Dear Members

I wanted to take the opportunity to write to you today to thank you for the warm welcome you’ve shown me as Storm’s new CEO.

I’m excited at being appointed and your support of our Club is much appreciated.

My first day in the role was yesterday but unfortunately I was not in our office at AAMI Park for it.

A large contingent of Storm representatives, including Craig and Cameron, attended the funeral of James Ackerman and I joined them.

For those that aren’t aware, James was playing for the Sunshine Coast Falcons – one of our feeder teams in the Queensland Cup – almost a fortnight ago, when he was tackled by an opposition player and never recovered.

Needless to say, it was a terribly sad day, but the strength of James’ family and friends and the entire rugby league community was remarkable.

I’m involved in a phone hook-up tomorrow between Storm, Falcons, Brisbane Broncos and the Queensland Rugby League, where we will advance discussions regarding a major fundraiser later this year with proceeds to go towards supporting James’ young family.

In the interim, if you’d like to make a donation to a foundation established in James’ honour, you can donate to the Ackerman Family Trust Fund, deposit to: Bank of Queensland, BSB: 124 001, Acc#: 1150 0777, Ref#: 151 181.

Having grown up in central Queensland, where rugby league was all we knew, the game supports one another in difficult times better than any other community.

My wife, Sharyn, and I have two children, Hugh (2) and Pippa (7 months), so I know how important our game’s continued support to James’ young family will be.

Back at Storm, a significant volume of work has been done over the past two years, all of which is aimed at building a stronger Storm off-field and therefore maintaining a successful team on the park.

This year, I’m pleased to announce that we will finish the year in a much-improved financial position, placing Storm closer to long-term viability.

That’s our Club’s goal – to run a sustainable business that ensures Storm remains in Melbourne in perpetuity (plus have some fun while we’re doing it!).

It’s a goal that I’m confident will be achieved.

As Storm’s new CEO, my top four non-football priorities are:

-        Members and fans enjoying their Storm experience;
-        Storm commercial growth – long-term sustainability;
-        Growth of the game via NRL Victoria in this market;
-        Stronger relationships with key stakeholders at NRL, Broadcasters and Government.

We will have some key announcements to share with members across the remainder of the season.

These will include sponsorship, player retention / recruitment and member initiatives.

The first is to confirm that we will be launching a series of online member forums with myself that will be advertised by our membership team in the coming weeks.

Your feedback is crucial to ensuring we provide the products and customer service you want.

To our football department, I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire membership base when I wish them all the best for the remainder of the season.

With the State of Origin period soon to be behind us, the race for the finals begins, with the team sitting at 8-7 and 20 competition points.

Our final six rounds were released by the NRL on Tuesday, with our remaining home games being:

Penrith Panthers, 7.45pm, Friday 17 August
Gold Coast Titans, 2pm, Sunday 9 August
Newcastle Knights, 7pm, Monday 24 August
North Queensland Cowboys, 7.30pm, Saturday 29 August

I’d urge all members to get behind the boys and attend as many games as possible – bring a friend along if you can, as the team needs your support on the run home.

I look forward to seeing you at AAMI Park for our clash against Penrith.


Go Storm.

Dave Donaghy