The Athlete Collective is a new organization focused on the development of rugby in North America. Engaging with professional players and teams, as well as the greater community, “The AC” will provide world class resources to players and teams that want to excel.
The AC offers anyone in the rugby community a chance to improve their performance by accessing high performance experts that have had Professional, Olympic and World Cup experiences. Both individuals and teams can join the AC to access these resources as well as become connected to network that includes international and star MLR players that can provide advice and
The player-first business model creates partnership with current players, giving them a strong voice and leadership role in the company. “We wanted to create something that was player-driven and player led” said 53 cap Eagle, AC Co- Founder and current RUNY player Mike Petri. “From our first meeting, it was critical that this was player-centered and that any value that was created was shared with the players themselves.”
The AC has recruited some of the top players in North America along with a number of the exciting young players that can be world class as “members.” Members get access to the same high-performance services as clients but as a player driven organization, we will provide other services that the members want and they already include financial literacy, post-rugby career planning and personal brand development. These members will be announced in the coming weeks. Members have already taken leadership roles and there will continue have opportunities to develop skills that can apply to their future careers outside of rugby, one of the areas of focus for The AC.
“We wanted to build a business that not only brought services to professional players for free, but also helped them when they retire,” stated Shalom Suniula. Former US Eagle and Captain of the 2-time MLR Champions, the Seattle Seawolves. “We have an approach that helps professional rugby players maximize their potential, while also building a community that can help the game grow.”
Suniula and Petri were joined by James English, Dan Power and Pete Steinberg as the original founders of The Athlete Collective. Joining them is former US Eagle, Troy Hall who has stepped into the role of Director of High Performance. “Whether it is with members, or with clients, the players will experience a very holistic approach to their development,” Hall said. “I am so excited to work with such talented experts in high performance and we are all focused on working together as a team to meet the player’s needs.”
The AC is looking to recruit a limited number of clients this fall to ensure that the quality of service is high. “The level of service and commitment that we offer is not for everyone,” Suniula said. Individual players can find out more about the services and apply to join at The AC website. However, The AC is not just applying its network only to individual players – it is offering a full suite of High Performance services to teams.
“We know Major League Rugby is a start-up,” said co-founder and former General Manager for Rugby United New York James English. “Our network allows teams to access the resources they need while benefiting from the economies of scale they cannot realize themselves. Teams want to scale up these sorts of services quickly and we can help them do that.”
Team services includes all the disciplines of High Performance as well as performance analytics, and coach and staff development. “In our network we have experts that can enhance a team’s processes at all levels of the game,” English said. “We know that the expectations are rising in the college game and we know that the AC can help a college team make a big step forward.”
The AC is a uniquely designed business that is focused on supporting the development of American rugby players and the game as a whole within North America. For more information go to The Athlete Collective Home Page or email The AC.