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Woods thrilled Blatchy’s Blues going hi-tech for State of Origin fans

The Blatchy’s Blues have become an institution at Origin matches, but now that fan experience is about to be revolutionised, taking the passionate NSW supporters closer than they have ever been. With a special set of headphones incorporated within their trademark wig, the Blues faithful will be able to hear a pre-game speech from coach Laurie Daley plus the bright blue afros will light up for the first time. The new smart wig concept was initiated by NSWRL partner The Star.   Aaron Woods k...
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How Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust is getting a grip on fan engagement - 9 November 2016

Sporting venue owner shares how it is harnessing a wealth of digital data combined with consumer insight to improve loyalty. Over the past two years, the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust (SCG Trust) has been building what is touted as the southern hemisphere’s first fully connected stadium, providing a unique and integrated fan experience for its members and visitors. In 2014, the group struck a five-year partnership with FanThreeSixty (formerly Sporting Innovations) and adopted the US...
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European exec is Suncorp Stadium's new General Manager - 1 February 2007

A leading European executive has been named as the new general manager of Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium. Paul Sergeant, 45, is the former chief executive of one of the world's premier venues, the 74,500 seat Millennium Stadium in Wales. Mr Sergeant has overseen 3,000 major events during his long career in sport and event management. He is also a former member of Wembley Stadium's executive board. Suncorp Stadium chief executive Geoff Donaghy described Mr Sergeant as a "global industry leader". He...
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The seeds of Man City's takeover of Melbourne Heart were sewn in New York a year ago - 23 January 2014

UNKNOWN to any of the parties involved, events in New York on May 21 last year played a major part in the breathtaking sale of Melbourne Heart eight months on. While the sale of National Rugby League club Melbourne Storm to a consortium led by New Zealand entrepreneur Bart Campbell was announced, 16,700km away New York City was named as Major League Soccer's newest franchise. Manchester City and fellow world sports heavyweights New York Yankees had agreed to combine their massive resources...
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Manchester City acquires Melbourne Heart as Melbourne Storm consortium get minority stake - 23 January 2014

The Melbourne Heart has confirmed the A-League club has been acquired by a consortium led by English Premier League powerhouse Manchester City. The 80 per cent acquisition will be completed by another consortium - which includes the owners of the NRL's Melbourne Storm - in a 20 per cent minority share.The Football Federation Australia (FFA) approved the acquisition on Thursday. Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano says the Premier League club is excited by the opportunity to invest in...
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Bart Campbell feels pull before the Storm - 5 June 2013

IT began with a few drinks between a pair of old mates and ended with the sale of the Melbourne Storm. New Zealander Bart Campbell, the Storm's majority owner and new chairman, yesterday revealed how a long-term friendship with Storm football manager Frank Ponissi was the catalyst for him purchasing the NRL premier from News Limited. Campbell, whose identity was cloaked in secrecy until the sale was announced earlier this month, broke his silence yesterday to document his takeover of the club. ...
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PNG Hunters prove popular as they blaze a trail for a rugby league-mad nation - 17 September 2015

The Intrust Super Cup team is bringing together a culturally diverse country and creating pathways for a whole new generation of players Michael Marum is more than just a rugby league coach, he is the leader of a movement. “At village level rugby league has replaced clan warfare,” he says. “At a national level the PNG Hunters are bringing the nation together. Millions are watching.” Papua New Guinea is a land of 1,400 islands, 1,000 ethnic groups, 800 languages and one great love: ...
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Melbourne Heart on verge of $12m takeover headed by New Zealand entrepreneur Bart Campbell - 27 December 2013

MELBOURNE Heart is on the verge of being sold for $12 million to a consortium led by New Zealand entrepreneur Bart Campbell. The Courier-Mail believes that the consortium has submitted an offer which has been accepted by the Heart's board, with the two parties now ironing out the finer details. It is believed that the new proposal includes a 100 per cent takeover of the Heart and could be concluded in January, in what would comfortably eclipse any previous sale of an A-League club. Discussi...
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New Storm owner is on the money - 9 June 2013

Few people have heard of new Melbourne Storm owner Bart Campbell. David Long sought out the mysterious Kiwi entrepreneur. For a man who now owns the NRL's most successful club franchise, whose company manages All Blacks superstars Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, and who routinely sniffs rarefied air at elite corporate events while rubbing shoulders with all sorts of powerful figures, Bart Campbell's sporting career began in innocuous circumstances. He decided to do his brother-in-law a ...
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From humble beginnings - Storm boss used to hold stop-go signs in Manawatu, New Zealand - 27 May 2013

