In the AFL today, there is one team that is clearly dominant: the Hawthorn Football Club. Having featured in the last four grand finals and won the last three premierships, Hawthorn is a force to be reckoned with. As well as being an on-field success, the club is financially independent, something many other sporting organisations cannot claim.

Stuart Fox has been CEO of Hawthorn since 2009, when then president of the club Jeff Kennett asked him to come on board. He has a long history in the sporting industry, having worked for the Geelong Football Club for nine years, and before that in sport and recreation in local government.

Two years into his tenure as CEO, Stuart was asked by the Hawthorn Board to develop a new business plan for the club. “The business plan we developed is called ‘All for One’ and it runs from 2013 to 2017,” Stuart explains. “It is centred on Hawthorn being the destination club for staff, players, members, and fans.”

The plan sets out six strategic pillars to ensure Hawthorn meets its vision. The pillars cover football, commercial operations, financial management, people and culture, fan and community engagement, and facilities.

Stuart sees two important elements when it comes to being the destination club: “The two key priorities for Hawthorn are on-field success, and strong engagement and respect from our members. Every part of our business, including our digital and communication strategies, focuses on benefiting our members and fans.