Scottish businesses are being offered the chance to join a new initiative that unites the corporate world with rugby to provide inspiration beyond the 80 minutes on the pitch.
The Scotland Business Club is being led by former Scotland and Glasgow Warriors’ PRO12 winning captain Al Kellock, through his business development role in Scottish Rugby’s commercial department.
Club membership includes networking at home international matches and inviting guests to the games, as well as the chance to understand and learn from the environment needed to produce a winning Scotland team and insight into how it prepares for major competitions.
To maximise the benefits of membership it is limited to 20 organisations and three have already signed up – Dunfermline-based double-glazing and conservatory firm CR Smith, Glasgow legal practice Harper Macleod and financial advice business Argyle Consulting.
Kellock said he started spending time in the corporate sector during his last few years on the pitch, and found that the two fields have much more in common than at first glance.
He said day-to-day skills in rugby, such as discipline, leadership and representing what is effectively a “brand” in the Scottish team, are “absolutely transferable into the business world”.
The culture and work ethic hinge on “always learning and moving forward” rather than looking back, and learning from both success and failure, he said.
His corporate dealings have already included handling the Warriors’ partnerships with ScottishPower and Denholm Oilfield Services, and he said he is thoroughly enjoying his new business-oriented role after retiring on a high note last year.
As for whether he misses playing, he joked that although he can get nostalgic when watching a match, “then I see the first couple of hits go in and I think ‘no – I’ll leave it to the young ones”.
He said the Scotland Business Club is “about getting the right people into the room and showing them a great experience,” and it is welcoming new members ahead of the forthcoming RBS Six Nations, which kicks off at BT Murrayfield with the Calcutta Cup clash versus England on 6 February.
The club is also looking at expanding into the international market, and Kellock highlighted the strong support for Scottish rugby and engaging with the team “wherever you go in the world”.
He added: “We have big ambitions for the project and see it having an international aspect very soon.”
Ewen McCorkindale, director at Argyle Consulting, highlighted the benefits of membership of the new club, saying: “We have historically supported Scottish Rugby at many levels.
“We recognise the important links and values Scottish Rugby has with the business community in Scotland. Becoming a member of the Scotland Business Club provides Argyle with the opportunity to promote our own business brand while enhancing our association with Scottish Rugby.”