Sign Up to The Newsletter
Get scores, insights, and more delivered straight to your inbox!
Over 70 listened to Nick Hockley – from rugby at Oxford Uni, the London Olympics, Cricket Australia and what’s next in the T20 World Cup
Norths Connect at CBRE’s new North Sydney HQ, with one of the best aerial views over North Sydney oval, was a huge success.
The objective of Norths Connect is to foster relationships with players, sponsors and members of Norths with businesses in the
In true Fox Sports style, Cameron Shepherd got the best out of Cricket Australia’s Commercial Director, Nick Hockley on his key challenges and highlights in leading some of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Here’s a snapshot of what Nick covered.
“I played professional rugby for one season for Moseley Rugby Club in England. They have the same strip as Norths,
“I was at Uni at Oxford with Ian Tucker and we shared a flat.
“Ian gave me a Norths jersey and how proud he would be today listening to me talk to his Club. (Ian, a Norths player suffered a tragic accident while at Uni).
“I got a car and GBP100 a game. I thought I’d made it, until I spoke to my dad who put the GBP2,400 a season into perspective and suggested I be an accountant!
“A good grounding at PWC and many lonely nights doing stocktake audits of car chassis in freezing conditions on the Welsh boarder, gave me a lot of discipline.
“In 2005 I was lucky enough to get a job for the organising committee of the London Olympics. It was the case of being in the right place at the right time.
“London won the vote to host the Olympics against Paris 54/50. It was a close margin won on good marketing. Sebastian Coe, wanted to inspire a generation by hosting in London.
On how nervous you felt before the first event, Nick said, “ Everyone knew their role and, it was the case of taking the project and mentally breaking every duty to the smallest of parts.
“There were 44 sponsors who collectively had paid GBP700 million. It was the most major business event in the UK.
“5000 staff were on the organising committee workforce, with another 170,000 people, plus the army and other services.
“But it was much more than that for those companies involved. They put everything on the line. Take UPS who moved 30 million units of kit from yachts to table tennis balls, they did whatever it took every time.
“The most satisfying part of the role was these partnerships and what it meant to the brands involved.”
Nick moved to Australia and ran the ICC Cricket World Cup.
“The move to Australia was spectacular. The challenge was from manoeuvring logistics to cricket in, a 6-week period where everyone was at school and at work.
“There was no advertising needed for the Olympics. There was a ballot and pure demand; I knew this was a totally different ballgame.
“We got to the semi final game in Auckland NZ, and I heard people saying that they had been to 25 Bledisloe Cups and never had they heard the roar out of Eden Park so loud.
“We democratised cricket in NZ and made Australian cricket a celebration of multiculturalism.
“For the next T20 WC, we are coming off the background of a successful BBL. The shorter and more accessible format and the involvement of women is turning it into a gender neutral sport.
“We are on the way for it to be closer to tennis.
“The development of women’s sport has got us on a rising tide but in reality we are playing catch up.”
Asked by Cam Shepherd, why was the Big Bash so successful in Australia, which has the most saturated sporting environment in the world?
Nick responded, “The two major factors for success for the Big Bash were, firstly it was built off a burning platform. Kids participation were dropping and why? Mums didn’t buy into it. We realised the key target was the decision maker in the family and that was mum. We moved to make it an entertainment proposition for the whole family and it worked.
“The second kudos goes to Channel 10. They were great on the pre match and production and we got out from behind the pay wall, which was very important.”
Nick has just started his next role as CEO for the 2020 Cricket World Cup.
He was at the grand final at North Sydney Oval and said, “It was one of my best rugby days ever. A pure disciplined performance by Norths.
“Although in the UK, I’m not sure you’d be allowed to run on the pitch.”
Norths Connect is organised by Chris Hall of Blue Crane Capital. We look forward to seeing you all at the next Norths Connect for an Endeavour Beer.
“We felt like a Super Rugby Team”
The objective of the camp was to get a lot of content to the players in a short period of time, “ says Simon Cron.
“We also have a lot of new players who are learning their role.
“The University of Wollongong was unbelievable. The first class facilities of fields, a pool, conference and recovery allowed the players to have as close to a super rugby team experience as possible,” says Cron.
“It was invaluable in the lead up to the season, “says Cron.
From a player’s perspective, Geoff Wells says, “The excellent conference facilities created the environment for a good bonding session in a close knit community.
The organisers had everything covered and great food.
“It was the first camp with our own room and bathroom.
“For the new boys to Norths, it gave us an opportunity to embrace the
culture and spirit of the Club.
“Everything was organised to a tee and the staff were superb and even ate with us.
It’s a great start to the season and I hope we can put everything into practise for the first round,” says Wells.
The camp at the University of Wollongong was made available through Norths’ new sponsor, the Sydney Business School, a postgraduate Business School, owned by the University of Wollongong, that is dedicated to developing leaders in the business community. More on our new University relationship next week.
MICHAEL WELLS AND IRAE SIMONE – 3 weeks in … on the tour to SA and this weekend’s game
Irae, on the tour. “It was perfect timing and great to be able to do it at the beginning of the season from a team bonding perspective.
“I found the altitude horrendous and the jet lag whacked me around a bit.
“The South African grand stands are very vertical which means more noise. I can’t understand Africans but it is a lot louder!
“We had one day off and we chose to go to Soweto. It was a life changing experience. Everyone was surrounded by poverty everywhere but the kids were so happy with smiles on their faces.
“It really puts life into perspective and shows how grateful we all must be. “There where 24 people living in a 4 x 5 room,” says Irae.
On this weekend….
Michael says, “It will be a tough game and a first for me to play against my ex team mates.”
Irae says, “There are a few boys celebrating 100 games for the Tahs. I personally love home games in front of family and friends.
“Norths and the Tahs are very similar in their culture of cohesiveness.
“There is a lot of hunger on both sides,” says Irae.
A very nice piece of silver wear for Norths. Bought in 1982 for $5,000 on Bernie Power’s Bankcard.
Community Development Day – READ HERE
Over 100 future Norths players attended the player led initiative of a Junior Development Day last Sunday at North Sydney’s Bon Andrews Oval.
“Sunday was all about connecting with the community”, said Simon Cron.
“It gives our boys the opportunity to start coaching and understand the other side of the coin.
“It was really interesting to see who shone as a coach.
“We hope both boys and girls got some inspiration to go further and choose rugby as a sport in the future., “ says Cron.
Congratulations to Allissa and Mathew Gordon
Archer Gordon, 7 weeks old was there at the junior Development Day at Bon Andrews on Sunday.
A first for mum Allissa. “He’s doing really well and Mathew even said he had grown over the two days he was away at camp.
“Home for me is Darwin and Mathew, Hawkes Bay in NZ, so Norths really is our family.”
Thanks for all the feedback on the newsletter. We are really glad that Norths supporters are such good copy readers and that my glasses are clearly in need of an update.
There are numerous volunteer positions that are vacant.
From copy writers to, match reporters, to gear stewards and more.
With only 3 weeks to go before kick off, we can give you a role if you have a few spare hours in the week.
We need men and women on board. If you have a skill or are just passionate about making the players perform and taking the stress out by super efficiency across all levels of Norths, contact us
PUT YOUR HAND UP and email GM@northsrugby.com.au.
It’s time. Trial game this Saturday March 18 @ Redmond Oval Rockdale
Click HERE to purchase your membership for the 2017 season.