The main phases and tasks involved in this particular project were based around the specific criteria that had to be met in order for the team to be accepted by the AFL commission. The phases were split into ten main areas, based on the ten criteria set out by the AFL commission. The first area revolved around the corporate field. The main task involved in this area was signing 111 committed business partners. This task included a number of smaller tasks which needed to be completed in order for the main task to be completed. In order to sign 111 committed business partners, the AFL club signed a joint foundation partner, signed 10 second tier partners and had 114 Gold Coast SME’s make financial commitments. Thus, in order to meet the original criteria of 111 committed business partners, the Gold Coast Suns signed a number of various partners and supporters, to establish a corporate support base.
After establishing a corporate base, it was then important for the club to establish a membership and supporter base. This was thus the large umbrella for the second phase of the project. This phase included the end goal of establishing 20,000 committed supporters, and consisted of two main tasks. The first task included registerting supporters, and at the completion of this task the AFL club had 42,000 registered supporters. During this particular task, the club also recorded the number of supporters who had expressed interest in obtaining membership, and this came out to be 14,500. The second task involved in establishing a membership support base for this project was organising a system for membership ticketing. This task consisted of research being undertaken in order to determine the needs and wants of the members in terms of ticketing packages. Ultimately, following the research, a membership ticketing portfolio consisting of three packages was introduced.
The third criteria was to establish a high net worth for the AFL club. The main objective for the phase was to make commitments to long term training, an administration base and financial assets. This phase involved three main tasks in order to establish long term commitments to training, administration and financial assets. The first task was for the AFL club to launch the Vice Presidents Club, which once the task was complete, consisted of 45 vice presidents who played a prominent role in securing the bid for the seventeenth football team. After the vice presidents club was established, the second task of this particular phase was able to be undertaken. The second task involved the commissioning of research in order to develop an appropriate fundraising strategy, and then to ultimately develop the fundraising strategy chosen.
The next phase involved the establishment of other revenue, including non-football revenue. The main objective within this phase was to secure a commitment from the patron partner, and then also to develop a business plan for other key revenue opportunities. The tasks required within this stage were directly related to the goal that is the first task included negotiating a patron partnership in order to secure a commitment. The second task was to conduct research in order to develop a business plan for other key revenue opportunities.
In the fifth phase, and key objectives revolved around net assets, and to establish pledges in excess of $5m in either capital reserves or net assets. This phase involved the task to establish a strategy in order to build income and generate assets. The strategy developed covered three main areas; cash management and access to AFL linked funding, a high net worth capital program and securing a freehold on the land to enable a training venue for the AFL club and administrative offices.
The next phase of the project moved on from financial stability into the area of training and administration. The phase involved the planning of funding as well as building of training and administrative facilities in the short and long term. The main task within this phase was to negotiate and secure interim facilities, which could late turn into more permanent facilities and be improved on.
After establishing a financial supportive base and facilities, the next phase of the project involved creating a brand and identity for the AFL club. The main tasks within this phase was to define the name, colours, jumpers logos and values of the club, and to do this through engaging the community. The main tasks in particular involved launching a Gold Coast Football Club (GCFC) brand strategy, as well as developing and then launching a logo, a mascot and team colours.
Next, the club looked at engaging the community, and involving them in the club through community programs and partnerships. The main goal of this phase was to engage the whole community in the aim of defining an agenda for the social and community programs. The two main tasks involved in this phase were to establish particular partnerships with schools, surf clubs, local AFL clubs and other community groups within the community, and completing a community needs analysis in order to be able to create a community program strategy that can link with AFLQ programs.
The next stage looked into the actual football side of the project, and had the main objectives of appointing key people to execute the football building strategy that occurred over 2008-2010, which would then be ready to enter the AFL competition in 2011. The main tasks within this phase were to appoint a development coach, a talent manager, a list manager and to sign seven local players. This phase was important in order to establish the base players and key staff within the football club.
The final phase of the project was based on the organisation and governance of the AFL team. The main objective within this final phase was to establish the best governance structure in order for a successful community based club to be established. This phase involved four critical tasks, that needed to be completed in order for the club to be established. The first task involved appointing leaders to be on the board. Secondly, the search for a club CEO had to be commenced. A business plan and governance model related to becoming a member’s based club was required to be created and finalised by this stage in the project. Finally, to complete this phase, and thus the project, direct relationships with the Government and Council had to be established.