Rugby Americas North (RAN) announced today the appointment of Carly MacKinnon as their new Communications Manager to oversee communications for the World Rugby Regional Association governing body. MacKinnon joins the organization after five seasons with the two-time Major League Rugby Champions, the Seattle Seawolves.
Prior to her time with the Seawolves, she spent six years with Atavus Rugby, formally known as Serevi Rugby, a rugby camp and consulting business founded in collaboration with Fiji sevens legend, Waisale Serevi, that worked with USA Rugby, Bermuda Rugby, and other organizations within the RAN region to help develop players and coaches.
MacKinnon led significant social media growth organically for both businesses with her philosophy of putting the ‘social’ in social media and using her own lens as a rugby fan, player, coach, referee, and administrator to drive content development. The Seawolves’ social media ranked in the top-three performers across MLR during her time as the voice of the Club. Versed in internal and external communications, graphic design, team and event management, and digital media, she is eager to pair her 10 years of rugby-marketing experience with her passion for the game to continue to be an asset to rugby with RAN.
“RAN are delighted to have Carly onboard as our new Communications Manager. Her vast experience and knowledge of both the game and also social media marketing, broadcasting, article writing and commerce will be of great benefit to RAN and its Member Unions”, said Niall Brooks, RAN General Manager.
“I am extremely honored to be joining the Rugby Americas North team,” MacKinnon stated. “Rugby has been one of the most important things in my life ever since I first picked up a ball. I know how much positivity and opportunity the sport can bring into one’s life so to get the chance to work in the game at this level is something I have dreamt about since my university days. My goal has always been to generate more people getting involved in rugby, whatever path they choose to take – from local supporter to international superstar.”
Graduating with honors from Washington State University with a Sport Management degree, MacKinnon has wanted to pursue sport as a career since she was 14 years old. Growing up a soccer player by trade, MacKinnon crossed over to rugby after being recruited by a high school friend as a young adult. Since then, she has competed in 10+ USA Collegiate and Club National tournaments, winning four of them between her alma mater and current Club programs in Seattle.
Beyond being a current sevens, fifteens, and touch player, MacKinnon is a World Rugby Level 2 coach and Level 1 referee, primarily focusing on using her whistle and knowledge within the girl’s and women’s game in the Pacific Northwest. She understands the educational value that can come from the coaching, referee, and admin aspects of the game and looks forward to promoting future opportunities for RAN members to grow their own rugby IQ through RAN events, courses, and clinics.
MacKinnon will step right into what 2023 has to offer some of the region’s countries in the Centro Caribe Games, Pan American Games, World Rugby Challenger Series, and the Olympic qualification process for Paris 2024 that is currently underway. Building back the fifteens format in Mexico and the Caribbean are also goals of the governing body MacKinnon is eager to support. One of the things that excites her the most is shifting some focus to the next generation of RAN athletes since they are the future of our sport as RAN creates more competition opportunities for age-grade players.
“The shortest line between two people is a story, and I believe that our game and region is full of them,” MacKinnon said.“Each RAN country is in a different state of competition and trajectory with both their community and national team programs,” said MacKinnon. “I hope to meet each country where they are; to support them in ways that make sense for them and their goals.”
“As we build towards RAN hosting an Olympics in 2028 and two Rugby World Cups in 2031 & 2033, we have a unique and exciting opportunity to use such pinnacle sporting events and the storytelling that comes with them as driving forces for rugby’s growth on and off the field.”
ABOUT RUGBY AMERICAS NORTH
Rugby Americas North, abbreviated as RAN, is the governing body for rugby union in the North American continental region. Rugby Americas North operates under the authority of World Rugby, and is one of six regional unions represented within it.
RAN’s membership is diverse and currently consists of, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.