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Sport Sydney Sixers' general manager Jodie Hawkins says the club stands for something bigger than sport

05:40  17 february  2020
05:40  17 february  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The Sydney Sixers ' Jodie Hawkins is the only female general manager in the BBL, but she says times are changing and there is a pathway for women in sport 's administration.

Sydney Sixers General Manager Jodie Hawkins applauded the Cricket Australia announcement, reaffirming the club ’s commitment to embracing important social responsibility. “It is not right in today’s society that people are discriminated against, harassed or excluded, because of who they are

a person smiling for the camera: Jodie Hawkins used to come to the SCG as a supporter, but now runs the Sydney Sixers as their general manager. (Supplied: Cricket NSW)© Provided by ABC Grandstand Jodie Hawkins used to come to the SCG as a supporter, but now runs the Sydney Sixers as their general manager. (Supplied: Cricket NSW) The Sydney Sixers are still basking in their Big Bash League victory, proving once again they are a franchise that sets the standard in the men's and women's competitions.

Their success has been in large part thanks to general manager Jodie Hawkins — the only woman to hold that position in the WBBL/BBL.

And the Sixers' former marketing and communications manager is passionate about building a club whose legacy extends far beyond the cricket pitch.

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Jodie Hawkins has been appointed General Manager of the Sydney Sixers . The Sixers ’ Marketing and Communications Manager for the past seven seasons, Hawkins previously held similar roles with the NRL clubs the Sydney Roosters and Parramatta. She replaces Dom Remond, who has left to

Advantage Sydney though, I say . FOX SPORTS Cricket (@FOXCricketLive). Strange days indeed. He’s on early here for the Sixers and that has perhaps taken this batting pair by surprise. Lyon concedes only a single to Marsh in his first five deliveries and Klinger can’t get the last one away either.

She spoke to Niav Owens as part of Grandstand's Trailblazing Women in Sport Series.

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Sydney Sixers General Manager Dom Remond said the Club was expecting a big turnout at North Sydney Oval for the match. “The Sixers are very excited about hosting the BCB XI at North Sydney Oval as a lead into BBL06,” Remond said . “The local Bangladesh community will have the opportunity

Sydney Sixers Academy squad has been named for BBL|07, and will have specialist coaching from men's Head Coach Greg Shipperd. In particular, Avendano, Menenti and Malone had excellent seasons in Premier Cricket last summer, including some standout performances in the Kingsgrove

What drew you into sports administration?

I was a dancer growing up so I have never played a team sport in my life, I have no idea how I landed in sport. But I've always really enjoyed watching rugby league, watching cricket. I used to come with the Fanatics and get dressed up and sit in one of the bays over in the Trumper Stand, before it was the Trumper Stand and watch a day's Test match cricket.

I've always loved watching live sport and for me now that I'm an administrator, I need to be emotionally involved in the work in order to do my best work. I stepped away from rugby league in 2011 and went to work at a PR agency which was a great experience, but it really showed that sport is where my passion absolutely lies and I love working with people.

Seeing people achieve what we as a group set out to achieve gives me this great sense of satisfaction and feeling like I'm helping others be the best they can be, that's the part that I love.

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Sixers General Manager Dominic Remond said the upcoming Big Bash season was a feast for cricket fans across NSW. “We are very excited with the expansion of the BBL season and to play an additional game at the SCG,” he said . “We have set our sights on creating a new record for both the BBL and

Sydney Sixers , Sydney , Australia. 869,336 likes · 42,949 talking about this. The Sixers are the Rock Stars of the KFC T20 Big Bash League and Rebel Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. See actions taken by the people who manage and post

It is a male-dominated industry, how have you navigated that over the years and have you watched it change?

It's definitely changing. I've always been quite lucky that I've had really good managers who were very supportive of me as a female in this role [and] I think I'm probably the right type of personality.

I don't take a lot of stuff particularly seriously. I've got pretty thick skin but I also don't have a big horror story.

I remember the first time I ever had to address a group of athletes, it was at the [Parramatta] Eels. It was a fan day and I had to go in, they'd just finished training, they had showered, towels on, sitting there and I had to address this group of 25 to 30 men about what we were doing for the fan day and I was a 25-year-old female.

I think ever since then, just being able to do that, front up. That's a skill in me that's really grown and developed over the time.

But I've always had managers who've totally believed in me including my predecessor here, Don Remond at the Sixers and Andrew Jones who was the chief executive who put me into this role.

I would say the key skill in being a female and being in this role has been my ability to develop and maintain relationships. That has absolutely been critical because that is the one thing that they all like about working with me, is that we maintain really good relationships.

