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Apr 4, 2015 4:15 PM ET

Archived: Trys Rugby – Adult rugby business based on developing Touch Rugby Centres in the UK similar to 5 a side football

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 4, 2015

Trys Rugby


Adult rugby business based on developing Touch Rugby Centres in the UK similar to 5 a side football.




This rugby based business is based on non contact 5/6-a-side touch and tag rugby and is within the “innovation in sports” participation sector. It is similar in concept to the successful 5-a-side football market dominated by Goals Soccer Centres and Powerleagues Football business models.

We believe that the ideal locations for Pop up Trys Rugby sites are Premiership and Superleague joint venture locations and we will aim to operate all year round on 3G and 4G Astroturf pitches split into mini pitches of 40x30m each under floodlights and with associated car parking.

Trys Rugby Centres offers the opportunity for investment to assist our development of a stage 1 operating model based on Trys renting/leasing pitches in rugby hotspots including Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester and Exeter with access to other facilities. Trys does not plan to own buildings or pitches and instead to have a lease to use them and the facilities, but with the branding remaining as Trys.



It’s intended to fully launch Trys during the Rugby World Cup year in 2015, as participation is expected to increase in the UK, with many national campaigns planned to increase the numbers of adults playing the game with touch and tag being amongst the key drivers in this growth.

We propose to build the brand via an operational model that is initially focused on the south west locations mentioned above and based around hiring facilities in the first instance, forming partnerships with both professional and amateur clubs where possible. This strategy will be the basis of building a chain of 5/6-a-side adult, youth and children touch and tag rugby centres as we believe that it will create proof of concept at a far lower level of risk.

At this proof of concept stage we expect that revenue will be driven by adults playing in the evenings in organised teams, youth teams playing after school and children’s leagues at weekends. As far as we are aware, the initial movement for the organised 5-a-side football matches market started with a focus on school sites, where the school would not have a need of the pitches in the evening. We believe that it is only recently that Goals and Powerleagues have started to build on leisure sites, but still heavily relying on evening and peak time income at these sites. Trys intends to operate on 3G and 4G pitches at school sites, local authority leisure sites throughout the winter and rugby clubs in the summer months on grass pitches.

We see the business developing into a chain of branded, profitable, pop up rugby centres across the UK, starting with 10 sites primarily in the South West and our unique partnership with Leeds Rugby. Research indicates that approximately 290,000 adults train and play rugby union or league at least once a week in the UK, and from this we estimate that there is capacity for 50 key sites across the country.



Milestones include:

• 4 month management contracts completed with Leeds Rugby advising the CEO and their leisure rugby programmes in this new family market
• 6 month contract at Clifton RFC in Bristol developing their Foundation and a number of rugby participation programmes
• Setting up rugby participation programmes with a range of youth coaching services in Bath and Bristol
• Pilot Adult Touch rugby programmes in Bath and Leeds
• Children’s rugby pilot programmes in Bath and Bristol



Trys would bring something new into rugby, targeting: the youth market who may leave the sport at 16 or 18, students who want to keep fit through playing and not training/competing at weekends, club players who would rather play a new game format mid week, the family market who are interested in non contact versions of the sport, the 35 to 60 year old sector who leave the sport due to injury/workload, and the veterans market.

The projections have been based on the Goals model, amended to reflect the rugby market and built up using standard benchmarks for leisure projects. We summarise the key assumptions used in the financial model as follows.

Key Assumptions
1. Adult price of £4.65 per adult per game/Youth £4.20/Child £3.95
2. Utilisation of 60% in year 1 rising to 80% in year 3
3. 3G pitch rental fee based on £5,000 per annum per location
4. Price base is at 2013 prices
5. All figures exclude VAT

Revenue Assumptions – League Income
• Based on running adult, youth and children’s touch and tag leagues.
• Prices are per team member/participant per match/session.

Other Income
• Birthday party programme aimed at hosting 5 parties per month per location
• Merchandising, typically of low cost items between £2-£5

Trys plans to develop a mixed programme offering of touch rugby leagues, knockout competitions, festivals, corporate days for adults and birthday parties for children. Revenue streams are expected to be geared towards different operations at different times. We predict that income would come from league formats based on 35 to 45 minute games over 12 weeks between 6pm to 10pm Monday to Thursday, 11am to 7pm weekends and key rugby occasions.



The project requires £85,000 working capital for minority equity as a first stage investment based on a 3 year operational plan to market the Trys brand offer.

We plan to use the funds raised from this investment primarily for: planning, set up, legal work, recruitment of operational team, management team salaries, Trys brand launch, website development, e/m commerce platform, pre sales, marketing campaign, product development, coach recruitment and outreach programme.

