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'Bristol Bears will accelerate club's ambition' - Tainton

AS somebody who grew up as a Bristol supporter, it’s been a great privilege to play, coach and now be chief operating officer of this proud club.

I’ve seen, first-hand, the challenges that the club have faced over the years, so to be part of the exciting new vision is something myself and my staff feel inspired by.

Everybody in the organisation has a burning desire to see Bristol Bears achieve success and establish ourselves among the elite in the game once more.

Like many long-time supporters, I have a close affinity with the club and the ups and downs we have been through over the years. Over the past eighteen months, the club have conducted a comprehensive review of our strategy, performance and direction. We are confident that this positive change, this willingness to embrace a new direction, gives us the best possible chance for long-term and sustained success.”

Since our move to Ashton Gate in 2014, we have experienced a year-on-year increase in season card sales and attracted new revenue streams and commercial partners to the business, which help drive the club forward.

We value each and every one of our supporters and we understand that this decision is a significant one. That’s why we engaged internal and external stakeholders in our consultation process, talking to a cross-section of young and older supporters to understand why they feel connected to our rugby club.

"Premiership Rugby is fast becoming a global game, with the US and Asia markets rapidly expanding and opening up exciting new opportunities in media and sponsorship."

Mark Tainton, chief operating officer

Rugby is evolving and we cannot be left behind. We respect the proud heritage and traditions of the club, but also the values of rugby union. Premiership Rugby is fast becoming a global game, with the US and Asia markets rapidly expanding and opening up exciting new opportunities in media and sponsorship. We recognize the potential of this new platform and how it can accelerate our ambition to be a Champions Cup winning organisation.

With fixtures now taking place outside of the UK and a regular audience of over 1.25m people watching Premiership Rugby across the world, we have a significant chance to cement the iconic Bristol Bears vision as one of the leading brands in world rugby.

This is not a short-term fit, but instead we see this rebrand as breaking the mould, and acting as a catalyst in kick-starting our journey to creating success. We already have the world class stadium – the best club rugby arena in the UK. We’re adding one of the best training facilities in the world, which will be completed by 2020.

This is an incredibly positive time to be part of the Bristol Bears journey and I’d urge you to continue your magnificent support that has carried the club through the dark times and, now, into the light.

Together we rise.

Mark Tainton.