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Bob Turner: strong partnerships last long after the association is gone. Bob Turner: strong partnerships last long after the association is gone. Featured
10 May 2021 Posted by 

COMMENT: HOW SPORT BUILDS AND UNITES

Partnerships with impact always last
Exclusive by BOB TURNER
I WAS watching my six-year-old Granddaughter play football last Sunday and could not help but reflect on the impact and importance sport plays in our lives.
 
From the activity and camaraderie generated by grass roots sport to the exhilaration and passion expressed in following your favourite team, sport plays an active role in our everyday lives.  
 
The daily news always reports both sport and weather which identifies their prominence for the general public.  Exercise, whether young or old is vital to health and well-being so seeing the young people on the field, the excited parents on the sideline and even grandparents like me was a reinforcement that all should get out and keep the body moving.  
 
Today, my exercise comes from walking the dogs and jumping when Blacktown City FC scores a goal!
 
Sport has been my livelihood for almost 45 years.  Whether that was as a player, coach, administrator or marketer, it has opened doors far beyond what I could ever have expected or thought possible. 
 
Coaching the Sydney Kings for seven years led to introductions to politicians, corporate heavyweights and key members of the public. 
 
It also nurtured opportunities to present on topics such as team building, motivation and teamwork to a number of companies, school groups and sporting teams. 
 
These are all traits of any successful business.  In sport, particularly in professional coaching the measure of success is on a scoreboard that does not lie.  
 
You have either led a successful team or not.  In business teamwork might not be so easy to initially recognise but when an Executive coach his team well, the results are loyalty, productivity and a much more congenial work force. 
 
A close friend of mine and former NBL coach has earned his living the past 20-plus years travelling the world to coach key executives on how to coach their team/employees.  
 
His comment to me was that what a professional coach learns in handling professional players over a course of a long season are traits not only hard to teach but hard to learn.  
 
For most business executives, after they have climbed the corporate ladder and arrived at the management level, in many cases, they have not been prepared for managing a team of people.  
 
My mate then comes in and applies the foundation blocks of team building as he had done with his players.  
 
It stands to reason that successful business managers, like coaches, follow the same principles of team building and motivation to build loyalty, belief and trust in the company they work for. 
 
Loyalty is not only a fundamental building block of success but it is also a result of developing a culture that endears players, employees and even fans to respect a club or organisation.  The Head of Football for Blacktown City FC, Mark Crittenden, is a great example of someone who has earned both respect and loyalty.  
 
He Coached his 300th game for Blacktown City FC two weeks ago which is testament to the Club that they have the right man for the job.  He has developed a culture within the club where players respect the jersey and know they are in the best position to improve and be cared for.  
 
That culture is the hardest aspect to build within an organisation but can be quickly eroded if you take your eye off the ball.  A further indication of our club loyalty is that his team Manager, Graham Crawhall, has been at his side for all of those 300 + games.
 
Money in sport and in business is testing the boundaries of building a culture.  It can quickly erode a team or organisation by the individual pursuit of financial gain. 
 
When fans win the case
 
The recent European Super League controversy tested the boundaries but for now proved that money does not always guarantee success.  The passionate fan, the foundation of any professional sports team, won in this case.
 
Not only can business managers benefit from the attributes of sport but corporates in general have benefitted by linking their name with sporting brands that exude the principles of the company or simply offer an effective marketing opportunity to ride the profile of a successful sporting group. 
 
My days with the Sydney Coca Cola Kings or Canberra Mazda Cannons exemplify the power of combining two entities for the benefit of both.  If done well the partnership is long lasting even after the association is gone.  
 
The Coca Cola Kings were a household name in the 90’s because we both worked on and benefited from the partnership. It was a reciprocal arrangement. 
 
Blacktown City FC represents a similar opportunity for a forward-thinking company who wants to capture the resident base of 400,000 that is Blacktown. 
 
Media partnerships with local radio, publications like The Blacktown News and Western Sydney Business Access, NPL.TV and others are all part of the ‘Game Plan’ to build Blacktown City FC into a respected and well followed property.  
 
Blacktown City is starting to form local relationships to combine general advertising for corporate partners with the activity of home games, school promotions, promotions with players and motivational activity to create an opportunity in Blacktown that has not existed locally before.
 
Playing in the NSW Men’s Premier football competition with former household names like Marconi, Sydney Olympic, Sydney United, Apia, Wollongong Wolves and such we are hungry to take on the best in the state and make Blacktown proud.  Blacktown City FC has ‘Pride in our name and our City’!
 
My experience with the Newcastle Falcons, Canberra Cannons, Singapore Slingers and the Sydney Kings have proven to me the benefit of sport to build a respect for an organisation as well as partnerships to assist in bringing pride and excitement to a city.  
 
Blacktown is no different and we are developing and enhancing existing building blocks to benefit all who want to associate.  
 
We have recently had a number of potential corporate partners meet with us at our home ground at Lily Homes Stadium.  When they entered the venue, most for the first time to see one of the best facilities in Sydney, and listened to our ambitious plans for the future our enthusiasm was contagious.  
 
As I have always said: “Enthusiasm is contagious – start an epidemic.”  Blacktown City FC is on that path and those with vision and foresight will get in early.  Blacktown News has seen the potential and jumped on Board. 
 
Blacktown City FC hits the road for most May but our next home game on May 30 will be a great one as Blacktown hosts Manly.  The kind of clash Coach Crittenden will have the team pumped, especially as Manly won the first leg at their home. 
 
As a bonus, any Blacktown Council employee can attend the next home game against Manly on the  May 30 for free if they show their security badge.  All home games are played at Lily Homes Stadium, 5 Quinn Avenue, Seven Hills. Game time is 3pm. See you there!
  
Bob Turner is Executive Chairman at Blacktown City FC. He writes exclusively for Western Sydney Business Access and The Blacktown News.


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