We also plan to use some of the funds for the development of the website, set up costs, Trys launch marketing campaign and working capital. In summary, this investment is primarily required for:

• Website development
• Marketing Launch
• Other start up costs
• Site equipment
• Working Capital


The Trys Rugby market is similar to the national governing bodies’ target audiences in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. However, we understand that these programmes are often run through their community arm, whereas we believe that Trys takes a far more commercial approach.

We see the leading national governing body focusing on this area of rugby leisure as being the Irish Rugby Football Union who have realised the potential of touch and tag rugby as an income generator and key tool in developing the game. There is huge growth in the touch and tag game with the following 2011 research revealing throughout Ireland the game was played in a leisure capacity by:

• 17 Regular season Venues, 2 Spring League Venues, 4 Beach Tag Events & 1 All-Ireland Championship
• 605 teams, 34 Spring League Teams, 72 Beach Tag Event Teams and 70 All-Ireland Championship teams
• 8470 registered players (avg 14 per team) plus 476 Spring League players (avg 14 per team) plus 720 (Beach avg 10 per team) plus 980 All-Ireland players (avg 14 per team)
• 304 registered referees, 242 referees officiated in more than 3 games during the season
• Registration fee ranges between €450 and €495

67.54% of Net turnover returned to Host Clubs via profit share (€76,720 in total).

The popularity of these “leisure rugby” events is evidenced by:

• 2 Venues reached 100% capacity
• 5 Venues reached between 90-100% capacity
• 3 Venues reached between 80-90% capacity
• 2 Venues reached between 70-80% capacity
• 5 Venues reached between 50-70% capacity
• 2 Spring League Venues between 90-100% capacity


Recognising the need to look outside the traditional, both codes have initiated leisure rugby programmes to retain and grow their playing base. As demand to play on Saturdays in winter decreases, new opportunities develop for midweek and summer engagement.

Research has illustrated a strong demand for these opportunities, and both Governing Bodies have instigated campaigns as part of their Sport England participation strategy.

Furthermore the growth of Sevens has accelerated in recent years, culminating in acceptance as an Olympic sport in 2016, further illustrating the demand for Rugby to adapt and become a ‘lifestyle sport’, available to participants at a time that balances, work, family and leisure.


We aim to market the Trys Rugby brand as follows:

• Telesales campaign – Develop a focused monthly target with accompanying sales data regarding number of calls, club targets, local authority responses.
• Club campaign – Linking in with every rugby and multi sport facility possible within a 30 minute radius offering a new leisure outlet to play sport.
• Local Media – Co-ordinated campaign advertising on the local transport network and radio stations.
• University partnerships – Set up a web page with local universities with details about our range of programmes. Interested parties could then contact us separately.
• PR – Strategy would be developed where possible through Leisure press, rugby press, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, UK Sport and other bodies to promote Trys’ coaching offer.
• National Governing Body newsletters – With an aim to partner with RFU and RFL we would factor in an internal marketing drive through websites, community newsletters and product launches.
• Website – At stage 1 Trys has a holding website giving basic information regarding its products, people, partnership and programme detail. At stage 2 the website will be far more interactive with case studies, league formats, product offers, corporate campaign, funding opportunities and sponsorship.
• Social media – Trys aims to set up links on sports social media projects with Sport England, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and BUCS.


We expect that the revenue will be driven by adults playing in the evenings in organised teams, youth teams playing after school and children’s leagues at weekends. This will be supplemented through annual tournaments, birthday parties, merchandise sales and sponsorship.

Trys will operate, through rental agreements on 3G and 4G pitches at school sites, local authority leisure sites throughout the winter and rugby clubs in the summer months on grass pitches.

Key points regarding competition:

1. There are no national touch rugby operators that we know of and therefore we believe that Trys has the first mover advantage.
2. Trys Rugby has conducted a market analysis of acquisition of existing non contact rugby providers in rugby hotspots around the UK.
3. Trys sees this market mirroring the football 5 a side cottage industry of the late 70’s/early 80’s.
4. We believe that Trys is now a recognised brand in rugby circles having piloted a number of programmes in partnership since 2012.


Patrick Cannon, Head of Sports Law, Field Fischer Waterhouse

“Although conceptually Trys Rugby is a similar concept to football 5 a side operators Goals and Powerleagues in terms of its small sided nature, it is anticipated that Trys will have more multiple revenue streams in both peak and off peak time periods based around non contact touch and tag rugby, rugby events, club training sessions, rugby fitness, children’s provision and youth multisport. Trys also offers the UK something new in fitness as well as rugby and can become an important participation tool running up to RWC 2015 and beyond with sponsor interest after proof of concept. Andy has chosen, in my opinion, high quality partners and a top class rugby management and is well positioned in what are tough economic times”.

Andy Baker
Part Time
James Benson
Finance Director
Part Time
Simon Martin
Operations Director
Part Time
Terry Burwell
Strategy Director
Part Time
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