/ Rugby Business Management Course

Advance your career in Rugby Business

8 week online course with live interactive zoom chats. Develop your rugby career by learning all sides of the Rugby business: from club operations, agency, administration, to marketing and revenue generation.

Our 8-week online course is a one-of-a-kind experience to learn the inner workings of the professional rugby industry.  Get paid for your passion. Rugby needs you.
With the rapid growth in the popularity of Rugby, there has been an increase in tournaments, events, teams, leagues, and business operations worldwide. Rugby is a sport with a high demand for talented and trained business people to help organize, market and lead the sport forward. Take this course to get the "what you know" and the "who you know" to launch your career on the business side of professional rugby!

At SMWW we'll teach you the business of rugby and how to develop your rugby career!

Led by Mick Hogan, Managing Director at Newcastle Falcons, and Major League Rugby expert Mike Ablett our 8-week online Rugby Business Management course is the most targeted education you can get for your career with a rugby club or team.

Unlike most online classes, we focus our program on live interactive Zoom video chats directly with your course mentors, Newcastle Falcons Managing Director Mick Hogan, and Major League Rugby expert Mike Ablett, which allows you the opportunity to build personal relationships and rapport with these successful leaders in the world of rugby. After completing our Rugby Business Management course, we will help you redesign your resume and CV to highlight your new skills and include that you have been taught first-hand by Mick Hogan and Mike Ablett. Now that is powerful!

This course is your chance to take your career to the next level.

Students completing the course will be qualified to operate at a professional, semi-professional, and amateur level in rugby careers including:

  • Rugby Administration
  • Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Match Day Operations
  • Event Day Management
  • Customer Service
  • Rugby Ticket Sales
  • Community Relations
  • Communications, Media and Public Relations
  • Stadium Operations
  • Rugby Agent
  • Coaching
  • Rugby Academy Management

Weekly Live Interactive Zoom Chats with Mike Ablett

August 19

Weekly Live Interactive Zoom Chats with Mike Ablett

THURSDAYS 8 am PT 11 am ET 3 pm GMT
8-week online course
Access to SMWW network
Resume enhancement
Ongoing career advice
Class size limited to 15 students




Learn More About Becoming a Rugby Business Management Student Learn More About Becoming a Rugby Business Management Student

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The Rugby Business Management Course is a definite for anyone who is involved in Rugby or is looking at pursuing a career in Rugby Administration. The personal attention and weekly chats were great and it created an open forum to compare, debate and analyze the game we love. Having been involved in the industry for a number of years this course gave me the additional boost that I was looking for.
- Mike Ablett, The Sharks (South African Rugby Union), Marketing Manager

What You Can Expect From Our Rugby Business Management Course:

 The goal of our course is to prepare you for the myriad of jobs going on behind the scenes to market and grow rugby.
Learn the business of rugby from our experts, including topics such as:

  • Revenue-raising and new business activities within rugby clubs
  • An understanding of the organization of international rugby (Union & League)
  • How the executive and commercial side of professional rugby clubs operate
  • Revenue streams for professional and amateur rugby clubs
  • Fundraising and new business ideas within rugby
  • Communication strategies for rugby clubs
  • How to effectively manage a rugby club social media and PR campaign
  • Rugby sponsorship strategies
  • Stadium and match day operations
  • Developing revenues on non-match days
  • Managing a community rugby program
  • Connecting and engaging with the rugby fan base
  • Relationships between rugby in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Wales, Italy, Canada, USA, and Japan
  • Player contract negotiations and the salary cap
  • Rugby Development Academies and Performance of Excellence Schools
  • Responsibilities of the CEO, management, and administration of a rugby club
  • Handling public relations & media rights
  • Acquiring and servicing commercial partners and endorsements within Rugby
  • Advertising strategies
  • Event management
  • Rugby Promotions & Marketing

As rugby grows globally, so do business opportunities within the game.

