New USA Rugby Board of Directors

It sounds like we got some good connections in Roberts to help the national office, but what is up with all of the baseball-isms?

Would it have been too hard to at least use analogies from our own sport?

NEW YORK CITY — Kevin Roberts and Bob Latham were elected by acclimation today to be the Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the new Board of Directors of USA Rugby.
“In Kevin and Bob we have the perfect combination, said Paul Tsuchiya, a member of USA Rugby’s Board of Directors. “Kevin’s the power hitter in the line-up, but Bob will make sure that Kevin sees good pitches.”

Roberts is the New York-based Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s leading creative organizations. His clients include some of the world’s best performing companies, including Procter & Gamble, Toyota, General Mills, Visa International and Novartis.

This is Roberts’ second tour on a Rugby Union Board, after serving on the New Zealand RFU Board from 1997-2000 as Chair of the Marketing and Commercial Committee. During that time, he played an integral role in ensuring the NZRU emerged from the growing pains of professionalism as the most successful union in the world, a first-class international business and a global sporting brand.

“There’s never been a more exciting time for Rugby in the U.S.,” Roberts said. “We have momentum in both the men’s and women’s game and we now have the most streamlined progressive Board Structure in the world. Our dream is to ignite the game across the U.S. and become a force on the international stage.”

Roberts played a key role in negotiating the Adidas sponsorship of NZ Rugby, then the largest sponsorship in rugby history. It was central in retaining star players in New Zealand as well as ownership and control over the All Blacks and financial stability for the NZRFU.

Latham had been the Chairman of the old Board of Directors and was named by the new Board to be the Interim Chairman after the Board was reconstituted in July. He has served on the Board of Directors of USA Rugby for 12 years. It was Latham himself who proposed Roberts as the new Chairman as the first order of business at the Board meeting in New York City today.

“When you have Babe Ruth in the line-up, you don’t bat him eighth,” explained Latham. “I viewed my job as getting the new structure of USA Rugby in place, attracting someone of the caliber of Kevin Roberts, and then putting him in the driver’s seat. And I look forward to being his co-pilot for the next year, as well as working with the other seven Board members.”

And Gainline’s blogging on Roberts as well, calling it a “milestone” (along with men’s national team captain Kort Schubert not making the cut for the Uruguay tour).

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