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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
45 FUTURE FREIGHT NETWORKS 2013 FORUM 2013 The stylish Zinc Restaurant at Melbourne's Federation Square was the location of the ALC Annual Dinner, where more than 300 senior government and industry of cials began by enjoying drinks overlooking the Yarra River, and had a chance to re ect on day one of the ALC Forum. Special guest speaker this year was Andrew Demetriou, CEO of the Australian Football League. Demetriou told dinner guests that there were many synergies between running a national sporting competition and a freight logistics company. Both required a national focus, an eye for detail, and, above all, a long-term strategic plan to maximise future growth opportunities. He 'kicked off' proceedings by showing a highlights video of the gripping 2012 AFL Grand Final, much to the delight of all Sydney Swans supporters in the room. Demetriou then re ected on the growth of the AFL over the past three decades. Demetriou told the ALC Dinner that, 30 years ago, the then Victorian Football League was made up of 12 teams, and was broke. It had revenues of $23 million, 71,000 members, and the average player earned $22,000. Players trained a couple of nights a week after work -- and they all had full-time jobs elsewhere. The grounds were in poor condition and desperately required upgrading. Game day experiences for fans were not very good, and television coverage needed to be brought into the modern era. Then the VFL made a historic decision. It voted itself out of power and handed over responsibility for running the game to a new AFL Commission. Fast-forward 30 years, and there are now 18 clubs spanning the nation. The AFL has 844,000 members, and brings in $425 million per year. It has 1800 accredited media representatives, which is six times the number covering federal politics. The AFL employs 105 people, its website gets 170 million visits, and more than one million videos are downloaded annually. Players are now full-time. The average wage is $260,000. Every game is televised live. This, he reminded the audience, was achieved even through three recessions. He said the success of the AFL is underpinned by the support of the community. It takes its obligations to the public very seriously; because once the fans lose faith in the game, it will suffer irreversible damage. ALC thanks Andrew Demetriou for sharing with us his perspectives on achieving business success and the AFL's amazing transformation over the last 30 years. ALC ANNUAL FORUM DINNER