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Editorial: Is This The End of RIM?

Previous to this publication's birth I have been serious critic of those surrounding the marketing of USAR's products.  The individual whose charge it was to develop the Eagles' Brand into something that could be commercialized through Jersey Sponsorship and Kit sales was David Sternberg.  In addition to the Eagles' Brand, RIM is also responsible for the Event Promotion (Marketing and Executing) of Eagles' Test Matches.

 If any of you have followed the productions you would have noticed that there has been limited marketing of the events and attendance was probably better in the 1980s compared to now. Other events that RIM is responsible for broadcasting and marketing of are Club Nationals, Collegiate Championship 7s and XVs (Club and College Departments are responsible for the execution of these events)  David Sternberg thought that signing a deal with the Welsh Rugby Union and South African Rugby Union was a smart play to bring two "iconic" brands to the states.  Yet this match would not be done in conjunction with any Eagles Tests and would be on a weekend that the majority of East Coast Rugby Fans would be in Philadelphia at the CRC.  The deal itself is pretty bad if estimates of RIM's coffers are correct.  The Fee for both teams would run between $750k-1MM Each.  With two Men and one Women's Eagles Test Matches to promote this Summer in addition to Rugby World Cup 7s, no one in their right mind would have taken that deal.  The only way to take that deal was if you were being paid to do so.  Which is the only thing that should be happening.

Today, USA Rugby announced that David Sternberg had resigned.  Pam Kosanke, Board Member, will serve as Interim CEO and Interim Chair as Dan Payne is stepping away to aid in preparing the Union for RWC 7s and enable his successor to continue on the work he has done to plug the holes in the sinking ship.  Pam Kosanke was once the USAR CMO, sadly her contract was not honored by the USAR CEO Nigel Melville at the time and she stepped away.  When she was hired at Renter's Warehouse she had immediate effect upon the company.  During her five years they won five Inc. 500 Awards.  John Bobbett a longtime donor to USAR, who is an extremely successful man in the apparel manufacturing space will ascend to one of the spots vacated by Chad Keck and Pete Seccia.  Mark Lambourne,  a seasoned investment Banker and Rugby Congressperson will also ascend to one of those seats on the RIM Board. 

These are the sort of Men and Women that should have been in place when RIM was first envisioned.  Having some details on the finances from the Congress Minutes and Audit reports lead me to believe that this great crew was assembled for one reason.  To preserve everything of value before the ship finally sinks.  Was RIM ever a good idea?  When folks talk about it, they attempt to talk Soccer United Marketing, and yet there are books written about the corruption that SUM may have brought into USSF.  I think it's time to get off the ship.

~Aaron Castro