Rugby Football Union

Rugby Football Union
Working with grassroots rugby clubs across England to optimally utilise their venues (bar, space and catering) to drive increased revenue
Rugby Football Union (RFU)


Across England there are 1,800 rugby clubs across all levels of the game. A very small number are professional and employ their staff. The majority are volunteer led. All need help, support and advice to run their clubs better. Many have great facilities that are just under-utilised.

IVM were engaged by the RFU to directly help clubs improve their operations.


Rugby clubs are key to their communities – but many are struggling to survive. IVM were brought in by the RFU to directly work with clubs across the UK to help them better understand their assets and provide a methodology for improved performance now and into the future.


The primary objectives were:

  • Create a methodology that works for clubs
  • Deliver some core solutions but also provide specialist help that may be relevant to individual clubs
  • Create a pathway for all clubs to utilise to support growth
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Solutions Implemented

Strategic Approach:
International Venue Management (IVM) created a template that has now been rolled out to more than 50 clubs across England – and this continues today

Action Steps

  • Understand the nuances of each individual club
  • Give each club a bespoke report to directly help them and their path to growth
  • Be available to advise clubs beyond the report
  • Build ‘best-in-class’ case studies that are on the RFU website and portal to help ALL clubs

Results Achieved

Quantitative Outcomes:
It is estimated that the work IVM did with rugby clubs in the 2022/23 season directly attributed to revenue growth across rugby of more than £3m. Indirect revenue growth in excess of £10m – and this continues

Qualitative Outcomes:
In addition to income, there have been huge improvements in club operational efficiency (cellars, bar, kitchen, staffing and venue) which just can’t be quantified.

“IVM have delivered incredible, quantifiable results across grassroots rugby. A key RFU objective is to support the future of rugby across England and IVM are a key RFU partner to make this happen”
Steve Smith
National Club Manager, RFU

Further projects

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