Bart Campbell has done rather well for a Palmerston North lad who held stop-go signs on the road for Higgins contractors. Now aged 42, Campbell heads a consortium which bought the NRL champions from News Ltd on Monday night. He is the son of former Palmerston North couple Terry and Nan Campbell, who are now working out of the Hilton Hotel in Taupo. As a lad, Bart had other menial jobs. Terry remembers him coming home from Noel Eales' horse-racing stables covered in hay on a daily basis. He atten...
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New Storm owners regard themselves as 'custodians' - 21 May 2013

After months of negotiations, former New Zealand barrister Bart Campbell was confirmed as the new Chairman of the world and NRL champions, with ex-Harlequins and Saracens rugby union boss Mark Evans as CEO.  Evans moves to Melbourne immediately from London, where his consultancy firm was helping promote the Rugby League World Cup.  Evans said News Limited were tough in negotiations but “easy to communicate with”.   The Storm’s current Chairman Stephen Rue hands his role to Campbell while Ev...
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Bart Campbell - the man behind Melbourne Storm's buyout - 21 May 2013

A PROMINENT New Zealand entrepreneur with ties to some of the world's most well-known sporting identities has emerged as the driving force behind the consortium taking control of the Melbourne Storm. Bart Campbell, a former barrister in the High Court of New Zealand, has assembled the syndicate which has purchased the Storm from its owner, News Limited. The change of ownership will be announced officially at a media conference in Melbourne this morning. Campbell's interests stretch across the sp...
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New Zealand Rugby League World Cup Festivals kick off this week - 16 March 2017

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) and Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) are launching their national Festivals programme in Dunedin this week. NZRL and RLWC2017 have partnered to deliver 20 festivals across New Zealand, giving young rugby league players and their families the chance to learn more about rugby league and to get behind the Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns in their respective Rugby League World Cup campaigns this year. Fans and their families will get their first opportunity this Friday (1...
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RLWC2017 announce NZME as official media partner - 30 November 2016

Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) is delighted to announce New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) as the tournament’s Official Media Partner in New Zealand. NZME is one of New Zealand’s leading media and entertainment businesses with its brands connecting with over 3 million Kiwis. NZME is in the homes, cars and devices of New Zealanders as it delivers quality content across its multiple radio, print and digital platforms, making the company the natural media partner for RLWC2017. As...
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AccorHotels partners with the 2017 Rugby League World Cup - 15 February 2017

Accor Hotels has been named the Official Accommodation Partner of the Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) taking placing in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea from 27 October until 2 December 2017. The countdown is on for international rugby league’s pinnacle international event with games set to be played in Auckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Christchurch, Darwin, Hamilton, Melbourne, Perth, Port Moresby, Sydney, Port Moresby and Wellington. The partnership with the RLWC2017 w...
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Rugby League World Cup boss Andrew Hill says tournament will leave a legacy - 12 February 2017

Rugby League World Cup CEO Andrew Hill is predicting this year's tournament will be the best ever. That's not such an outlandish claim considering the patchy history of the code's global spectacle, but with 256 days until the event Hill is in an optimistic mood about what lies ahead. Hill, who is based in Sydney, is a former general manager of the Eels and was working for the NRL before taking on his current role. Although New Zealand won a joint bid with Australia to co-host this year's World ...
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RLWC2017 announce Oil Search as tournament partner in PNG - 1 February, 2017

Oil Search, an oil and gas exploration and development company who first established themselves in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 1929, have long supported the development of sport, including rugby league, throughout the country. In 2015, the RLWC2017 Organising Committee (OC) announced PNG as "Hosting Partner" alongside co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, with the country to stage the PNG Kumuls’ three pool matches against Wales (28 October), Ireland (5 November) and the USA (12 November). Andrew...
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Rugby League World Cup 2017 ticket prices announced - 11 October 2016

Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) has announced its fan-friendly ticket pricing for next year's tournament to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 27 October to 2 December. Fans are encouraged to purchase early to secure the best seats at the lowest prices, starting from $10 for kids and concessions, $20 for adults and $45 for a family of four. The ticket pricing reflects the RLWC2017 organising committee’s vision of having next year’s tournament seen by more fans than ever bef...
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Suncorp Stadium to host RLWC2017 Semi and Final -19 July 2016

