IRB rebrands as World Rugby
The Global Governing Body for Rugby Union announced on Thursday that the International Rugby Board (IRB) is changing their name to World Rugby.
The name change will take effect from the 19th of November 2014 and will include new branding as well as a new logo.
To be launched at the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition in London on the 17th of November 2014, the change is due to a rebranding programme, as rugby participation around the world has bloomed from two million players to 6.6 million players over the past four years.
Officials have said that the rebrand is to reflect the "mission to build a stronger connection with fans, players and new audiences worldwide".
"Rugby continues to thrive, reach out and engage new audiences and participants in record numbers and the IRB has been at the heart of that growth,” said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"We are committed to furthering that growth beyond our traditional family and fan base with a public that expects to be entertained, informed and interacted with.”
"This move is more than just a name change, it is a mission statement."
IRB chief executive Brett Gosper added that, "In a crowded global entertainment and sporting marketplace, the role of the IRB has evolved from game regulator to game inspirer.”
"With this we must continue to appeal to those who know and love the sport and its heritage, whilst attracting, engaging and inspiring those who have no connection with the sport across multiple cultures and languages around the world.”
The next Rugby World Cup will take place in England, from September to October in 2015.
Picture courtesy of www.sport.ie.msn.com
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