Rugby League Commercial Board welcomes three new appointments

THE reshaping of Rugby League’s governance has taken another significant step forward with the appointment of three external non-executive directors to complete the inaugural Board of RL Commercial.

The six-strong Board of RL Commercial will be led by Frank Slevin, whose appointment as Chair was announced in August.

He will be joined by Simon Johnson, the current Chair of the RFL; and, as also confirmed in August, by Ed Mallaburn, IMG Media’s Head of Sport, as part of IMG’s 12-year strategic partnership with Rugby League.

The Board has been completed by the appointment of three further non-executive directors following a recruitment process involving the leading international executive search specialists Perrett Laver.

Anna Chanduvi, the Sports and Entertainment Media Partnerships lead at Meta, having previously managed content strategy and rights acquisition for beIN Sports;.

Peter Hutton, a vastly experienced sports media specialist who has held senior roles with Eurosport, Fox Sports and, most recently, Meta, having started his career as a Rugby League reporter with Pennine Radio and Sky Sports.

Jonathan Murphy, the CEO of the listed medical property specialists Assura who is also Chair of the North West Business Leadership Team.

Frank Slevin said: “I am delighted and excited to confirm the appointment of Anna, Peter and Jonathan which completes the first Board of the recently formed commercial arm of Rugby League.

“The calibre of applicants was outstanding. Like the quality of these appointments, that is a measure of the opportunity we have as a sport and as a new organisation.

“This is a vital moment in time for Rugby League, as we look to build not only on the legacy of the World Cup, and especially its inclusivity, with breakthrough viewing figures for the Women’s and Wheelchair competitions as well as the Men’s matches, but on the untapped potential for our sport more broadly.

“We have high ambitions, and our commitment to delivering on those ambitions, in partnership with IMG, is reflected in the exceptional talent we have drawn together with these appointments.”

Rugby League Commercial was formed in the spring of 2022 as part of the realignment of the sport of Rugby League, to drive the sport’s commercial development – with a view to becoming fully operational from January 2023.

Anna Chanduvi is a sports media specialist, as Meta’s London-based lead for Sports and Entertainment Media Partnerships since 2018, and having previously managed content strategy and rights acquisition for beIN Sports. She was included on the Forbes “30 under 30” list for 2021, and the “30 under 30 Next Generation Leaders in Sport” by the Sports Industry Group in 2019. She has also been a Board member of Sports Equity International since 2018, and is a founding Director of the WBR network – Women Breaking Records.

Peter Hutton has four decades of experience in the sports industry, since 2018 as Director Media Partnerships for Meta, including external relationships with sports organisations such as FIFA, the IOC, the NFL and the Premier League – in addition to broadcasters and streaming companies worldwide. Previous roles included CEO of Eurosport, the MD of Fox Sports, and the CEO of Ten Sports – having taken his early steps into sports broadcasting covering Rugby League for Pennine Radi and then Sky Sports in the early years of the Super League.

Jonathan Murphy is the CEO of Assura plc, the Warrington-based property business with a focus on social impact and sustainability in healthcare. He worked for Assura as finance director from 2013 before becoming CEO in 2017, and has more than a decade of FTSE 250 Board experience. Since 2020, he has been Chair of the North West Business Leadership Team.