ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., May 3, 2023 – World Rugby and Gallagher, a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services company, today announced a multi-year global partnership establishing Gallagher as an Official Partner of Women’s Rugby and Rugby World Cup 2025. The announcement signifies Gallagher’s commitment to developing participation in the women’s game around the world.
As part of the partnership agreement, Gallagher will be an Official Partner of World Rugby WXV 2023 & 2024 – the new, three-tier annual global women’s competition featuring 18 teams. Launching later this year, WXV will revolutionize the women’s international rugby landscape, providing for the first time a meaningful pathway for all unions and a competitive springboard toward an expanded Rugby World Cup in 2025.
Coupled with the objectives of World Rugby’s Accelerate program, WXV aims to increase the depth and competitiveness of the international game leading to the Rugby World Cup 2025. WXV will help sustainably ensure a minimum of 10 international fixtures per year for teams, doubling the current fixture program, raising the reach, profile and impact of the global game.
Gallagher will also be the founding partner of the High Performance Academy, a fully immersive development and leadership program established by World Rugby and Gallagher with the stated mission of increasing the prominence of female coaches and other high performance roles at elite levels of the sport that will have a lasting impact on the women’s game.
This will include a focus on talent identification, professional support and championing the next generation of international level coaches as World Rugby looks to raise standards on and off the field, underpinning a more competitive game on the road to Rugby World Cup 2025 and beyond. The program will develop existing coaching talent and identify new women coaches and other high performance roles in rugby, with the aim of improving the overall standard of women’s rugby around the world. The initial focus will be in England, Australia and the U.S. to mirror the host locations for the next three Women’s Rugby World Cups, and the ambition is to make the program truly global.
“We are extremely proud to partner with World Rugby and to provide a pathway for women aspiring to work at elite levels of the sport through the Rugby World Cup, WXV and the Gallagher High Performance Academy,” said Gallagher Chairman, President and CEO J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr. “Gallagher has deep roots within rugby and a rich history in sports partnerships, sharing the core values of driving high performance through teamwork, integrity, inclusivity, respect and professional excellence.”
Reinforcing Gallagher’s commitment to supporting women’s rugby on a global scale, the launch was supported by former New Zealand Rugby player and three-time Rugby World Cup winner, Kendra Cocksedge; and England Rugby’s all-time most capped player, Rugby World Cup winner and former Captain, Sarah Hunter. Both Cocksedge and Hunter were unveiled as ambassadors for Gallagher’s World Rugby partnership.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “We are excited to be partnering with Gallagher to accelerate the growth of women’s rugby. This is an endorsement of the compelling and undeniable opportunity that we have in front of us to grow the game as a whole. All the evidence shows that by leading with women and girls, we can propel the sport to new levels, unlocking new markets, attracting new audiences and developing impactful partnerships. Gallagher shares our vision. This partnership is action-oriented, aligns with our plan and we look forward to working together to drive forward the competitiveness, reach and impact of women in rugby.”
World Rugby Chief of Women's Rugby Sally Horrox added: “From the very start, Gallagher has shown a real commitment to supporting the women’s game. The partnership sees them backing three of our most important programs; WXV, World Rugby's exciting new three-tiered annual tournament, RWC 2025 and what will now be known as the Gallagher High Performance Academy. Gallagher cares deeply about rugby and is committed to increasing the opportunity for women both on and off the field. We look forward to working with them closely on the exciting pathway to 2025 and beyond.”
Celebrating its 10th edition, the expanded Rugby World Cup 2025 is set to be a major attraction in the global sporting calendar reaching and converting new fans. Gallagher has well-established operations across key markets with a strong presence in rugby including in England, Australia and New Zealand (hosts of the delayed Rugby World Cup in 2021), along with a substantial and growing footprint in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. The partnership represents Gallagher’s international outlook and commitment to diversity, a major driver of the sponsorship of Rugby World Cup 2025.
“We are very excited to be bringing together Gallagher with a world class organization that shares our values,” said Christopher E. Mead, Gallagher Chief Marketing Officer. “This partnership will provide a career track for women and support the growth of women’s rugby around the world. It will also help deepen connections within communities where we live and work, while helping us support local business partners with our expertise and innovative solutions.”
A launch celebration at Gallagher’s headquarters in Rolling Meadows included a Q&A panel with Gallagher Chairman, President, CEO J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin, World Rugby Chief Director of Women's Rugby Sally Horrox and Gallagher Rugby ambassadors Kendra Cocksedge and Sarah Hunter. The event also included a Gallagher Rugby Masterclass demo led by local rugby club, Chicago Lions, and the presence of the Rugby World Cup Trophy, on loan from the reigning champions, New Zealand.
