Head of English rugby body quits

Kim Deshayes, the chief executive of the English Rugby Partnership (ERP) – the body set up by leading clubs to give them a greater say in the sport – has resigned after only 18 months.

Deshayes, along with his opposite number at the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the sport’s governing body, was responsible for bringing Allied Dunbar into the sport when it agreed to sponsor two Premier Leagues for 7.5m over three years.

He also created a new 24-club knockout competition called the Cheltenham & Gloucester Cup, which begins next week, with the final in April.

Deshayes will take up a new job in January as managing director of Newmarket, one of the leading horse racing venues in the country. He says: “It is my decision to go. I thought the time was right for a change. At Newmarket I will be looking to open the sport out to a wider audience.”

However, one source close to the RFU says that the ERP was keen to find a chief executive with rugby experience.

“Kim did a fine job marketing the body, but the board felt that as time went on it was better to get somebody with a greater feel for the game,” says the source.

Previously, Deshayes was managing director of sports advertising and sponsorship company Sports & Outdoor Media until 1996, and before that marketing manager of the then Test & County Cricket Board.

The ERP is currently interviewing candidates for a replacement for Deshayes.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here