New York reveal identity of first financial backer

THE NEW YORK club that was launched in Liverpool last Tuesday has revealed the name of its first major financial investor.
Steve Scanlan, a Harvard educated Queenslander, who was named the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, is the first of several investors who have backed the new club.
Scanlan’s Recon group of companies specialise in IT recruitment, technology and finance.
But perhaps more importantly, as a Queenslander he has actively played Rugby League on his travels, both in Ireland and in the United States, and his Recon Technology company is a sponsor of Rugby League Ireland.
In 2006 he played for the New Haven Warriors in the American competition, and that season he scored two tries and four goals in a match against the Boston Braves.
In recent years, however, his focus has been to develop his business interests while supporting Rugby League financially.
“Our business has been very successful over the past few years experiencing significant growth and I strongly believe that we are working in a new landscape, a new world, where brands and businesses have the power to influence change in our communities and make a real difference,” he said when agreeing to back Rugby League Ireland.
“If businesses are in a position to support community causes, from NFP organisations to sporting teams and individuals, then they should. Cost and ROI should not be at the forefront of the decision making process.”
New York chief executive Ricky Wilby, who led the new club’s presentation in Liverpool last week, is delighted to have Scanlan on board.
“We have several backers whose names we will eventually reveal, but I’m delighted to confirm Steve’s name to League Express,” said Wilby, who will now recruit a squad to play in next season’s Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup, before they intend to join the league competition in 2022.
“We are looking forward to playing in the Cup competitions as well as playing a number of friendly games next season, including pre-season games against NRL clubs,” added Wilby.
“If we can get to 20 games I think we can make a good schedule for a year with no league fixtures. The NRL teams can grow their brand in the States, and it helps us launch in a whole new market. We’re targeting genuine Aussie expatriates who want to come and watch their teams play. In the Tri-State area – New Jersey, New York and Connecticut – you’re looking at close to 100,000 Australians. We’ve got a detailed marketing plan to target certain audiences so we’re not guessing, basically.
“We’ll play them on three consecutive weekends. We’ve also got contacts with several international teams. With the World Cup next year, you would presume there is an international break midway through the year, and there may be a lot of nations who want to play a game. Ireland stands out as one we’d like to have because of the obvious links in New York. Italy is another. We’ve even spoken to California Rugby League about a Tri-series, New York versus California. We’ve got lots of plans.”