Since 1885, the Richmond Football Club (RFC) has been an active member and competitor of the elite Australian Football League (AFL). Based in Richmond, Melbourne, the RFC is one of the oldest and most famous Clubs in Australia. The RFC is also home to the largest membership base in the AFL – 100,000 members – the first Club to ever reach this impressive figure.
Employing 180 staff (full time, part time and casual) and 45 AFL footballers, the RFC is a unique operational environment. For many employees, half the year is spent in a week-to-week cycle based on the AFL football fixture, while others are engaged with programs, initiatives and deliverables that span the entire calendar year. Richmond’s operational structure comprises of a Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and a senior executive team overseeing each of the Club’s departments: football operations, communications and marketing, consumer business, finance and administration, people and culture and commercial operations.
The Club’s core business is football: a membership-based organisation in a high-performance, elite sporting environment. Its main product offerings include fan experiences, merchandise, corporate sponsorships and engagements, community initiatives, and health and sport participation. Adhering to the regulations of an elite sporting code and catering to the needs of thousands of passionate fans also means that the Club navigates a dynamic media landscape, receiving a great deal of weekly scrutiny over its on-field and off-field performance. With 11 AFL premierships to its name, over $80 million in yearly turnover, and consistent on-field outcomes, the Club has demonstrated admirable success. Yet while premierships might be the ‘ultimate’ goal in this competitive industry, the RFC’s definition of success relies just as much as what it accomplishes off the field.
At Richmond, culture is everything, and ‘how’ the Club succeeds is essential as the success itself. Through an alignment of vision, purpose and a dynamic strategic platform, the Club has successfully cultivated a ‘Strong & Bold’ Club culture that uses football to work to a greater purpose: inspiring and serving the broader community through a range of industry-leading initiatives. Over the past decade, the Club has thus positioned itself as a leader in the areas of cultural diversity, inclusivity, gender equality, and the advancement of reconciliation with Indigenous Australia.
Much more than a football Club competing at the elite level, Richmond is a highly purpose-driven organisation with a bold vision behind it. Above all, it recognises how important a thriving culture is to the Club’s activities on and off the field. Launched formally in 2018, the Club’s Cultural Foundations Pathway distils its vision to be a ‘Strong & Bold’ Premiership Club. Founded on a strengths-based philosophy, this Club culture embraces imperfections while encouraging the strengths of each and every employee. ‘Connecting to Thrive and Win’ is the Club’s primary strategic purpose, and is based on a code of four primary values: Aware, Disciplined, Relentless and United that players and staff follow. These values are underpinned by behaviours that are visible, developable and measurable and that staff can hold each other to account to.