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Rugby League World Cup 2021 strengthens commercial team

Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has announced the addition of two new team members with Hanaa Skalli and Rob Hutchison joining the commercial team.

Hanaa joins as head of sponsorship sales and is responsible for leading the end-to-end outreach to the business community to extend the number of official sponsors and partners for the tournament, which currently includes Eversheds Sutherland, Deloitte and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Previously Hanaa was corporate partnerships manager at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and has also worked at The Art Fund, and St. John’s College Cambridge.

Rob joins the RLWC2021 team as commercial lead, bringing a wide range of knowledge and experience from within the sports industry. Previously general manager at Lovell Sports, Rob has also worked for Adidas and Kukri. He will be responsible for leading RLWC2021’s corporate hospitality, licensing, merchandise and retail, and fan travel programmes to create customer experiences, engagement and drive revenue.

RLWC2021 will be held in October and November 2021, and is the sixteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup. 32 teams across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cups will compete in 61 matches across 21 venues.

Rob Hutchison said: “It is incredibly exciting to join the RLWC2021 team and help create not only a world class event, but the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever. We will be looking at how we embrace technology and bring innovation to many facets of our commercial activity, with a productive 2 years ahead and a great team to achieve our ambitious plans.”

Hanaa Skalli said: “RLWC2021 presents a fantastic opportunity to work with brands to deliver unique partnerships by providing exceptional assets and experiences, and an alignment and integration with the key values of the tournament, particularly regarding our innovative approach to inclusivity which runs throughout our planning and execution.”

Jonathan Neill, commercial director at RLWC2021, said: “Hanaa and Rob have the core skills, excellent experience and contacts, and even more importantly the personal values and approach that we need at RLWC2021 to ensure we have the right team-mates in place to achieve our bold and brave vision. Both will fit in perfectly to our leader-leader team culture, and positively deliver against our strategic objectives.”


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