Our 8-week online program will prepare you for a career in all levels of professional and collegiate rugby including:

  • Premiership Rugby 
  • Super League
  • National Governing Bodies
  • Women's Rugby League
  • Rugby League World Cup, Rugby League Four Nations
  • European Championship, European Shield, European Bowl, Balkans Cup, Nordic Cup, Jerome Cup
  • Anzac Test, Pacific Cup, Peter Leitch QSM Challenge, Polynesian Cup, Melanesian Cup
  • Colonial Cup, Ohana Cup, Caribbean Carnival Cup
  • Asia Cup, Magellan Cup, Tariq Niazi Cup, Hayne/Mannah Cup
  • USA Rugby
  • Rugby Canada

…and more

Meet Your Mentors

Mick Hogan

Mick Hogan has been involved in Rugby League and rugby Union for his entire 22-year career. A graduate of the Sports Studies degree course at Northumbria University he has worked for both governing bodies (Rugby Football League & Rugby Football Union) as well as CEO/Managing Director for top-flight rugby clubs Wigan Warriors, Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons. Mick has also set up three charitable rugby foundations as well as serving on the board of Premiership Rugby on two separate occasions.

Mick originally started his career as the North East Rugby League Development Officer. After this role, he joined Gateshead Thunder as Community Marketing Manager for their one year in Super League. In 2000 he crossed the River Tyne to join rugby union club Newcastle Falcons as Head of Marketing for two seasons before moving to Premiership Rugby as Head of Community Development.

Whilst at Premiership Rugby Mick worked with all twelve Premiership clubs on their community marketing programs and attracted support from Powergen for the inaugural National Community Rugby Programme. He also worked on the first two Premiership Finals at Twickenham as well as personally developing the London Double Header concept – where over 70,000 fans annually attend the season-opening games in London.

In 2004 Mick returned to Newcastle Falcons as Commercial Director where over the next four seasons the club established attendance records and league-high levels for both sponsorship and retail sales. In 2008 a move to rugby league's Wigan Warriors as CEO saw two seasons that culminated in the club's first Grand Final success in twelve years. Mick then spent two years as CEO of Sale Sharks and led the negotiations for the club's move from Stockport to a new purpose-built rugby stadium in Salford. At both Wigan and Sale Mick set up and chaired both clubs' charitable Community Rugby Foundations

In 2012 Mick set up his sports consultancy – MMG Sports Ltd. He worked for two and a half years for England 2015, the organizing body for the 2015 Rugby World Cup which will be staged in twelve English cities as well as Cardiff. The work for England 2015 saw Mick head up City Delivery and he managed the process that identified and selected the thirteen host cities for the Tournament.

Now back at Newcastle for a third spell Mick is currently Managing Director at Newcastle Falcons as well as Chairman of the Falcons Community Foundation. The club has also acquired Newcastle Thunder Rugby League and will deliver the official Rugby World Cup Fanzone on behalf of the City Council.


Mike Ablett

For the past two decades, Mike Ablett has played a role in the world of Rugby Union, carving out a rich and diverse career that spans continents and prestigious tournaments. His rugby odyssey commenced when British Airways became the official airline of SARFU, his tenure with British Airways marked the beginning of a journey deeply intertwined with the evolution of South African Rugby setting the stage for a lifelong commitment to the sport.

Joining The Sharks as Head of Marketing, Mike brought his strategic acumen to Super Rugby, Currie Cup, and various International Tournaments, including The Rugby Championship, British & Irish Lions, and International Tests in 2016, Mike embarked on a transcontinental move from South Africa to the USA, coinciding with the launch of Major League Rugby. This transition underscored his adaptability and willingness to explore new frontiers within the sport.

Throughout his career, he has held positions from Head of Marketing, CMO, and GM – Business Operations and this experience has given him a profound understanding of the commercial and operational intricacies inherent in rugby. He envisions rugby not just as a sport but as a catalyst for social change and community empowerment.

Beyond the boardrooms and stadiums, Mike is passionate about grassroots development, both in the USA and Africa. His unwavering commitment to nurturing talent at the foundational level exemplifies his belief in rugby's power to transform lives and communities. This commitment extends beyond borders, with a particular emphasis on fostering the growth of the sport in non-traditional rugby markets.

Mike has been a trailblazer in the creation of content to promote the sport in traditional and non-traditional rugby markets. His innovative approach seeks to break down barriers and make rugby accessible to diverse audiences, ensuring the sport's inclusivity on a global scale.

