It’s not just a game anymore

Posted on March 5, 2020 by Stephen Gough
Article image: It's not just a game anymore

The rapid development of sport as an industry is unprecedented, especially when looking at some of the changes over the past decade…

Players and support staff are now full-time employees, clubs have digital managers, content officers, graphic designers, and large media and communications departments. The immediacy of content about your team through a variety of social media platforms is seen as essential.

Major sports codes and clubs have significantly expanded their reach both nationally and internationally, including the introduction of new competitions – AFLW, WBBL and the NRL Women’s Premiership. This alone has created many more and diverse employment opportunities, not just for the players, coaches and all of the associated support teams and administration. The media, marketing and sponsorship opportunities are mind blowing. Mooted changes to the way broadcasting arrangements for the codes are delivered demonstrates the level of change facing the industry.

Membership of football teams in the mid-90s was around the 20,000-30,000 mark; now we are seeing numbers around 70, 80, 90 and 100,000 achieved. Our stadia are becoming far more technologically advanced. Optus stadium is regarded as one of the most advanced in the world and the MCG provides quality offerings in technology, seating, function rooms, catering offerings and team facilities. A far cry from the days of the venue sitting idle – other than for 18 home and away matches of VFL football and 4 finals. Today the MCG hosts events seven days per week, 365 days a year – including 500+ for Christmas lunch!

What does all of this mean for the future of sports teams and stadiums?

The need for organisations and individuals to be resilient, responsive and resourceful with a customer centric approach has never been more critical. But this is not limited to sport.

Good organisations live their values, they have top talent, and both retain and attract this talent. Their culture is envied amongst their competition and outside organisations.

So, what is your organisation’s culture? Can you measure it? Do you manage it?

Your organisation’s culture is your story, and your story is your culture. Do people connect with your story? A great story has 4 parts:

  1. Where are we heading?   
  2. What do we believe in?
  3. What makes us special?
  4. How does what we do make a difference in people’s lives?

Measuring culture is difficult. It has many working parts. Often organisations don’t know where to start.

TRANSEARCH, through its association with global organisational expert, Dr John O. Burdett, has helped organisations to define, measure and manage their culture using an assessment tool, which is part of the Orxestra® Methodology. Along with Culture, Orxestra® assesses key elements to a successful organisation – Leadership, Performance and Team. For senior executives, it assists you in charting where you are today and importantly, where you need to be. It’s a formula that’s applicable across all industry sectors, and a process that is essential for any organisation that is to grow in the current climate and beyond.

Please get in touch with me if you would like to learn more about how you can improve your organisation’s competitive advantage.

About Stephen Gough

Stephen GoughStephen Gough has worked in the sporting club environment for over 30 years. As former CEO of the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and working closely with a Board of Directors, Stephen provided leadership to one of the world's largest sporting clubs and oversaw significant and large scale construction projects at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), one of Australia's most iconic venues. As CEO of the MCC and Carlton Football Club, Stephen has been involved in player management, contracting of major supply agreements, media relations, government liaison and negotiation and the management of large permanent and casual workforces. Now at TRANSEARCH International Australia, Stephen's role involves relationship management and business development with clients in the public and private sectors.

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