Munster among iconic sports clubs looking to break new ground

Munster among iconic sports clubs looking to break new ground

Education, esports, and tech data may not seem like a natural fit for your favourite club but these are some of the areas that teams as varied as Munster, the New York Mets, and Barcelona are branching into at a time when sport looks to absorb the loss of its traditional income streams.

Munster are well ahead of these curveballs.

The province launched a High Performance Leadership programme at the University of Limerick two-and-a-half years ago and they have followed it up with an esports partnership with Phelan Gaming which has now been rebranded as Munster Rugby Gaming.

The team is participating in the Northern League of Legends Championship, has made a number of signings and will make its debut in the competition next week while also entering a development team in the United Kingdom League Championship.

The Mets spent $10m buying their own esports franchise. Munster haven't anything like that sort of money but their arrangement will allow them to build a presence among an under-30 demographic that might not find its way to rugby of its own accord.

“Ourselves, Carnegie in Leeds and a couple other universities and clubs around the world are beginning to bring out educational products that are relevant to their know-how and which can be translated into other fields and other interests,” said Munster's head of enterprise Enda Lynch.

“Barcelona are doing it around technology and esports as well. Leinster have their partnership with Smurfit Business School so education is one big area. Another is esports, A third area eventually will be the merging of technology and sport around sport tech and sports data and one helping the other develop as we begin to understand how data works.

“A lot of the time the first people to be integrating these ideas and using data to empower their decision-making are in sports and sports tech is an area that some clubs are getting into.”

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