With the 2010/2011 HSBC Sevens World Series coming to a climax over the following two weekends, it is perhaps apt to ask the question:
Just why are the ‘suits’ so interested in Rugby Sevens these days?
As fanatic followers, we knew that the game was on the up-and-up even before the Olympic announcement. However we have to agree, when the IOC announced the inclusion of Rugby Sevens onto the Rio 2016 schedule, that day marked a major change in especially the interest from the corporate sector.
Perhaps Jon Miller, NBC’s President of Programming in the United States summed it up when he said (at the Vegas Sevens):
“We (NBC) have 200 (staffers) here this weekend, which is as many people we have at any (outside broadcast) including the US Open Golf Championships. We’re producing 22 hours of live television with the world-feed (and) We’re producing 15 hours for American television… all of it live.”
He gushes on:
“People watching will go Wow! It’s so fast, 7-minute halves, a running clock. There’s plenty of time in the broadcast to get branding and value, so we think that works well too!”
Picture below: Las Vegas pulled out all the stops this season (Pic: TheLasVegasTours)
The IRB’s Inside Sevens programme put together clips of the comments from some of the corporate movers-and-shakers at the various tournaments this season: