AFL to SBL basketball for new Joondalup basketball boss

Cameron Britt, Wanneroo Basketball Association’s new chief executive. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d447053
Cameron Britt, Wanneroo Basketball Association’s new chief executive. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d447053

THE Wanneroo Basketball Association is set for a major transformation under new chief executive Cameron Britt, who will look to professionalise operations coming from a management role in the AFL.

The association enters a new era after the retirement of near 30-year administrators Van and Mary Kailis at the end of the State Basketball League season.

Britt, the former Head of Community at Essendon, took the role after moving to Perth with his West Australian fiancée.

While the Victorian admitted basketball was unfamiliar territory for him, he outlined how the principles of fan and member engagement were consistent between sporting organisations.

“I’m in an interesting position in that I’ve never seen an SBL game live,” he said.

“What I bring though, particularly from the Essendon fan engagement and crowd-build type background, is a fresh set of eyes to come in and really grow what we’re doing – to have big crowd attendances and lots of satisfied members.

“Our product on-court is as good as it can be in that we’re the champions. It’s the off-court side of things where we know we can really boost and strengthen what we’re doing.”

He outlined improvements to community engagement through a more professional approach to promotion.

“That includes professionalism in brands and how we’re portrayed to the community,” he said. “We’re implementing new technology to promote our brand – so that’s website and point of sale technologies.

“When people enter the stadium we want to move people quicker and more efficiently.”

He talked of an improved matchday experience, including upgrades to the kiosk, previously run by the Kailises, which would work as a revenue share between the association and private owners from February.

A coffee machine and barista will be part of the improvements.

The changes would be a short-term rejuvenation before the move to Arena Joondalup expected for mid 2017.

While there’s no denying the financial pressures basketball associations face, Britt was confident they had the funds to achieve his vision.

“The entire comms strategy in interlinking web, digital, apps and social media – that’s a big project we’re going to embark on.

“That will bear fruit in mid 2016, I would suggest. What links up nicely with the re-brand is how we effectively get ourselves ready to move to Arena Joondalup as the new Wolves.”

He labelled the West Perth Football Club as a “big brother” to the Wolves and would look to build on the “collegiate partnership between basketball and footy in this region”.

Mr Britt was familiar with West Perth chief executive David Crute because Mr Crute worked at Fremantle while he was at Essendon.

He said the tumultuous times during the Bombers’ supplements saga “certainly had its challenges” for him as a community engagement officer.

But he learnt a lot about the “passion, resolve and resilience” of sports fans.

“If you look after your fans and you communicate – not every decision they’ll be proud of – but if decisions are made because you are creating a better environment for your fans then they’ll really respect that,” he said.

“That’s something I want to bring to this region and Wanneroo basketball.

“We need to consult widely with them (the fans) and make decisions for the best of the association.”