Had you told me back in 1980 that the best Aussie Rules team in Australia would come from Sydney while Australia’s top Rugby League team would be based in Melbourne, I would have laughed at you.
Then I would have backed away slowly and perhaps arranged to have you locked away in a rubber room.
Yet here we are in 2012 and that’s exactly what has happened.
Of course, the traditionalist in me is outraged over this. Both sports were better in the good ol’ days. Nothing quite like having a pie in the outer at Arctic Park or Windy Hill to build character, I say.
In my book, ear biting aside, both sports have gone too soft as well. Bring back the biff I say!
That being said, there is an important business lesson to be learnt.
When the old VFL and NSWRL expanded nationally through the 1980s and 1990s, both codes made a decision to use growth in their traditional states to make long-term investments in non-traditional markets.
For both codes, it was touch-and-go at times. In 1993, for example, it looked like not even Ron Barassi and Dermott Brereton would be enough to save the Sydney Swans. I probably don’t need to remind anyone of the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal.
While the payoff was not always clear, the decision to stand by an investment in developing a non-traditional market has paid off for both codes in the long-term.
The lesson for your business is simple. Don’t be afraid to make investments in the long-term growth of your business, even if the payoff is not immediately evident.
Get it done – today!