our guiding principles, we must be representative of the communities which we serve. We have committed to achieving gender parity and diversity on our Board, and strongly encourage applications from suitably qualified candidates from under-represented sections of the community, whether based on sex, gender, race, disability, sexuality, lower socio-economic groups or other characteristics. We would be pleased to discuss our culture and commitments with any interested individuals.


For further details, including the job description, person specification, and information on how to apply, please visit quoting reference number 5896. Candidates wishing to apply should submit a CV (including comprehensive details of key achievements and responsibilities) along with a covering letter which fully addresses the competencies outlined in the role description and person specification.

The closing date for application is 9am on Monday 11th July 2022.

RL Commercial will be supported in these appointments by executive search firm Perrett Laver. Any initial enquiries should be directed to Ikem Nwankwo on +44 (0)20 7340 6208 or

Please note that applicants must be ‘Independent’, meaning that the applicant (and any relative of that applicant) must not be an Influential Person of any RFL Member or other Rugby League club participating in the Super League, Championship, League 1 or Women’s Super League (or equivalent from time to time) either now or within the preceding 24 months.


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