On Tuesday, Greg Binskin was officially appointed general manager of the Wollongong Hawks, just days after new owner James Spenceley had outlined his plans for the NBL club.
Binskin has been working in an acting manager role for several weeks.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Mercury, Binskin talks about the club’s financial situation, as well as broadening its community appeal and taking on NBL heavyweight rivals.
TAKING THE ROLE WITH THE HAWKS
"It is exciting in the sense that I have been involved with marketing the product of Wollongong for a number of years with my previous role at Destination Wollongong. To say I am a proud person to be going out and carrying our team, carrying our Destination brand to a further platform to help promote the team, the destination and the city in somewhere where my family can grow up."
ON NEW OWNER JAMES SPENCELEY
"I am inspired by his vision, I am inspired by his business acumen and I am inspired by where he wants to take this community in the next stages. It gives us [a] real significant platform to work from over the next five or six years. From day one I have seen the enthusiasm in James' eyes that he wants to make a difference. I see he sees it from a business angle, similar to me ... the real key is making sure that we have a product that people want to purchase. That is a business model and that is where our focus will be."
PROVIDING THE COMPLETE GAME DAY EXPERIENCE
"We will have flair and passion into the games, provide entertainment, reach out to people who have never been to a basketball game. Get them to come and experience what I have experienced over the years with my family and have a great night out.
"We are looking at all those entertainment aspects. Today is the first step in what we will be able to do and what we can achieve then [we] look at some budgetary requirements and then go out improve the entertainment, giving more value back to our membership and really sitting back saying this is great for the city because it improves the night time economy around that entertainment precinct."
"That is the next stage. We have got to a point where we have a significant investment coming from James. Now we can actively start recruiting, getting signatures on paper and getting a team on the court. That's the basketball side of it and we will add the flair and colour in the other parts so it will be an all round package we want to sell to people for a night out."
GOAL FOR THE YEAR
"I would like to see sellout crowds every game, people going away with smiles on their faces and the word of mouth being spread about how good it is to go out to this precinct, that also goes to driving that night time economy around this precinct. It is fantastic to see when the games are being played, the amount of red and white, in Hawks shirts walking around the streets. It is activation of our city centre. One of the outcomes that we want to focus on.
GAINING INSPIRATION FROM PERTH'S SUCCESS
"Perth is a great model to look at and I have been fortunate enough to do some research. I visited Perth and there are some exciting things that they do. We will look at all opportunities to see where we can embrace those ideas. Perth is probably one that you would sit back and say five or six years ago it wasn't where it is now. If we had a dream, if we could be like Perth it would be fantastic but [the] reality is we [have to take] one step at a time - the first step is to get out to the community."
"It is a really important thing that we start saying, [we have] been here for 35 years [and are] going to be here for another 35 years. We have to start thinking positively in the sense that it is and this is a really good positive step."