Could US-based actor and personality Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson be the answer for a Pacific-based rugby team?
That is the theory of Future of Super Rugby, who have launched a campaign calling on fans to reach out to the superstar to listen to the proposal. They believe he has the “mana” required to change the face of professional rugby and create a legacy for rugby in the Pacific region.
As the most recognisable Pacific-icon in the world, he is proud of his Pasifika roots and has long been a fan of the world champion All Blacks and has respect for the game of rugby.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 26, 2016
His profile would help rugby achieve popularity in the world’s biggest sports market, the United States.
The proposers believe that a Johnson-owned franchise would be able to “blitz” the required US$12m in funding required to run a team, without ‘a cent from his own money’.
A combination of estimated gate takings ($4m), World Rugby grants ($1.5m) and a slice of broadcast revenue ($6.5m) could achieve the required amount without taking into consideration potential commercial revenue from merchandising agreements and potential team sponsors.
With over 116 million Instagram followers, his social media account alone is more than the population of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa combined; or alternatively England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales combined, making his involvement an attractive proposition to promote a team.
With ties to current players like All Black Sonny Bill Williams, it would be easy to see how playing for Johnson’s team could attract some high-profile names. Established players internationals looking to represent their Pacific heritage may find joining the team a worthy cause, much like the Tongan national rugby league team has the last 12 months.
A Johnson-led ownership group could put the necessary governance structures in place to ensure the future of the franchise, which would go a long way to providing SANZAAR the necessary assurances to grant a license.
Calling all rugby fans. We need your help to make a Pacific Island Super Rugby Franchise a reality! This video shows how it can be done. Watch it, share it, and TAG DWAYNE JOHNSON! #letsrocksuperrugby
Posted by Future of Super Rugby on Monday, 22 October 2018
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