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Gallagher x World Rugby Announcement
1. Shot of TV screen announcing the Gallagher and World Rugby partnership
2. B-roll of building outside
3. Gallagher flag
4. Shots of people mingling outside
5. B-roll of trophy on podium
6. Shot of trophy
7. Group photo of executives and rugby players
8. Players surrounding rugby ball
9. Shot of executives near trophy
10. Shots of rugby players playing
11. Wide shot of field from above with players playing
12. Players playing on field
13. Players high-fiving
14. Players taking photos with Rugby ambassadors
15. Gallagher Chairman, President, CEO J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr [00:02:36] The company has always felt that we want to be involved with things that grow and we see women's rugby as one of the fastest growing sports for women and we want to be involved in that. We believe in diversity and inclusion and this is a great opportunity to support women's sport.
16. World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin [00:02:53] The real growth in the game is the women's game and we can see that around the world. We can particularly see that in emerging markets, the places where men's rugby hasn't been traditionally played as much. The US is a great example of that, but we're seeing that around the world and you know, we're really committed to that growth. We know that again, you know, really focusing in on investing in girls and women's rugby is going to be a massive opportunity for us as a sport.
17. World Rugby Chief of Women's Rugby Sally Horrox [00:03:15] The High Performance Academy is all about creating more career opportunities in rugby for women, in rugby, so that they can see that they can forge a career path in the same way that men can forge a career path of all ages, right from youth, next generation leaders, right the way through to elite coaches. With Gallagher, we are launching a high performance academy that will specifically create opportunities for people like Kendra and Sara, their colleagues, others that are in that pathway so that they have the tools and the skills and the opportunities to forge a full time career in the sport.
18. Gallagher Rugby ambassador Sarah Hunter [00:03:53] To have the Gallagher High Performance Academy to make sure that those women have opportunities, to give them mentorship, to give them leadership, you know, to make sure that they can they can thrive in the international scene. It's just so exciting.
19. Gallagher Chairman, President, CEO J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr [00:04:06] We like the fact that rugby lines up with our culture, with what our beliefs are, and that's you see that on the pitch, you see it off the pitch, you see it in the things that the people that are involved in rugby are involved in outside the game and that all fits the community and what have you.
20. Gallagher Rugby ambassador Sarah Hunter [00:04:20] We're seeing the women and girls game coming out of Cove in a way that, you know, we probably couldn't have imagined four or five years ago, which is, which is fantastic at the top end of the game, ever more competitive wxf is coming on stream this year for us is a really important competition.
21. World Rugby Chief of Women's Rugby Sally Horrox [00:04:34] They're a global brand, they're really prestigious, they're international, so they really marriot with what we're trying to do in the sport. It's fantastic. They want to advance women in leadership positions across their business and identify next gen talent, which is what it's all about for us. We've got to raise the standards for women on and off the field. So we need more coaches, we need more performance services and we need careers for women in rugby. And that's what the Academy is going to help us do. Through the accelerate programs, through the High Performance Academy and through XIV. All of that should build to a more competitive World Cup, and it's an expanded World Cup with 16 teams. But it should also lead to better structures that underpin the game because it's got to be a sustainable game. It needs greater investment and as you say, it's into the early stage of its development relatively on a global stage.
22. Gallagher Rugby ambassador Kendra Cocksedge [00:05:20] I never thought I would have ever achieved what I did in the game. I just played the game because I loved it and and then didn't even know there was a New Zealand women's rugby team, to be honest, until I went to to high school. And as soon as I knew that I just put a goal on my wall and set out to achieve that. And I'm all about giving back and every opportunity, even like with these these ladies out here today, pack up a ball and have a run around with them. And to be an ambassador for Gallagher. And I'm really excited about it because my values align quite heavily with what they enter the Gallagher way.
23. Gallagher Rugby ambassador Sarah Hunter [00:05:49] I feel really lucky to be part of the Gallagher family and come on board with what they want to do in women's rugby. You know, to have a global brand come in part in a women's rugby is so exciting and what they want to do within it, like aligns with the values that I have. You know, I feel very fortunate that I've been a part of her campaign and hopefully now that I'm not in the thick of it on the pitch, I can try and give some impact to those that are involved in whatever shape or way to to share in the experience that I've had and to hopefully make more people fall in love with the sport.