WRU marketer quits after row over strategy

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has been unsettled by the departure of marketing and commercial director Gwyn Thomas following a dispute over the sporting body’s marketing.

Thomas became the WRU’s first marketing chief 18 months ago (MW March 27, 2003). He was charged with restoring the fortunes of the ailing WRU, which is saddled with debts of over &£60m following the construction of its Millennium Stadium.

A WRU source says that Thomas and chief executive David Moffet disagreed over marketing strategy. Thomas has a retail marketing background and is understood to have wanted to pursue a more traditional brand marketing strategy around Welsh rugby. It is understood that Thomas will not be replaced at the WRU.

Thomas spent over 24 years in various marketing posts at Tesco Group before joining the WRU, including head of marketing for Wales and chairman of the Tesco Wales Group.

Thomas has overseen multi- million pound kit-sponsorship deals with Reebok and Welsh brewer Brains as well as a number of licensing and hospitality deals (MW June 3). The naming rights to the Millennium Stadium are still unattached, however, despite a year-long hunt (MW July 24, 2003).

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