Sports sponsorship and television rights specialist Dermot Rigley will become the latest addition to the growing team at PRO12 Rugby when he joins the board as the Commercial Director in January 2017.
Rigley has been recruited from RTÉ, the national television broadcaster in the Republic of Ireland, where he will depart his role as Commercial Head of Sport across TV, Radio and Digital.
The 40-year-old was part of the sports management team at RTÉ that successfully acquired broadcast rights to the Olympics, UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Cup, the 6 Nations, the European Tour and the GAA Football and Hurling Championships.
During his time with RTÉ Sport the department recorded an increase in commercial revenue while Rigley also played a key role in expanding digital coverage across RTÉ’s online platforms and securing global sports sponsorships.
Since graduating from Dublin Institute of Technology in 1999 (BA in International Business and Languages) the Dubliner has worked with BSKYB and Zenith Optimedia and continually added to his academic skillset by completing courses in management, leadership and negotiation.
Speaking about the appointment Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO12 Rugby, said: “In welcoming Dermot to our expanding team at PRO12 Rugby I would also like to congratulate him for emerging out of a highly-competitive and rigorous recruitment process that included candidates from across the UK and Ireland.
“The marketplace for sports rights is an arena rife with competition and as a result we are intent on making the Guinness PRO12 the most attractive platform possible for commercial partners and rugby fans alike.
“With the advent of activation heavy and experiential-led commercial relationships, our aim is to form innovative broadcast partnerships and offer a more expansive digital media rights package when we go back to the market.
“From that point of view it is an important step forward for the Championship to be able to bring in someone of Dermot’s commercial capability and experience.”
In addition to his primary responsibilities in sponsorship and securing rights within the senior management group at RTÉ Sport, Rigley has helped to deliver world-class live events and implemented structural change at the broadcaster.
Rigley said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining the team at PRO12 Rugby as the Championship continues to grow and set new standards on and off the pitch. Brands are more committed than ever when it comes to activating their partnerships and engaging with sports fans and from that perspective the Guinness PRO12 has so much to offer.
“The innovative approach taken by Martin and his team makes it especially appealing to go into the broadcast market in 2017 to find the best partners to help tell the stories that make the Guinness PRO12 such a vibrant tournament.
“Finally, I would like to thank everyone at RTÉ for their hard work and support during my time there. Only the highest standards were accepted at RTÉ Sport and I aim to bring that same approach to my new role with PRO12 Rugby.”
Rigley will take up his duties on January 9, 2017.