Storm future looking up

More people are attending games than ever before, membership revenue is above that of previous years and the team is exceeding last year?s performance. The vibes emanating from the Melbourne Storm are particularly positive since the former CEO of the St. Kilda Football Club, Brian Waldron, switched football codes to guide the Storm through choppy waters.

The Storm team of 2005 is winning more games and sitting higher on the NRL ladder than at the same stage in 2004. Add to this they are scoring more points and conceding fewer and one could conclude, considering the Storm played off in a semi-final last year, the on-field performance of the team has been at times sensational.

The on-field team success, coupled with the hard work and dedication of the behind the scenes team, has resulted in a significant increase in supporters turning up for home games at Olympic Park. The Storm is averaging approximately 2000 more spectators per game in 2005, which is testament to the dedication of all associated with the club.

Asked what the changes are at the Melbourne Storm this year and Mr. Waldron will tell you there has been a clear change in the organisation?s policies.

?We?ve strategically changed our attitudes towards advertising, providing greater resources and targeting our key demographic,? said Waldron.

?We?ve increased our public relations activities in terms of making the general public more aware of our players in the marketplace. I mean, we have an exciting list of players such as Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and rising star Greg Inglis, so it seems like common sense to get their names out there.?

Ticket sales for this Saturday?s game are up by 80% on the last home game against the Sharks, and overall, Storm pre-game sales are up by 385% from the same stage last year.

Sporting fixtures have become more than just about the game in recent times. They have become an entertainment package that the Melbourne Storm has attempted to capitalise on.

?We?ve focussed on the profile of the game as an event rather than just a game,? explained Waldron.

?We?ve had a few marquee events this year such as the re-naming of both of the stands at Olympic Park, which happened to coincide with a record breaking performance by the team against the Brisbane Broncos.?

As they say in sport, statistics and numbers don?t lie. If the old adage is true, the Melbourne Storm is on course for plain sailing in the not too distant future.

The Melbourne Storm takes on last year?s premiers, the Bulldogs this Saturday at Olympic Park. In what is shaping as a vital game for both clubs, a win could shape the remainder of their seasons. A Storm win will firmly entrench them in the top eight, while a Bulldogs victory would give them the confidence to maybe recapture the form that took them all the way to the title in 2004.