Premier Rugby Sevens Names Former Wisconsin Badgers Executive as League’s First Director of Brand Marketing
Jessica Burda to lead marketing initiatives for groundbreaking league
(NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2022) Premier Rugby Sevens(PR7s), which will launch its first multi-city season in the U.S. later this year, announced that Jessica Burda has been named Director of Brand Marketing for the league. As the former Director of Brand Communications for the Wisconsin Badgers, Burda will lead the marketing for PR7s, the first U.S. sports league to debut with men and women earning equal pay.
“Jessica’s tremendous track record in building audiences and growing brands makes her the ideal candidate to advance the brand of our league and our teams,” said PR7s CEO Owen Scannell. “Our mission is to grow the sport of rugby sevens to new audiences while continuing to strengthen the relationship with the passionate rugby community here in North America. Jessica will play an important role in accomplishing those goals as we prepare for our full launch in 2022 and beyond.”
Burda led Wisconsin’s brand communications and digital team, helping build a global audience for the Badgers’ NCAA Division I and Big Ten athletic program for 23 varsity sports – one of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletic departments. As part of the Badgers’ brand engagement leadership team, she directly oversaw communications, social media, media relations and both the UWBadgers.com website and Badgers app, in addition to working with the Badgers marketing, video, graphic design and community relations teams.
“I’m thrilled to join PR7s and grow the national and global audience for a sport I love,” said Burda. “PR7s has already had a fantastic launch and I know the new season will be really exciting for fans and athletes alike.”
Prior to the Badgers, Burda served in communications, marketing and social media roles across the public and private sector, including the internationally-recognized University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. She has been a rugby athlete, administrator and coach for more than 20 years and currently serves as a USA Rugby coaching educator. In her free time, she’s a volunteer coach for a local high school boys rugby team.
In addition to overseeing marketing strategies and initiatives at the league level, Burda will be responsible for advancing the brands of the six men’s teams and four women’s teams that currently make up PR7s. Team brands include the Loonies (men and women), the Loggerheads (men and women), the Experts (men and women), the Headliners (men and women), the Locals (men), and the Team (men).
Officially launching in multiple cities in 2022, PR7s showcases the sport of rugby sevens through 14-minute games in single-day tournaments. The events will occur in cities across North America and lead to both a women’s champion and a men’s champion each year. PR7s debuted in October 2021, marking several firsts within the sports industry and rugby community, including the first professional women’s rugby league in North America.
During the PR7s Inaugural Championship, 18 games were broadcast live in a single day via Fox Sports in the United States, TSN in Canada, and Facebook Watch worldwide. The telecasts attracted a cumulative audience of 472,000 viewers across FS1 and FS2 in the U.S., with additional live viewing on TSN3 in Canada and Facebook outside of North America.
About Premier Rugby Sevens
Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) is a groundbreaking professional sports league in North America that debuted on Oct. 9, 2021, on Fox Sports and TSN. PR7s is the first league of its kind with both women’s teams and men’s teams under one umbrella with equal pay. With a focus on accessibility and entertaining content for fans, the league showcases the electrifying sport of rugby sevens through a single-day touring format in cities across the United States and Canada. To learn more about Premier Rugby Sevens, go to PRSevens.com and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.