Ospreys Rugby's Chief Operations Officer, Andrew Hore, has spoken positively about the both the long-term commercial prospects of the rugby region and the ground sharing partnership it has with local Premier League football side Swansea City FC.
Speaking at an event organised by the Federation of Small Businesses in the Grand Hotel in Swansea on Tuesday April 23, Hore said that contrary to the common perception the success of their fellow stadium occupants the Swans has had only a positive impact on the rugby region.
In fact, Hore said almost every revenue stream at the region is up in the past 12 months compared with the previous year. He also praised the stability that the three-way stadium partnership between the Ospreys, the Swans and Swansea Council gives to the business.
“Commercial revenue is up for us in almost every department,” he said.
“Match attendances are up by almost 2,000 a game on last year, merchandise is up, hospitality is up and the future is looking good for the region.
“Meanwhile, the agreement we have here around the stadium is fantastic for us as a business. It gives us certainty and the ability to deliver solid commercial income streams. The three-way agreement is a starting point for long-term stability.”
Hore also explained to the audience of local businesses gathered at the Grand Hotel how the Ospreys have changed the culture of its team both on and off the pitch in recent years. While a rugby club is just a normal business in many ways, he said, he also highlighted some key differences in the way its day-to-day operations are perceived in the wider community given the public nature of the business.
“We will turnover about £8 million this year and it is our job to use that to create a sustainable business,” Hore said.
“But there are some big differences to running a normal business. The emotion of the game can make otherwise rational businessmen irrational in their judgement.
“We are much more under the microscope compared with almost any other business in Wales. The fans feel they have ownership of us, and that is a good thing. But it does make life tough when people only judge your performance by results on the pitch. We also have a very high percentage of our costs spent on player contracts.”
He explained how the Ospreys have worked hard in recent years to move the region’s culture towards one that is family orientated and embedded in the community and in which the playing side and commercial side operate as one team.
“We wanted to embrace and live by the values of a traditional rugby club,” he said.