In a major sporting coup for Brisbane, Suncorp Stadium will host a semi-final AND the final of Rugby League World Cup 2017. Details of the RLWC 2017 draw were announced today. On hand for the announcement were the captains of Papua New Guinea (David Mead), Australia (Cameron Smith) and New Zealand (Jesse Bromwich). The semi-final will be played on Friday 24th November 2017 with the final the following Saturday, 2nd December 2017. Queensland also secured six additional pool games - three in To...
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New Zealand to host seven games for Rugby League World Cup 2017 - 19 July 2016

The 2017 Rugby League World Cup will see seven matches hosted in New Zealand. This country has missed out on the final - which will be staged across the Tasman, just like in 2008 - but fans in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton will be able to soak up action from tournament. It was confirmed at the official tournament draw today that the Kiwis will be joined by Samoa, Tonga and Scotland in pool action, with matches to be played across the North and South islands. All three Kiwis po...
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Major Events Fund invests in Rugby League World Cup

2017 Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman today announced up to $1.35 million will be invested, through the Major Events Development Fund (MEDF), to help New Zealand co-host the Rugby League World Cup 2017 with Australia. “The Rugby League World Cup 2017 is expected to deliver strong economic benefits for New Zealand, particularly as New Zealand will host a home semi-final game,” Mr Joyce says. “As one of the host nations, New Zealand ...
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mrblairhughes - 2016 NRL and AFL Grand Final Fan Engagement Overview - 26 September 2016

    It’s that time of the year again as the AFL and NRL Grand Final’s are on this coming weekend in Melbourne and Sydney respectively. With the action set to be electric on the field at both Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and Melbourne’s Melbourne Cricket Ground there are also a fantastic selection of fan engagement activations happening in each city from these national sporting codes as well as the competing teams that will be sure to keep fans entertained, engaged and having a...
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mrblairhughes - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL Fan Experience Review - 4 August 2016

  Last Friday night (29-7-2016) I was able to take in the National Rugby League’s Canterbury Bulldogs game against St George Illawarra Dragons at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and was really impressed with some of the things that the team there are doing to enhance the match day fan experience for rugby league fans. Under the leadership of fan engagement manager Arnaleah Hunt, the Bulldogs fan experience (along with the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos) features some o...
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MCG State of Origin rugby league record crowd cements Melbourne as Australia’s sporting capital - 18 June 2015

The Melbourne Cricket Ground last night (17 June 2015) hosted the biggest State of Origin rugby league clash in history, A massive crowd of 91,513 packed the home of sport for the showdown, cementing Melbourne’s place as the sporting capital of Australia.The MCG attendance bettered the previous Origin record of 88,836 for game two of the 1999 series at Stadium Australia in Sydney, the year ­before it was the centrepiece of the Sydney Olympics. State Premier Daniel Andrews said rugby's Bledislo...
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Daley & Sterlo urge VB Blues fans to buy early

Laurie Daley and Peter Sterling have urged VB Blues fans to get behind the team and sign up to Blatchy's Blues membership for the 2017 State of Origin series. Early-bird tickets are on sale, but only for Blatchy's Blues and ticketed NRL members, with the general public having to wait until Friday. For the first time, tickets for all three matches will go on sale simultaneously, with Blatchy's Blues members receiving priority ticket access to watch the VB Blues battle it out with Queensland. ...
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State of Origin 2015: The Blatchy’s Blues will be out in record numbers at game one - 27 May 2015

 LAURIE Daley’s NSW Blues will boast an army of supporters which will rival the average NRL crowd this season. Official supporter group of NSW, the Blatchy’s Blues, have secured a record 15,000 tickets for Wednesday’s Origin I blockbuster at ANZ Stadium. The famous band of blue T-shirt and wig-wearing NSW fans are expected to fill the entire southern end of the stadium following a further 3000 extra Blatchy’s snapping up tickets — surpassing the previous record of 12,000 set last year. ANZ...
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Blatchys Blues to take NSW to the World - 23 October 2014

The NSW VB Blues could soon join Manchester United, Real Madrid and the New York Yankees as one of the most recognisable and wealthy sporting brands in the world after bringing on board the greatest fan club in rugby league in Blatchys Blues. Rugby league’s showpiece – State of Origin is already broadcast live throughout Australia and to 90 countries and territories worldwide. Now through the purchase of Dan Blatch’s unique blue wig-wearing fan club Blatchys Blues, the NSW VB Blues is one pow...
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Origin fan club Blatchy’s Blues is on the verge of being sold to NSWRL

