TOULOUSE, France (January 25, 2023) – Stade Toulousain, Europe’s winningest professional rugby club (five (5) European Cup Championships and twenty-one (21) French Championships, the most of any European team), and the Utah Warriors, a founding member of North America’s Major League Rugby (MLR), announced today that they have entered into an agreement to create a premier global collaboration as two leaders in their respective markets.
This collaboration called The Rugby Alliance project will be a corporate accelerator to drive the global brand and team development for partner clubs by using combined sports, marketing, commercial, media, and other technology development assets and initiatives in each team’s region and globally.
“The Stade Toulousain is proactive with our international development strategy and we’ve been grateful for the discussion with the American franchise of the Utah Warriors,” said Didier Lacroix, President of Stade Toulousain about the overall plan of The Rugby Alliance, “This initiative will help us to extend our brand and the know-how of our organization in a region where rugby has momentum and where they will welcome the future Rugby World Cups in 2031 and 2033.”
Lacroix went on to comment on why Stade Toulousain decided to partner with the Utah Warriors.
“[They] are an obvious choice,” he said, “Not only do we share the same values and visions that Stade Toulousain had back in the day but the Utah Warriors has been at the genesis of the creation of Major League Rugby and the growth of the game in North America. Salt Lake City and Utah are a territory very similar to the Occitanie and Stade Toulousain thanks to their economic success in innovation, industry, tourism, technology, as well as Utah’s overall outdoor lifestyle. The warm welcome that we received during our visit in December from the local government, sports, and the economic leaders was exceptional.”
Summarizing the early feedback of The Rugby Alliance’s planning Lacroix said both Stade Toulousain and the Utah Warriors have seen positive results internally and externally.
“We have been pleasantly surprised by the excitement of this project by all the various French and American institutions.” Didier Lacroix said, “And we’re very much looking forward to working with the Warriors and these institutions to grow The Rugby Alliance.”
Utah Warriors CEO and Co-Founder Kimball Kjar echoed Lacroix’s statements.
“This will create a paradigm shift on a global scale for the game and the business of rugby,” Kjar said, “For Americans, Stade Toulousain are the Dallas Cowboys or the Real Madrid of rugby, so to be able to partner with such a historically successful team that is also innovative and forward-thinking, we’re just truly grateful and truly excited about where this collaboration will go not only for both teams, but here in the US it will be exciting what his project will do to benefit the MLR and game overall.”
By establishing a global brand and content development strategy the Rugby Alliance will grow the member’s respective brands while also growing the sport of rugby. It will also help to accelerate the growth of each member team’s connections between businesses, communities, and tourism.
The Rugby Alliance will announce specific details in the coming weeks as to the full scope of the project’s expected exhibition matches in North America, including in Utah, the planned media and corporate partnership strategies, as well as the plans for rugby development camps and clinics for players and coaches in the US and in France.
Through this international collaboration and partnered business development The Rugby Alliance will work to redefine how professional rugby teams can approach commercial, operational, and team growth as a springboard for future innovation inside one of the world’s largest sports.