After more than four years with the Ospreys as their Strategic Development Manager, Paul Thorburn is set to leave the Region and pursue other business interests.
He joined the Region in early 2006 and during his 4 year tenure has played an instrumental role in a range of commercial, business and marketing initiatives that have enabled the Region to take further steps in their ambitions to become one of the leading professional rugby organisations in Europe.
As a Region, it has punched above its weight in terms of its commercial programme and amongst the various hands on roles that Paul undertook, he has been involved in securing sponsorship which has made the shirt one of the most valuable in the European game. His input however has not just been of a purely commercial nature and the Region has benefitted from his vast rugby knowledge and commercial/event management skills.
Commenting on his departure, Paul said, “The past four years have been some of the most enjoyable for me and to have recently secured one of the largest long term sponsorship deals with RWE npower renewables, along with other long term sponsors, including leading brands, Worthington’s, Persimmon Homes, Fujitsu and Veolia Transport, giving 2-3 years stability for the Region is particularly pleasing. It has however not just been the headline grabbing achievements that I am proud of and much of community and charitable work has brought as much pleasure. The work with the 75 feeder clubs with initiatives such as the” Kit for Clubs” and the most recent success in piloting a project to work with under privileged children which has, in part, led to the recent securing of an Assembly grant of £45,000 has undoubtedly helped to drive the brand forward and helped it to maintain its position as a leading force.”
The news will come as a surprise to some, particularly with the Ospreys having just lifted the Magners League Final Trophy, but Paul has now developed a portfolio of skills from the Region which, added to his Rugby World Cup experience as Tournament Director in 1999 and his work with the Welsh Rugby Union as Special Projects Manager in 2004/5, provide him with an ideal opportunity to secure a more senior role within the global game.
Managing Director, Roger Blyth said, “We would like to thank Paul for his invaluable contribution to the Region during the past 4 years, not only in his commercial capacity, but with his contribution to the overall strategic direction of the business. As one of the Senior Management within the organisation, he has brought considerable knowledge and skills into the mix and a number of the successful initiatives that we have embarked on he has driven forward. He built up an excellent rapport with all of our sponsors and business clients and was a real team player within the business as a whole. We wish Paul every success with his new business ventures and trust that his undoubted talents are used to maintain his passion for the game”
Paul added, “There have been some memorable rugby moments, most notably the EDF Energy Cup win in 2007/8, the win over Australia in 2006/7 and the recent success in the Magners League and I would like to take this opportunity in wishing the office staff, the coaches, playing staff and squad members every success moving forward and finally, Ianto, keep practicing!!”