Wigan Warriors have revealed that they are embarking on an expansion into London.
The club and owner Ian Lenagan have plenty of ties with the capital, not least through Lenagan’s prior ownership of London Broncos. In addition, the likes of current Wigan players Tony Clubb and Dan Sarginson currently play for the Warriors.
Wigan will kick-off their expansion with three key strands of activity and will launch the first of these – the Wigan Warriors Business Club – at an exclusive event in the prestigious Institute of Directors in Pall Mall on Monday 29th June (6.30pm – 9pm).
The Business Club is an extension of a highly successful initiative, established in the North in February 2015, which has quickly seen more than 70 businesses commit to an informal yet exclusive Members’ Club to do business around a series of spectacular and unique events. Members include Natwest, Barclays, Gala Coral, TM Lewin and KPMG.
Events have included a Heritage Evening featuring legendary players and a never-seen-before collection of Rugby memorabilia and a privileged insight into Professional Team match preparation with an invitation into the dressing room to hear the matchday rituals and pre-match team talk from head coach, Shaun Wane, ahead of Wigan’s biggest game of the season – the sell-out Good Friday Derby with arch-rivals St Helens.
Commenting, Lenagan said: “My personal passion for both Wigan and Rugby League in London makes this initiative an obvious one. The Wigan club is the biggest brand in club rugby and I am fully aware of the need for a major Rugby League presence in London to complement the wide-ranging community work already being done successfully in schools and clubs. This venture provides exciting opportunities for both the Club and the sport generally.
“The expansion into London is a core element of Wigan’s growth strategy to engage with both the sporting public and the business community and will see a wide array of activities over the coming months and years including at least one Wigan home game per year and Rugby League camps run by Wigan staff.
In addition to the Business Club, Wigan Warriors will use their extensive expertise in community development to help address key issues such as health, education and social welfare and will be using the world-renowned Wigan brand to increase opportunities and raise standards of grassroots Rugby League across the South East. The final strand to be announced soon will see Wigan bring one of their home games to a stadium in London.
Underpinning the expansion will be the opening of a Wigan Warriors office in the Capital on Buckingham Palace Road with the deployment of two full-time members of staff – Gerald Kelly and Rob Lees – to manage the expansion.