LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Grand Prix Sports, a subsidiary of Grand Prix Entertainment, LLC, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company, announced the acquisition of The American National Rugby League (“AMNRL”), the governing body for the development of the “American football like” sport of Rugby League in the USA. The AMNRL is exclusively sanctioned by the Rugby League International Federation (“RLIF”).
“We’re very pleased to add the sport of Rugby League, led by our new partners at Star Group Communications, to Grand Prix’s sport investment portfolio,” said Alan Rothenberg, Chairman of Grand Prix Sports. “The AMNRL has been making great strides in the development of Rugby League across America. Acquiring the exclusive rights to Rugby League is a major Grand Prix score on and off the field.”
Seen by many as a move to consolidate its growing influence on the “Father of American Football,” Grand Prix Founder William Tatham said, “Clearly International Rugby Board (“IRB”) Union Rugby is the NFL of world rugby, but RLIF Rugby League is a formidable foe both on and off the field and growing stronger every day. Thus, we felt this expansion was a very important move for Grand Prix in our efforts to package the “Contact Sport of the World” and compete in the United States “Sports Market of the World.”
Grand Prix is most known in rugby world for its pioneering efforts to organize professional Rugby Union Sevens through its strategic and exclusive joint venture partnership with USA Rugby. USA Rugby, an official member of the Unites States Olympic Committee as well as the Rugby World Cup's International Rugby Board, recently extended through 2018 Grand Prix’s exclusive U.S. sanction, license and global broadcast rights to own, operate and globally broadcast the professional sport of Rugby Sevens. Rugby Sevens will debut as a new Olympic sport at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games.
Tatham went on to say; “Trust me, Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” couldn’t be more true in the shark infested waters of American sports business. We intend on doing far more than survive, and today’s acquisition makes Grand Prix ‘bigger, stronger and faster’.”
Hollywood film star Russell Crowe is Rugby League’s number one fan, owning the ‘South Sydney Rabbitohs’; a professional Rugby League franchise of the Australia based “National Rugby League”.
Former President of CBS Sports Neal Pilson, endorsed the move, stating, “While maintaining the independent integrity of the Rugby Union and Rugby League operations, yet folding them under one production umbrella, we at Grand Prix felt from a broadcast perspective this transaction was a smart move to avoid unnecessary confusion in a U.S. media market at a very critical time in rugby’s growth.”
Grand Prix’s latest strategic competitive strike followed Grand Prix’s multi year – multi million dollar start up that culminated with the following 90 day series of achievements Grand Prix’s final countdown to its 2012 – 2013 kick off:
- Grand Prix sells the Grand Prix New York franchise interest for a U.S. rugby record $10,000,000 to businesswoman Carol Alyssa Childress
- Grand Prix names the NFL Network as Grand Prix’s exclusive broadcast partner for world class USA Rugby sanctioned professional rugby sevens championships
- Grand Prix names AEG’s Home Depot Center as Grand Prix’s home for world class USA Rugby sanctioned professional rugby sevens championships
- Grand Prix extends thru 2018 its USA Rugby awarded U.S. Exclusive Sanction, License and Global Broadcast Rights to own, operate and globally broadcast professional rugby sevens
- Grand Prix names Alan Rothenberg, Major League Soccer founder and former Olympic and FIFA World Cup official, as Grand Prix’s Chairman
- Grand Prix names Neal Pilson, former President of CBS Sports, overseeing Grand Prix domestic production and broadcast operations
- Grand Prix names Gary Marenzi, former President of MGM Worldwide Television, overseeing Grand Prix international production and distribution
- Grand Prix names Kelly Crabb, Olympic counsel and partner with Sheppard Mullin, as Grand Prix’s corporate counsel
This groundbreaking acquisition was further enhanced by the announcement that Grand Prix had also acquired the assets of World Rugby Alliance Holdings, LLC, including its wholly owned American National Rugby League (“AMNRL”). The AMNRL is the exclusive U.S. sanctioning body of RLIF governed Rugby League. Grand Prix’s AMNRL is also home of the USA TOMAHAWKS, the 11th ranked 2013 Rugby League World Cup contender. Other assets that will now fall under Grand Prix Entertainment include a popular web site for Rugby League called WeAreRugby.com and several Rugby related apparel brands for licensed merchandise.
About Grand Prix Entertainment
Grand Prix Entertainment is a diversified multi-media production and distribution company. For more information about Grand Prix Entertainment, please call Caryn at Premier Partnerships (310) 656–2500 x13, via email Caryn @ PremierPartnerships.com, or visit www.grandprixentertainment.com.