Old Glory Names New Business Manager Robyn Remick

By Alistair Kirsch-Poole
Jul 14, 2023 - 5:42pm

Old Glory DC has announced a change up in their front office, with Robyn Remick taking over as Business Manager for Marcelo Blanco, who will shift to a more narrow role focused on players, contracts, and finances.

Remick represents a new direction for the organization from a business perspective. Where Blanco brought in significant financial industry experience and a specific passion for rugby, Remick comes in with a much more direct background in the US and local sports landscape. She spent 12 years at ESPN, first as VP of Partner Marketing, then VP of Events of Marketing for ESPN Audio, then finally VP of Business Development & Content for ESPN Wild World of Sports, a massive sports tourism complex. Later, she became President of Partnerships, Marketing, and Operations for Black Bear Sports Group, a position that involved managing the business operations of two junior hockey teams in Maryland.

It's a good resume for taking over this position. Her connections to ESPN are interesting, giving her insight into the running of one of the biggest sports networks on the planet, but it's her Black Bear experience that is really exciting. Rugby still exists in a niche in the US, outside the normal sports consciousness. Prior experience operating on a small scale, with tight budgets and small current fanbase, seems like a huge factor in her favor. The fact that her experience is also local is bonus.

There is certainly an opportunity for Remick to have a significant impact. As we've seen in San Diego, Chicago, and to a lesser extent New England, there is a ton opportunity in the MLR. Rugby, when given a robust marketing strategy, can achieve decent market penetration. We have yet to see the same sort of aggressive marketing from Old Glory DC, but Remick's hiring could be a sign of more to come.

However, there is still a significant hurdle. With the stadium so far out from the city, there's an unavoidable limit on the number of people who will be willing and able to come out the stadium. All the marketing in the world can only improve that situation so much. Still, the stadium situation is expected to improve in the coming years, at which point the talents of Remick will become invaluable.

These sorts of hirings are not necessarily the most exciting for fans, but they are the sort of thing that has the potential to have a huge impact on the team. Major League Rugby has made tremendous strides in the years: forming the league the first place and surviving early expansion, then improving the on field product and fan access with The Rugby Network. However, the League has yet to make sense as a business. All of the teams lose money, and all but a few have struggled to draw large crowds. That is the next challenge, and people like Remick are how the league will get over the hump and become a real, serious business.