RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood has paid tribute to the contribution made to the sport by Commercial Director James Mercer, who is leaving the governing body to join the Lawn Tennis Association.
Mercer, 45, has been a key figure in the delivery of the RFL’s commercial strategy in the last two years, a period that has seen the sport build a strong commercial portfolio.
“James leaves the RFL with our best wishes and thanks for the part he has played in our delivery of record levels of commercial income to the sport,” said Wood.
“We have made significant strides in recent years, not least in 2013 when the sport generated more commercial revenue than at any time in its history.
“Our strong commercial performance helped us deliver the most successful Rugby League World Cup of all time and we now have an impressive stable of partners and sponsors in place across the domestic game.
“James’s departure comes alongside an important restructure of the RFL Executive that will leave the governing body perfectly equipped to maximise all the opportunities created by the introduction of new league structures from 2015.”
James Mercer said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the RFL. I was fortunate to experience an incredible 2013 Rugby League World Cup and have also seen the First Utility Super League move from strength to strength over the last 24 months.
“Watching the Super League and RFL commercial platforms flourish has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I am delighted that the sport now boasts a roster of blue chip partners which includes First Utility, Specsavers, Alcatel One Touch, Tetley’s, Irn Bru, Brut , Foxy Bingo, Gillette and Kingstone Press.
“I am delighted to be able to leave the sport and the team in such a healthy position and am looking forward to watching the action weekly as a fan of the game.”