Bart Campbell today announced his departure as Melbourne Storm Chairman after seven years in the role, leading the Club to becoming one of the most successful and respected sporting teams in the country.
Photo credit: Herald Sun.
Mr Campbell remains the largest shareholder and will continue to serve on the Board, with current director and shareholder Matt Tripp, set to take over as Chairman on 22 May 2020.
Announcing the changes at the launch of Storm’s new Executive Club and 2020 season launch, Mr Campbell said the time was right to step aside.
“It has been an honour to have worked with so many brilliant people and it is the people that make this great club so special. They are truly inspiring” Mr Campbell said.
“I’d like to thank Matt, Gerry, Dave and Danielle for their unwavering support over the last seven years and also the players, coaches and staff who have provided so many special memories along the way for my family and I. It has been both a pleasure and privilege for me, the opportunity of which I shall forever be grateful for.
“I have been lucky to have been involved in something pretty special, but looking forward the role needs someone who can continue to commit the time, enthusiasm and energy needed to drive the club’s ongoing growth and development. I can safely say at this time of handing over, that I have complete confidence in Matt and Dave‘s leadership for the future.
“When we took ownership of the Club, we developed a mission statement to make Storm firstly viable and ultimately a strong NRL club based in Melbourne in perpetuity. I am proud to have played a part in achieving this, but now it is time to focus on the next phase of growth, under new leadership.
“I can happily take a back seat knowing the Club is in a great position on and off the field. Our coach has two years to run, our Football Director has three years and we have a playing list full of state and international representatives who in conjunction with our stable of rising stars, delivered a minor premiership last year and one of the best home and away records in the history of the NRL.
“Off the field, we have just welcomed RedZed to the Storm family as our Major Partner and this week closed out all jersey sponsorship properties, with these companies joining our loyal list of current partners. We are again looking to reach new heights in membership, attendance and revenue, so I pass the baton on with confidence in the position of the Club.”
Mr Campbell has led the Club through its most significant growth period during his seven years in the Chair, having taken ownership of the Club along with Mr Tripp and prominent Victorian businessman, Gerry Ryan in 2013.
Storm has experienced great success on and off the field under Mr Campbell’s leadership, having increased membership, commercial revenues and game day receipts while also enjoying three minor premierships and one NRL premiership in that time. The Club also bid for and secured an expansion Super Netball team, Sunshine Coast Lightning, during Mr Campbell’s time. The success of the Lightning has been a delight, with three grand finals and two premierships in three years of competition.
Television viewership for Storm has increased from 11 million to over 22 million, membership has grown from 14,000 to closing in on 30,000 this year, whilst attendance at matches have increased to an average of over 18,500 at AAMI Park. This has allowed the business to move from substantial losses to profitability and with it, stability.
“There is no doubt Storm would not be in the position it is today had it not been for Bart’s leadership and passion for the Club. He saw the potential to make this Club one of the country’s best and we are now in the fortunate position to build upon that and strive for new heights,” incoming Chairman, Matt Tripp, said.
“This foundation has been further strengthened by the addition of two new shareholders who have shown great faith in what the Club has achieved and what the future holds.” Mr Tripp said.
Mr Campbell said in closing: “Matt’s energy and skill are the perfect combination to take the Club forward. The handover has been long planned, will be seamless and I look forward to doing everything I can to support him.”