General Manager's report on 2012
Sunday 23 December 2012 2:03 PM
My first full year leading this great Club has proven to be a challenging one but I am happy to report that, despite the adversity both on and off the field, we have ended 2012 with another successful football result for the team and an improved financial position for the Club.
Geoff Toovey, his coaching staff and all the players deserve enormous credit for their efforts on the field. The team's achievements in what was a very challenging season are testament to their collective skill and dedication and an example of the courage and tenacity that defines our Club's culture. The recruitment of several new faces to our 2013 squad has created an exciting vibe within the group and there is a great feeling of optimism and energy for the coming season.
Off the field our staff worked tirelessly throughout the year to engage more effectively than ever before with our business partners, community partners, Members and operational stakeholders. Our Membership growth (comparing like for like) of 21% over the previous year, compares very favourably against an average of 1.55% across the competition but we're determined to spread the Manly message and sign up more Members in 2013.
Our Members are the lifeblood of the Club and the "We Bleed Maroon" loyalty program was introduced this season in recognition of that fact. While we can't hope to fully repay your contribution to the Sea Eagles, we hope this program will go some way towards thanking you for years of invaluable support.
Of course the re-signing of our Naming Partner Kaspersky Lab for a further three years was a huge positive for the Club and also a gratifying compliment to some of the changes we are making that aim to provide value for sponsors. I thank Kaspersky Lab for their loyalty and support and urge all Sea Eagles supporters to consider their products at every opportunity.
Our work in the community has again been a highlight in 2012, in particular the award-winning Sea Eagles Reads program to support improved literacy outcomes. This year, in addition to supporting local charity organisations (Royal Far West, Stewart House, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Aim for the Stars, Lifeline) Brett Stewart championed a strong focus on Diabetes awareness in children, with excellent results. Your support of our Diabetes Round and response to the specially designed jerseys and t-shirts was overwhelming and we will continue to expand our support for diabetes sufferers in 2013.
We are also very pleased with the digital improvements that have been made over the past 12 months. Our focus on giving fans an insight into the heart of the Club and engaging our supporters in the social sphere resulted in significant growth across our website and social media platforms.
Brookvale Oval remains a concern for us and I must report that no real progress has been made in 2012 regarding planned upgrades. We are very much looking forward to some improved facilities in 2013 that will provide another corporate bar and another 300+ undercover seats but much more is needed and we are continuing to work hard to secure Government funding that will allow for a more extensive upgrade.
I want to thank everyone associated with the Club for their loyalty and commitment to supporting us in 2012. My job is firstly to support Geoff and the Football Department in any way I can and secondly to continue to manage the transition from football "Club" to football "business" in order to ensure our Club's longer term survival.
We will continue in 2013 to fight for financial stability whilst doing everything we can to support Geoff, all of our staff, our players, our members, Business Partners and our owners Penn Health and Quantum.
Finally, I wish all our supporters a Merry Christmas from everyone in the Manly family. We hope to see you all in 2013 as we warm up for another big season.
General Manager - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles