Storm Media Release
Tuesday 21 May 2013 11:26 AM
Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club today announced that it has been acquired by Holding M.S. Australia Pty Limited, an organisation made up of internationally experienced and successful businessmen. The acquisition is effective immediately. Also with immediate effect is the replacement of the News Ltd Board and Executive, which includes the replacement of Chairman Stephen Rue with Bart Campbell and CEO Ron Gauci with Mark Evans.
“It is a rare privilege to have the chance to be involved with such a club and I would like to thank News for deeming us good custodians of the Melbourne Storm” said the incoming Non-Executive Chairman Bart Campbell who will become the primary shareholder.
“The playing record of the team since foundation has been nothing short of exceptional. I was lucky enough to meet with some members of the coaching and playing group when they were in the UK for the World Club Challenge. The quality of these people is a big driver to become involved along with the challenge of taking the club forward in the great sporting city that is Melbourne.”
“News Limited, along with the whole staff, have done an excellent job over the last fifteen years of building the club within a non- traditional rugby league market. The task for the new ownership group is to add to these successes and to take the club forward in such a way to make the whole city of Melbourne proud of their NRL team” said Mr Campbell.
Mr Campbell went on to say, “We have assembled a team of shareholders from Melbourne and originally New Zealand to build on the foundations that exist today. We are all from this part of the world but international in outlook. We hope that we can bring some new ideas to the Club as a result of the experience in the shareholder group. Further, we are delighted Mark Evans has become CEO of the Melbourne Storm. He is regarded as one of the best CEO’s in any form of Rugby in the UK and he has considerable Rugby League experience.”
Mr Campbell added, “We will be sending out invites shortly for the press to meet all of the shareholders and ask first hand any questions they may have.”
SCROLL DOWN FOR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS SECTION
Outgoing Chairman Mr. Stephen Rue said, “Melbourne Storm is an exceptional team – as was seen in its stunning premiership win last year – with truly great players, fans, coaches and administrators. We are handing it over to the new owners in good health,’.
“We would like to thank today’s players, coaches and administrators for their huge contribution to the success of the club. We also salute the leadership of Melbourne Storm CEO Ron Gauci. Ron is an outstanding CEO who has been critical to the Storm’s many recent successes.
Melbourne Storm has been such a critical part of the growth of rugby league nationally. News Limited is proud to have played such a fundamentally important role in taking the great game of rugby league to a national audience,” said Mr Rue.
“News Limited remains strongly committed to the rugby league – through FOX Sports and its rights agreement with the NRL, our unrivalled coverage of the game across our publications and our investment in products and broadcast facilities which showcase the game to a huge audience’
“We would also like to thank the Victorian Government which has been such a strong supporter of the club and sports generally in Victoria”.
Outgoing CEO of the Melbourne Storm Mr Ron Gauci said, “This is an important moment in the history of this great club. My appointment in July 2010 was all about making this day possible,”. “Whilst it is with sadness that I leave the club as its CEO, I am very proud of what has been achieved over the recent years and will continue to be a member and keen supporter and I look forward to the continued success of the club”.
SCROLL DOWN FOR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS SECTION
COO, CSM Sports & Entertainment
Since 2009 Bart Campbell has been the Group COO of FTSE listed Chime Communications ("Chime's") sports division, called CSM Sport & Entertainment (www.csm.com) which has 530+ staff, in 17 offices across 15 countries and is one of the top 5 sports marketing agencies in the world. He is a member of the executive board of Chime. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of the sports marketing and management business, Essentially Group plc ("Essentially") which is part of Chime today, starting this role in 2006 (www.essentiallygroup.com). Essentially’s current clients include various commercial roles with the International Rugby Board, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, Super League, Rugby League World Cup 2013, the All Blacks, the ECB and the exclusive commercial rights to in stadia advertising and partnerships for all international cricket in England, including the upcoming Ashes series.
During his tenure as CEO of Essentially, Mr. Campbell grew the business from 20 to 120 professionals with offices in London, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Japan. Mr. Campbell is a former practicing sports and commercial lawyer, with a BA and LLB from Otago University in his native New Zealand. Mr. Campbell was admitted to the bar in 1994 before going on to complete a Masters in Commercial Law (Hons) from Auckland University in 1999. He successfully completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2010.
Bart Campbell is the Non-executive Chairman of TLA Worldwide plc ("TLA") (www.tlaww-plc.com) which is a business working in Major League sports in the United States, with Major League Baseball being the core focus. TLA has offices in London, New York and Los Angeles.
Founder – Capacity Consulting
Born in Ashford, Middlesex in 1959, Mark was brought up and educated in South Wales. He graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in History and Economics and completed a post graduate teaching course at the University of Bristol and spent fifteen years within a variety of state comprehensive schools in the South East of England finishing as First Deputy Head at Saffron Walden County High School, Essex.
Mark played close to 100 1st XV games for Saracens, forwards coach from 1989 becoming Head Coach in 1993. In 1996, he was appointed Director of Rugby at Saracens as rugby union went professional. In 1998 Saracens won the Tetley Bitter Cup and were runners up in the Premiership. In 2000, Mark joined Harlequins as CEO whilst at various times, simultaneously carried out the head coach and director of rugby roles winning the European Challenge Cup in 2001 and 2004. In 2008/09, Harlequins were runners up in the Guinness Premiership regular season having tripled their turnover, quadrupled their average crowd numbers as well as doubling the capacity of their ground, the Twickenham Stoop, through a three phase building programme since the start of the decade. Big Game concept was created for the Christmas holiday period in 2008 which resulted in a world attendance record for a regular season rugby union game in 2009 and continues to sell out Twickenham each year.
Mark departed Harlequins and founded Capacity Consulting in April 2011 which specialised in advising sports clubs and governing bodies on a range of revenue enhancing and strategic issues. Clients included RFU, RLWC2013, Premier Rugby, Saracens FC, St Helens RLFC and Glamorgan CC.