Rugby Canada Updates - April 2022

April 26 2022

Nathan Bombrys named Rugby Canada CEO in April 2022

Rugby Canada Announce Nathan Bombrys as New CEO - Starts This Summer

OK, in the Guess the New Rugby Canada CEO contest, whoever guessed an American from small town Michigan who studied filmmaking and majored in film at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts wins the grand prize. Well done you!

All mirth aside, his rugby journey is an interesting story which is described in this article from Syracuse University, highlighting its alumni.

Neil Davidson wrote up an article for Canadian media consumption which borrows a lot from the above article. You can read his article here:

His Linkedin profile shows his work experience in rugby which was with the Scottish Rugby Union and most recently the Glasgow Warriors.

Head of International Commercial Projects
Scottish Rugby Union
Apr 2021 - Present · 1 yr 1 mo

Managing Director
Glasgow Warriors
Dec 2011 - Apr 2021 · 9 yrs 5 mos

Scottish Rugby Representative
PRO12 Rugby Operations Sub-Committee
Sep 2014 - Mar 2020 · 5 yrs 7 mos

Scottish Rugby Representative
ERC Commercial Sub-Committee
Jan 2011 - Jan 2013 · 2 yrs 1 mo

Head of Commercial
Scottish Rugby Union
Jan 2011 - Nov 2011 · 11 mos

Commercial & Marketing Director
Sale Sharks
2002 - Jan 2011 · 9 yrs 1 mo

Sponsorship Consultant
UZ Events
2001 - 2002 · 1 yr

Marketing Manager
Unique Events
2000 - 2001 · 1 yr

Head of Marketing
London Towers Basketball
1997 - 2000 · 3 yrs

Syracuse University
BFA, Film Drama
1993 - 1997

Innovative sports industry leader with a track record for helping owners achieve their vision for their organizations by growing brands, increasing revenues and building winning teams.
The choice indicates that Rugby Canada are interested primarily in strengthening the commercial and marketing aspects of their operations. One of his first tasks will be deciding where he wants to live and work from, apparently the Board have given him some latitude in this decision, a feature of the new "hands off" governance model that the Rugby Canada board is working towards. With family in Michigan and university connections in Syracuse, it wouldn't be suprising if he maintains the CEO office in the Toronto area.

There likely won't be the quick, decisive, action oriented leadership that many in the rugby community were hoping for. He starts in the summer, he has to decide where to set up operation, then get familiar with the Canadian rugby landscape, listen to the various influencers in Canadian rugby, decide which ones will be his close advisers. It's going to take a while. Questions around staffing, who stays and who goes, will there be significant changes to the leadership group, coaches, to the organization structure and location? These are issues that may linger into 2023. Hopefully we'll learn a bit about his leadership style and priorities by the fall of 2022.

from Rugby Canada

Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors is very pleased to announce the appointment of Nathan Bombrys as Chief Executive Officer following an extensive and comprehensive global search.

April 26, 2022 (Langford, BC) – Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors is very pleased to announce the appointment of Nathan Bombrys as Chief Executive Officer following an extensive and comprehensive global search.

Bombrys, originally from Michigan, joins the national governing body of rugby in Canada with over two decades of experience in senior leadership roles in European rugby, including as Managing Director at Scottish club Glasgow Warriors who compete in the United Rugby Championship and Heineken Champions Cup, Commercial Director at Sale Sharks of England’s Gallagher Premiership, and senior commercial roles at Scottish Rugby.

“Our rigorous recruitment process produced an extremely strong candidate pool, but Nathan stood out as the person with the character and experience that Rugby Canada needs in its leader at this time,” said Sally Dennis, Chair of the Board of Directors, Rugby Canada. “Nathan has a vision and a plan for restoring pride in Canadian rugby and leading us into a new era of growth, community engagement, financial stability and increased international performance success. We are excited and keen for him to get started.”

Bombrys, who will officially join Rugby Canada in the summer upon completion of his term at Scottish Rugby, has an accomplished track record of leading sports business transformations, building successful teams, driving commercial growth and achieving on-field success. He has also played a key role in the strategic planning and development of leagues and competitions from the early years of professionalism to present day, and leading successful major event bids for World Rugby Sevens World Series, PRO14 Finals, and international test matches.

“I am grateful to be asked to lead Rugby Canada, such a proud rugby nation with a strong heritage in the game and would like to thank Sally Dennis and the Rugby Canada Board of Directors for the opportunity,” Bombrys said. “I’m proud of the fact that my rugby journey started in North America, and I’ve enjoyed some truly unique experiences through my years in European professional rugby. I look forward to sharing that experience with athletes, staff and other stakeholders, working together to grow the sport in this country at what I believe is a truly exciting time for rugby in Canada.”

Bombrys added: “I can’t wait to start getting to know the staff, meeting the rugby community and learning more about the organization in the coming months. On a personal note, Anastasia and I are looking forward to making new friends as we settle into our new life in Canada.”

With Bombrys’ appointment and having held the role of Interim CEO since February 1, Jamie Levchuk will move to the position of Managing Director, Revenue and Fan Engagement.

“I have been honoured for the opportunity to lead Rugby Canada during this time of transition,” Levchuk commented. “When Nathan joins, I will return enthusiastically to my role leading the business’ revenue and fan engagement area, and I’m excited for the opportunity to work with Nathan to implement transformational changes moving forward.”

Levchuk added: “I’d also like to thank the staff and partners of Rugby Canada for their dedication and support during this transitional period. Their hard work and commitment, and belief in rugby in Canada, have allowed our organization to weather difficult times and we now look ahead to a brighter future.”

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