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Friday, 12 Apr 2013

King of Pies Eddie McGuire beams black and white laser light on caravan industry direction

Eddie McGuire leadership in black and white
Eddie McGuire leadership
in black and white

By Garth Morrison Editor GoSeeAustralia

Eddie McGuire talks sense about market loyalty. The subject of his presentation is leadership. His audience, workshirts to suits, is a bald statement of change in the caravanning industry.

So Eddie McGuire nails his colours to the leadership mast right off. Stand by your brand. says the President of the AFL's Collingwood Football Club. "The only colours Collingwood wears on its guernseys is black and white, or white and black". You have worked too hard to throw away your brand and right now you are selling a holiday experience", he says.

The backdrop industry banners behind him show that nationally the caravanning industry is already reaching for the marketing clarity of a black and white message.

'Make Some Memories' is the industry call to action for Holiday Australia and the journalist in McGuire grabs the story line. He, notably, does not use notes.

His next question challenges the room. "What is your happiest memory?", he askes. There is some half embarassed, uncertain shuffling. Then McGuire really tests the establishment envelope with a New Age invitation to - "Close your eyes and think about your happiest memory".
Manicured Etihad playing surface
Manicured Etihad playing surface

For the cross section of rusted on industry stalwarts in the elite Medallion Club luncheon room at manicured Etihad Stadium, in Melbourne's Docklands wearing hearts on sleeves is a big call.

For some its like being asked to dance a role in Swan Lake. Or maybe admitting reading Depak Chopra. But the Caravan Industry Australia Victorian Division guest list includes the essential engredient to major change - woman.

McGuire works the female flexibility angle hard. The guest list is also seasoned with fresh faces in well cut suits from 'can do' support industries like major banking, legal and IT.

So McGuire hits the mark and the uncertain follow the leaders.

"I remember putting my hand in my father's big paw as he took me to the footy and the pie we had", he said

The King of the Pies slams laser light clarity on the essence of a great, proud football club, built by battlers for battlers in a terrible time when often the only happiness in a soul-killing life of struggle, grime and grind was the rock solid togetherness of Collingwood's Army of fans.

A walk in the nearby tarted up Docklands reveals men were routinely badly injured, even died to support their families on Melbourne's dangerous wharves.
Etihad Stadium Melbourne
Etihad Stadium Melbourne

It is from this kind of reality the Collingwood focus comes and McGuire honors the togetherness of the faithful. The fans come first in his world.

He kids you not. The club believes that every Collingwood fan is equal, he says. His touch is diplomatically light as he mentions the potential dollar barrier to fans of the Etihad Medallion Club at Etihad venue in the context of Magpie equality. But it is a factor in Collingwood's Olympic Park training ground decision, he says.

It provides an MCG sized training base equal to anything in the world for the biggest sporting club in Australia.

Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Victoria, (CITAVic) President Peter May and CEO Rob Lucas say they see caravanning industry growth is tied to working to create a bigger Australian caravanning fan base. It also means dealing at high level with government both State and Federal.
Melbourne Docklands
Melbourne Docklands

The industry togetherness has been taking up McGuire's Collingwood message in recent years. The Leadership session at Etihad reinforces that direction.

The heavy hitters in the Etihad Medallion Lounge session included Stuart Lamont, CEO of the industries national entity CRVA and Victoria's caravan park leading VicParks represented by President Steve Bartlett and CEO Elizabeth White.

The caravanning industry is on the move upmarket so your correspondent expects to spend more time in a suit.

Editors Note: A byline on a GoSee story indicates opinion.

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory

Caravan Industry Australia (Victorian Trades Division)
Caravan Industry Australia (Victorian Trades Division)

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