Dr. Lynn Lashbrook

Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, President, and Founder of SMWW has over forty years of combined experience as an educator, coach, athletic administrator and as a registered agent.  Dr. Lashbrook manages the SMWW Agency representing over 200 Agents and hundreds of athletes worldwide. Dr. Lashbrook has hand on experience and active interaction with team Manager's, scouts, major endorsements, first round contracts, salary cap requirements, and all SMWW Sports Agency activities. Because he is still in the industry, his teaching is up-to-the-minute and addresses the issues in professional sports today. Dr. Lashbrook emphasizes integrity and ethics in his curriculum and weekly interactive zoom video chats. He will personally help you strategize a career path. You will love his motivational style and passion to improve the sports management industry.
Read more about Dr. Lynn Lashbrook


Course Details

Weekly Interactive Zoom Video Chats- A unique aspect of each 8-week course is the opportunity for students to participate in weekly, live interactive Zoom video chats with fellow students, Mick Hogan, Dr. Lashbrook, and well-known rugby guest speakers. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn from your course facilitators. In addition, the chats will allow you to network within the professional rugby industry and build lasting relationships with your course facilitators and fellow students. If you are unable to attend the chats they are recorded and archived and you can listen to them at a more convenient time.

Online Education - This innovative academic course is facilitated through a web-based educational delivery system. You will enjoy the live interactive Zoom video chats in addition to the online discussion boards, weekly readings, weekly quizzes, course projects, and the interaction amongst fellow sports business-minded students and faculty. The course content is the foundation of a successful career on the business side of professional rugby!

Global Participation - SMWW students participate from over 162 countries. Courses have an international influence and instructors will cater assignments to specific countries or leagues. Countries with economic challenges are eligible for economic discounts.

University Credit Available: For additional fees to Fort Hays State University in Kansas, you may receive graduate or undergraduate university credit for Sports Management Worldwide's courses. Click here for more information.

Sports Career Conferences - Throughout the year, Sports Management Worldwide hosts Sports Career Conferences at a variety of sporting events. These are fabulous networking events that put SMWW alumni in the heart of the action. Opportunities to network with executives at all levels of sport are facilitated. Visit SMWW Sports Career Conferences to learn more.

Advanced Certificates: Want to take your career to the next level? Our Advanced Certificates have been hand-selected by our team of sports industry experts to put you on a path to success. These bundles allow you to take advantage of our biggest discount available, by bundling multiple courses and becoming an expert in that field. Learn more about our Advanced Certificates here.

Military Discount - For those individuals who represent their country in military service, (active, reserve, or retired) we offer a discount. Thank you for serving your country! For more information on the Military Discount please Click Here.

Further Benefits of our Rugby Business Management Course

Course Certificate & Resume Reference:

Successful graduates of Sports Management Worldwide's Rugby Business Management course will be sent an SMWW Certificate of Accomplishment. This certificate represents not only your achievements in the course but also demonstrates your personal commitment to self-improvement and ability to self-train yourself for higher positions within the sports business industry.

In addition to your certificate, you will be given the stamp of approval by SMWW. This approval includes a personal reference you may add to your resume with contact information for Dr. Lynn Lashbrook and a reference to the mentors of this course including Mick Hogan and Mike Ablett.

Resume Redesign Service

Acquiring the skills necessary for your dream sports career is only one part of the employment journey. Even with the required skill set, you still have to market yourself properly to attract the attention of sports industry employers.

At SMWW, we’ll teach you the skills you need to thrive AND help you redesign your resume for optimal impact in the sports industry. We’ll help you craft a resume to highlight your new skills in Rugby Business Management, including a reference from Mick Hogan, Mike Ablett, and Dr. Lashbrook while optimizing it to reach hiring managers searching online.

We want you to become the next SMWW success story and will go to great lengths to help you get there!


Or a single payment of $1,195

Includes all course textbooks and access to a web-based classroom. Shipping is additional.


If we offer an economic discount in your country, it is included in the estimate above. Exact pricing including the discount is shown before you complete checkout. Payment plan options are provided during checkout.

Prerequisites: Must be 18 or older to participate and have a passion for sports.
(In the UK: 087 12884799)

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