 THE greatest fan club in rugby league, Blatchy’s Blues, is on the verge of being sold to NSW league bosses. Founder Dan Blatch, a Bondi financial planner and Blues tragic, is close to striking a six-figure deal with the NSW Rugby League, sources say. The confidential negotiations were discussed among league identities in the Legends room at ANZ Stadium during the State of Origin match last week. One rugby league source said the sale price could be “less than $700,000”, while another said it...
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Top10 Aussie Guinness World Record-breaking marketing events - 9 November 2012

World record: Most people wearing wigs Who: Blatchy’s Blues (State of Origin)  At State of Origin Game 2 in 2012 Dan Blatch, founder of Blatchy’s Blues, thought he could break a record and in doing so bring attention to the game he loves so much, the team he lives for and the thousands of people that have become his loyal followers. A sea of blue wigs (12,083 to be exact) confirmed his suspicions, and a small army of witnesses sent out to count them confirmed the record. The attempt was heav...
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Fans rally behind Gold Coast NRL club pushing Titans’ membership to cusp of 10,000 - 6 March 2015

THE Titans are only 300 short of reaching 10,000 memberships for the first time in the club’s short history. About 9700 memberships have been sold ahead of the team’s first hit out on Saturday night. The club had a record 8768 members in 2014 and were hoping to break the 10,000 figure this year. While official numbers are still being verified membership manager Chris Knell said the club was well on track to reaching the major milestone. “If it keeps going the way that it is going we should g...
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Rise in membership numbers gives Gold Coast Titans boost following lean times for the NRL club - Gold Coast Titans supporters have rallied by buying memberships - 7 December 2014

THE Gold Coast Titans have seen a boost in membership numbers following mass changes in the club hierarchy. Despite four lean seasons on the field, including a 14th-placed finish last season, the Titans’ membership base is tracking at 10 per cent better than the same time last year. It has been a big year of change for the NRL franchise with club founder Michael Searle and foundation coach John Cartwright resigning from their roles in August. The club appointed a board of directors for the fir...
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Rugby League World Cup 2017 establishes Official Travel Office

The Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) today announced the establishment of an Official Travel Office for the tournament which will be staged in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea from 27 October to 2 December 2017. Mummu Sport, global sports travel and event firm, is the Official Master Travel Agent for the sport’s pinnacle international tournament and will operate the “RLWC2017 Travel Office”. RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown, said the appointment of Mummu Sport...
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Why the NRL advertisement has no theme song, no commentary and was filmed by fans - 26 February 2016

Johnathan Thurston's premiership-winning field goal in last year's grand final is like Cathy Freeman winning the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics and John Aloisi's penalty to put the Socceroos into the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Anyone who witnessed it has a story about where they were at the time and there are probably more people now claiming to have been at ANZ Stadium when Thurston piloted the ball between the posts in extra time to snatch an historic 17-16 victory for the Cowboys than the 82,758...
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NRL launches second phase of NRL's 'History Happens' campaign via Archibald / Williams - 17 February 2017

 Archibald / Williams will next week launch its major campaign for the NRL with the 2017 Telstra Premiership Season launch. Off the back of the agency's successful 'History Happens' campaign last year, their new integrated campaign will launch on Thursday 23 February. The thinking behind this year's campaign again taps into the insight that in recent years the NRL has been anyone's game. In the 13 years prior to 2009, 5 clubs dominated the NRL. However, in the years since, every club has made t...
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NRL dumps celebrity for social in 2016 season launch as campaign refocuses on sport - 26 February 2016

The NRL has launched its 2016 season push with an ad devoid of celebrity as the code abandons rock star-driven marketing in favour of a campaign giving ownership to the players and fans, with the line: ‘Be there when history happens’. The work is the first to come from Sydney agency Archibald Williams, which was handed season-launch creative duties after more than a decade with MJW – which as Hertz Walpole created the first Tina Turner campaign for the code in 1989 setting the NRL on a path ...
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The NRL launches new 'Be there when History Happens' 2016 campaign via Archibald / Williams - 26 February 2016

The National Rugby League (NRL) has today launched its widely anticipated campaign after handing the creative account to Archibald / Williams late last year. To kick off the 2016 Telstra Premiership NRL season, the agency has created a fully integrated national campaign covering TV, Print, Digital, Radio, Social Media and Outdoor. The experience of watching sport on TV keeps getting better. Under a new broadcasting agreement, Fox Sports will feature every NRL match live. Channel 9 will show it...
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