Are you changing the name or logo?
Not at all.
They are the Newcastle Knights, proudly wearing red and blue. The “Our Knights, Once Chance” logo is purely for this campaign and designed to talk to everyone with a love of the Knights be they in Newcastle or further afield in Coffs, Dubbo or Gosford. So please be assured this is all about keeping the Knights in Newcastle supported by the passion of the entire region.
What do I get for a $500 share?
Along with a sense of pride in being an owner and contributing to the club's ongoing success there are other benefits to be had.
Shareholders have a legitimate say in the business. You will be entitled to a vote per shareholding. Allowing you to have input in club matters including a vote each year for Directors.
An official share certificate to frame and hang in your home or business. This share holding can only be bequeathed.
Access to the owners only merchandise store and owners only events and other services by using your share certificate number and password.
Owners receive discounted membership, merchandise and other services. We will, also be partnering with local businesses to provide Knights owners with the opportunity of receiving discounted goods and services.
A “Knights Owner” sticker for your business or shopfront.
Approved private and corporate vehicle stickers.
The pride of knowing that you have invested in the broader community and help to retain to $80 million plus in overflow spending that having a locally based NRL club provides to local businesses.
IS THIS CRAZY?
This opportunity is where passion and sound business knowledge collide.
The heart of the club has always been the fans. Now the Knights have a chance to be a leader, the first club in the NRL to be run as a not for profit to truly benefit the fans and the community. We are not reinventing the wheel. This has been successfully achieved by fans just like you. Based on a similar model to the Green Bay Packers who are the only community owned club in the NFL.
COULD NEWCASTLE REALLY DO WHAT THE GREEN BAY PACKERS DID?
In short, YES.
The Green Bay Packers are based in Wisconsin which has a population of 104,057. The regional catchment area brings the total to 306,241 people. The Knights by comparison, including Newcastle and Lake Macquarie alone have a population of 400,000. However the catchment area in the community-model plan includes reinvigorating the surrounding regions of Hunter Valley, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, New England and Orana. Between them we will reach a population of over 1.5 million people. We can do this!
WHY NOT JUST WAIT FOR A PRIVATE BUYER?
Football has become big business...
…and in its current business climate, the sustainability of a football club is determined not only by success on the field, but also by success off the field. Sporting success could be eroded by financial difficulties as the Knights have experienced this first hand! Savvy business operators have the expectation that when they purchase a company, they will turn a profit. If an owner comes in with this motivation and no connection to the region, it has the risk of being another short term fix. Run as an organisation committed to reinvesting profits by people with a stake in the region and a long term plan, the sole motivation becomes pride, passion and what is good for the community.
WHY NOT JUST LEAVE THE LICENCE WITH THE NRL?
Thankfully the NRL have been willing to maintain the licence, which for now keeps the team in Newcastle.
However, this is only a stop gap measure and the NRL will continue to actively look for a buyer. For the reasons outlined above, that would not be the ideal outcome.
ARE THE COMMUNITY FACILITATORS MAKING ANY MONEY OUT OF THIS?
These seven people have come together, all with their own business acumen, regional knowledge and passion for not only the Knights but the success of the community and region as a whole. They know that a solid structure at the Knights ensures a thriving club, and social, sporting and economic benefits for the entire region. They are giving up their time and their extensive knowledge because they believe this is the best, and possibly the only way forward to achieve long term viability. They are all planning to put their money where their passion is and purchase shares when the opportunity presents itself, in addition to facilitating this process.
IS THERE A REALISTIC FINANCIAL PLAN?
Based on the available information that the Facilitators have at hand, they are developing a detailed financial and structural plan, which allows for a reduction of annual losses over the initial three years as the club builds toward a profitable trading model.
Sales of shares will be undertaken ideally during the first and second quarter of 2017. Target capital raising up to $20 million. All of the funds will be held in a Trust Account and should milestones not be achieved during 2017 hence requiring termination of the campaign then all money will be returned in full to shareholders.
Assuming that the club is trading profitably after Year 3 there will be a surplus available up to $7.5 million.
The purchase of shares for $500 each is completely independent of Membership of the Knights, however it is envisaged that shareholders will get a lifetime discount on the costs of membership, merchandise and other services.
It is proposed the existing Knights will transition to community ownership. The community will not pay for the License. The community will accept responsibly for the Knights long term future through ownership.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
The community Facilitators made a pitch to the NRL outlining this model in response to the expression of interested sale campaign.
The Facilitators were encouraged that the NRL stated a preference for a strategy that is locally focused and with the long term view of the club in mind. The NRL are supportive of the idea but appreciate that there needs to be a solid plan and identified community involvement, which is now underway. We consider three months is an appropriate time frame for our community to prove that the passion is there in the region for this community ownership model.
Every Grand Final Newcastle has played in, it has won. Every time the team has had a chance to step up for the big prize, they have done it. Now is our time: this is it, our one chance, our one opportunity. Let’s do this together.
Please also jump on to Facebook and like our page https://www.facebook.com/ourknightsonechance/
Our Knights – One Chance – Share the Future.