Empire Wealth Strategies, the New York City agency of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, is using a novel approach to grow its ranks: recruiting rugby players. Empire, which has $1.45 billion of assets under management, recently hired two former collegiate players, and six of its interns play college rugby.

Its newfound affinity for rugby ties into a larger effort by Penn Mutual, which in September announced its three-year sponsorship of the Collegiate Rugby Championship. Empire’s CEO, Susan Cooper, says the partnership is a win-win because it promotes the game, brings more awareness to the firm and helps it meet the industry’s challenge of attracting young talent.

Cooper notes that considering the average age for financial advisors is 57, the link to rugby—the U.S.’s fastest-growing team sport, which is being reintroduced as an Olympic sport at the 2016 Summer Games after a 92-year gap—is a good way to connect with millennials and find people who are a good fit for the business.

“Most people think you need a background in economics or finance, but that’s not necessarily the case,” she says. What it really takes are the same things required to be a successful competitive athlete: building and practicing skills; responding well to adversity; and being very coachable, entrepreneurial and self-motivated.”

Rugby protocol, both on and off the field, is particularly translatable to advising clients, says Cooper, who previously didn’t know anything about the sport and has quickly become a big fan. “It’s fast-paced and no one’s a hero,” she says. “You can only win if the whole team works together.” And opposing teams always socialize together after a game.

Empire and Penn Mutual are making an effort to get to know the rugby community.

In April, 130 rugby players and coaches came to Empire’s New York City office when it hosted the New York Rugby Business Network’s monthly meeting. In addition, Cooper visits colleges to meet with coaches and players. Penn Mutual shot a rugby-themed “teammates for life” commercial—the story behind the making of that commercial is on Empire’s website—to ingratiate itself to rugby folks.

All of Empire’s new advisors, both ruggers and non-ruggers, attend its Entrepreneurial Institute, a multiyear, multi-channel training program that provides skill-building and tools in marketing, strategic planning, consultative selling, practice management and business development, says Greg Winsper, president of Empire Wealth Strategies.

Gabe Turzo, a new advisor at Empire, played rugby for Swarthmore College before spending a decade in operational roles at Credit Suisse, Bear Stearns and J.P. Morgan. Cooper reached out to him to discuss opportunities after seeing rugby information on his LinkedIn profile. “It hit all the right buttons for me,” he says. “I heard about what it could do for my career and for people.” He notes a couple of things rugby taught him that are helpful to him as a new advisor: being disciplined and letting adversity roll off his back.

Karina Bautista, a junior and communications major at Fairfield University and the interim captain of its women’s rugby team, is a marketing intern at Empire. As the firm’s rugby ambassador, her role is to build awareness among players and coaches about Empire’s partnership with the rugby community.

“A rugby-oriented company was super-appealing to me,” she says, noting her surprise at encountering such a welcoming, team-focused work environment. “The rugby field and this workforce are parallel to each other.”

Empire doesn’t know of any clients who are current or former rugby players, but Winsper says prospecting “is a natural next step.”