Peter Kenyon, the former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive, has taken a move into rugby union and believes the sport is following in the path of football in terms of income growth.
Kenyon has been appointed as non-executive chairman of rugby agency Esportif International, though he will continue to work as a consultant in football.
He believes recent broadcasting rights deals for rugby, plus the fact that rugby sevens will get exposure as a new Olympic sport in 2016, shows that it is on the up.
He told Press Association Sport: "I think that rugby as a sport has grown significantly and will continue to grow.
"If you look at recent TV deals they are going the right way and in 2016 the sport will be in the Olympics.
"It is a very different sport to football, which I will still be very much involved in it, but it is an exciting time for rugby.
"Esportif is a highly professional organisation, positioned extremely well with an operation in New Zealand and the UK, and I will be helping with the overall business development and strategy."
Esportif International's players include Wales and British & Irish Lions Jonathan Davies and Mike Phillips and England's James Haskell, while its New Zealand office represents several leading All Blacks.
The company has also announced it is to merge with leading Irish rugby agency Corner Flag Management to create Esportif Ireland, with clients including British and Irish Lions Tommy Bowe and Rory Best.