a 'Miami Sharks' side is being floated, Stateside

Could it be another professional rugby team called Sharks?

For those not keeping track, there are a few professional rugby sides called Sharks already. There are the Sale Sharks and the Cell C Sharks of Durban. They both compete in European competition. In the women’s game too, in the Premier 15s alone there are two, with Sale Sharks Women and also Darlington Mowden Park Sharks in the same division.

Well if you thought that wasn’t confusing enough, there could be a new side on the horizon.

Paul Tait of Americas Rugby News, is reporting that: “Looks like (soon a) Major League Rugby team in Miami with an (Argentinian) accent. Argentine businessman, Marcos Galperin, who founded Mercado Livre, is one of a group presently in the USA negotiating the next MLR franchise: Miami Sharks.

“Galperin played for San Andrés.”

Movie fans may recall that Miami Sharks was also the name of the fictional American Football team coached by Al Pacino’s character, in the film Any Given Sunday.

Like the idea of another Sharks side swimming about? Not everyone does.

Sharks owner on another professional rugby team called Sharks

Okay, so it may often be tongue-in-cheek, but co-owner of the Cell C Sharks, Marco Masotti is happy to goad Sale Sharks about their name, calling them “Sale Tuna”.

So it wasn’t going to be long until he found this report.

“Are you absolutely kidding me?,” Masotti said on Twitter. “Change it! You can try but there is only one (Sharks Rugby side) on this planet.”

In the December issue of Rugby World we had a piece on the Sharks’ brand transformation, with quotes from Shaun Bryans, who comes from the world of corporate finance and private equity investing, and serves as a voice for the Sharks ownership consortium in South Africa.

He said: “I suppose you can say we bring in a slightly American way of thinking – and that’s with some intentionality. We have a lot of US people in our consortium. People like Marco have exposure to professional sports in the US, and see ownership of professional sports franchises in the US through clients and what have you.

“They see that model and then see the model here and it’s quite different. I think, in the same way that I would imagine it is in, say, England, where the professionalisation of rugby union hasn’t really completed its transition.”

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