“My passion well and truly lies within the sporting landscape – be it as a player, spectator or professional in the workplace. This is always where I have set myself to be as I believe it provides the most personal enjoyment, for that love of Sport.”
Craig Robinson, Corporate Partnerships Executive at SANFL (South Australian National Football League), grew up in Adelaide and fell in love with sport at a young age.
“My two main sports were Football and Surf Lifesaving, having developed through Glenelg Football Club as a junior to playing League Football. I have been part of the State Team program with the SANFL, along with representing South Australia in Surf Lifesaving and a long association with the Seacliff Surf Club.”
Torrens established a partnership with SANFL in collaboration with the Sports Management Degree. This means students studying the bachelor or master, have the opportunity to intern and network with SANFL at all levels of the industry.
Current students Sean and Nicholas managed SANFL’s field projects, which shaped their perception of sports management on and off the field, including how critical business skills are when managing people and teams in the industry.
“Managing the SANFL field project was a unique experience. SANFL has been around for 140 years, so it’s in a league of it’s own. Everyone from the administration team, to the players, to their supporters, genuinely showed a passion for the sport and respect for their club. The work experience opportunity allowed us to experience the impact that business skills have within the sporting industry, specifically around the management of people and teams. The club is successful because everyone work’s together, they show real comradery.”
Craig’s professional journey has been varied, though mostly through sport – he prides himself of the varying roles within this journey that have helped shape him and the skillset needed to reach his long term goals.
“I have spent time in Game Development, initially with the SANFL and then as a Regional Manger at the AFL, based in Sydney. Here I learned all the skills of building rapport, selling, managing staff and Teams, marketing, working with volunteers, managing clubs, communications and time management. My next step was into Business Development where I spent 8 years with two Sports Nutrition Companies, building and launching product ranges into new markets, working with athletes and also the Adelaide Crows.
At the end of this period I launched a start up business which was primarily agency based, distributing Triathlon and Sports based product across the Asia-Pacific region. At the end of 3 years and taking the business from a garage to a commercial property with numerous staff, I sold out of this to focus on a better work life balance with a young family.
I took my ever-growing ‘tool box’ of skills and joined a Company called 99 Bikes, part of the Flight Centre Group, and helped launch 2 new retails stores into the South Australian market. It was the thrill of selling in a retail environment, working with bikes, managing teams and growing a new business that got me really motivated. It was a job that I loved doing and seeing grow.”
Torrens is excited to work with SANFL in developing a strong partnership for our students interested in perusing their passion in the sports industry. If you’re in Adelaide and have a chance to visit SANFL’s homeground, Adelaide Oval, go check out the Torrens University Cup, a football program for under 18’s.