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And I think that's a specific skill that women do tend to have over men. We are particularly good at developing and maintaining relationships, and now being a general manager that's effectively what my role is so I kind of feel that it's a bit more in my benefit to be a female working in this area than a male because there is a different level of expectation of you, but you also bring a really different skill set.

It's clearly an area and a job that you're really passionate about. It's still one, despite the changes over the years, that is dominated by men, so how do we make sports administration more appealing to women and give women those opportunities to succeed in this space?

I'm not one to toot my own horn, the only reason I do these sorts of interviews and public speaking is because I think a lot of it is just a lack of understanding that there is a pathway in sport for female administrators … and it's not that you need to be a sport lover.

There are roles within membership, in ticketing, so there are consumer and business roles. There are PR and marketing roles, there are sponsorship management type roles. These are all roles that exist everywhere in business, not just in sport.

It's just having women understand that there is this opportunity and not being afraid to take the step into it. Because I think you'll find once you get in, there's a lot more support than you realise.

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These days we talk about the brand of the Sydney Sixers. How do you go about rationalising and working with the brand, but also the fact that fans don't see the Sixers as a brand they see it as a club that they're passionate about?

I think the two need to exist together. So brand for me is just what it looks like from the outside in.

We've done a lot of work in the last 12 months about what our brand looks like, but our brand is based on inclusion.

The Sydney Sixers stand for inclusion at the core of what we do. This is why we work with LGBT groups, Indigenous groups, disabilities groups. We want cricket to be a sport for all and that's what we want our brand to look like from the outside in.

For me it's less commercial these days, it's less about how do we stick a headline or a tagline on something and try and sell you something. My belief is your club needs to stand for something more than just on-field success and that's what your brand needs to look like.

You can have a brand, but if your players and your staff aren't living what that brand looks like then people will see it for what it is, which is a commercial slogan and not something that you want to absolutely live by.

And that'll be huge for the Big Bash moving forward because the Big Bash came in as this new, shiny, loud commodity across the Australian summer and made a massive impact. How do you now regenerate and make sure that you continue to grow and attract the fans that we've seen flock to the BBL in previous years?

It's funny our first brand piece when the Sixers were gifted over to Cricket New South Wales was that we were the rock stars of the Big Bash League, which is hilarious when you look back at all the stuff we used to do, it makes me laugh.

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We're probably going through some growing pains at the moment, our crowds haven't been at the peak they were two or three years ago and there's a lot of reasons for that.

A lot of it is that you tend to settle into a tournament which does happen after seven or eight years. I think we had a bit of an unnatural seven-year time frame because our first two years were just on Fox and then, when we stepped onto free to air in BBL03, that first five-year period was quite big so I think some of the growing pains have been pushed back a little bit.

We have to be comfortable continuing to innovate, but we also have to be comfortable in allowing ourselves to settle into a rhythm. We went from three home games in the first year to four home games per season for another period, into five and then seven.

Cricket has traditionally been an event in each of the markets, it's not seen as a season in the same way that the winter codes are, and we haven't really marketed that properly yet.

We're kind of having to take a step back and review those sorts of things. Part of it is the regional market access that we're trying to get. We took a game to Coffs Harbour this year which was a brilliant match, [it] was an absolute success and we absolutely loved it so we're really keen to get back there.

So part of it is limiting supply in the market. The other part is we need to continue to evolve our brand proposition to fans because we're not the new flashy toy anymore, so what reason are we giving people to continue to follow us?

Yes there's great cricket, yes we put on a great event at the SCG and anywhere else that we play, but what is pulling at people's heartstrings, what is keeping them engaged and wanting them to attend two or three matches instead of one or two?

One of the big evolutions for the game this season was the standalone WBBL season that we had at the start of the summer. We're just about to kick off the Women's World Cup, you're a champion of that. How significant will this tournament be for women's sport in Australia?

It's going to be huge and the really exciting part is it actually should give us another kick start for women's sport, not just cricket, but women's sport in the country.

We've come a long way since WBBL01, a long way! Oh my God, some of the decisions that we made back then that we thought we were doing a really great job with; I look back now I think we'd never make that decision again!

The quality of cricket, the quality of women's sport in general, has evolved so far in the last five years, [so] the World Cup is almost a reset. [Saying,] 'Okay that's where we're at, that's where we've gotten to now, how do we leverage off the back of the World Cup and something that puts Australia, from a women's sport point of view, on the international stage?'

'How do we use that as the springboard into the next evolution of women's sport and how we're continuing to drive our sport forward?'

I don't mean just cricket, because I believe at the moment a rising tide lifts all boats, all women's sport should be actively supporting each other to continue to lift.

For me, it's really a moment in time that we're going to own and then use as a lever to what is the future of women's sport in our country.

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