Client Profile: Port Adelaide Football Club – On the Rise

The Port Adelaide Football Club will be seeking to top the table on and off-field in 2015, and DW Fox Tucker will be right there with them.

As any Australian Rules Football fan knows, the Port Adelaide Football Club (PAFC) is one of the oldest and most successful sporting clubs in Australia. Established in 1870, it has won 36 SANFL premierships, including an incredible six in a row from 1954-1959 and has since added the 2004 AFL premiership to its tally. When PAFC entered the AFL in 1997 it was, and still is,the only pre-existing non-Victorian club to do so.

Along the way, the club has built an enviable reputation for never giving up, always giving their best and constantly striving to improve. The essence of PAFC is immortalised in the Port Adelaide Creed. This attitude is today embodied in not only their high-achieving playing and coaching group, but also in their much-lauded corporate team.

As PAFC’s official supplier of legal services, DW Fox Tucker works closely with the club’s corporate leaders in support of its business objectives. We recently caught up with Richard Kelly, General Manager – Corporate (pictured) to get his perspective on how this iconic South Australian sporting entity is shaping up for 2015.

How would you describe the overall level of satisfaction at Port Adelaide with your performance in 2014?

Finishing the season as AFL preliminary finalists and SANFL runners-up, on-field it was clearly another step up from the previous season [in which we finished 5th]. But in football, unless you can get the ultimate prize it’s not a successful year.

Off-field, the performance of the team and the move to Adelaide Oval enabled the club to expand its corporate partnerships significantly. But we still have a way to go to be premiers in this category as well, and that’s our aim.

To what extent do you think on and off-field fortunes are linked?

A lot of corporate success is reliant on the football result. The more successful you are the more people come to the game, so you get better broadcast timeslots, which brings better exposure for partners, so more partners want to come on board, and the wheel keeps turning.

No matter what our position on the ladder though, a partner’s link with our club and its supporters can generate great results for their business. And although we stop short of belting out “Never tear us apart” here at corporate headquarters, we do try to replicate the attitude of the players and never give up in our pursuit to make sure a partner is getting the most out of its relationship with us.

What corporate initiatives and decisions this year do you think have had the greatest impact on your organisational success?

The move to Adelaide Oval has certainly played a big part; engaging with our passionate supporters through activities on game day in Rundle Mall, and on the Oval plaza as they enter the stadium.

We also do a lot of work at community level with various programs, and with the Magpies at SANFL level. Our work with the indigenous community and the Aboriginal Power Cup, which promotes indigenous education, is a good example of our community engagement.

Your Chairman David Koch has said he’s confident of attracting considerably more high-level sponsorship this season. On what is this confidence based?

We have a highly skilled team that’s engaging prospective clients every day.

Clients will partner with the club in various ways, of course, and the process may take up to 12 months to ensure we find the right fit for each other. But in the AFL space we play in a national game, so we’re able to provide one of the most engaging platforms that a business can partner with.

Are there any plans to alter the club’s offering to sponsors?

All partnerships are unique with the club – there’s no set formula. We’re in the business of understanding what the client is trying to achieve and then matching those objectives with the many benefits we have to offer.

The club launched a push into China during 2014, establishing a relationship with a football club in Hong Kong and hosting a business function there. Do you plan to build on that relationship this year?

Absolutely. We’ll continue to work on plans to play a game in China and promote our game and club to the people of China. We hope to play a game there soon and, through our efforts, help connect people, business and sport.

As mentioned previously, we came a long way in 2014 and we now want to go to another level to support the continued success of the club.

We have a great desire to be best in league in everything we do.

DW Fox Tucker is proud to be a Key Partner of the Port Adelaide Football Club and wish them every success, on and off-field, this season.

This communication provides general information which is current as at the time of production. The information contained in this communication does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such. Professional advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information. Should you wish to discuss any matter raised in this report, or what it means for you, your business or your clients' businesses, please feel free to contact us.

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