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CMO50 #26-50: Melinda Madigan, ANZ Stadium

  • Name Melinda Madigan
  • Title General manager, marketing and membership
  • Company ANZ Stadium
  • Commenced role March 2013
  • Reporting Line Managing director
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 9 staff, 3 direct reports
  • Related

    Melinda Madigan is responsible for managing and executing ANZ Stadium’s annual marketing strategy. In line with organisational goals, her strategic aims are centred on the end-to-end customer experience.

    “This is about reinforcing the Stadium’s compelling brand position, driving retention and acquisition, and ultimately contributing to the business’s overall commercial return,” she says.

    “Key priorities include developing a single customer view to increase revenue and improve customer engagement and experience, and capitalising on the ‘connected stadium’ strategy, implementing new technology and processes as part of the organisation-wide digital, innovation and transformation strategy.”

    From the CMO50 submission

    Business contribution and innovation

    Madigan is part of a core leadership team working closely with the MD on a business-critical project around ANZ Stadium’s multi-million dollar masterplan. The strategic objective is to make Sydney’s Olympic stadium a truly world-class venue and secure its long-term future via appropriate government funding.

    Madigan is leading the planning and rollout of the project’s communications program including development of informative, high-impact marketing tools and content distributed to target segments across all electronic and digital marketing channels. This involves animated 3D fly through presentations through to online opinion polling.

    With the NSW Government announcing $600 million for Sydney stadium redevelopments, it was important that the views of the Sydney-wide community and fans of live sport and entertainment were included in decisions on what facilities should be upgraded.

    As a result, Madigan initiated and managed a Galaxy Community Opinion research project, which delivered significant findings that were instrumental in the strategic and highly publicised public and political campaign.

    Key communication outcomes to date include:

    • Providing clarity to key stakeholders (internal and external) across all project milestones around the Stadium’s masterplan, and Government funding announcements
    • Reinforcing to stakeholders the current and future community and commercial benefits the redeveloped stadium will deliver
    • Encouraging stakeholders to publicly voice their support for the ANZ’s redevelopment to drive Government funding consideration
    • Communicating to all stakeholders the key findings from the Galaxy Community opinion piece and Sydney’s support for ANZ Stadium.

    Modern marketing and customer engagement thinking and effectiveness

    An example of marketing in action at ANZ Stadium was during the recent Sydney visit of the English Premier League giants, Tottenham Hotspur, who participated in a one-off, four-day fan engagement tour including an historic match at ANZ Stadium in front of 72,000 fans.

    ANZ Stadium and Destination NSW formed a unique partnership to produce this event, and the Stadium acted as both host venue and event promoter.This coincided with the iconic Vivid Sydney, so a major event marketing partnership was formed to showcase Sydney, create unique experiences, and amplify the campaign.

    Madigan led a strategic multimedia campaign focused on event brand development and positioning, consumer awareness, fan engagement and ticket sales across paid, owned and third-party platforms. This achieved strong national and international reach and contributed to the success of all campaign objectives/strategies including:

    • Positioning the event as a ‘must-see football blockbuster’ among all target segments and leveraging Tottenham’s global brand
    • Maximising public sales: Targeted/direct campaigns achieved 27,880 pre-sale, while final attendance was 71,549, exceeding KPI targets by 19 per cent
    • Maximising intra/interstate/OS ticket sales: 19,568 visitors outside Sydney contributed
    • Positioning brand Sydney to local/global markets via PR initiatives and consumer promotions
    • Staging world-first Tottenham Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb and consumer promotion that drove significant media value
    • Staging world-first bridge pylon projections, part of Vivid Sydney, with content beamed globally
    • Running an intensive #SPURSINSYDNEY social media program, chalking up total reach of 1 million impressions and more than 50,000 interactions.

    $8 million to local economy and exceeded KPI visitor targets by 57 per cent

    Data and/or technology driven approach

    Soon after commencing her role in March 2013, Madigan successfully campaigned to create a digital marketing manager role responsible for strategic development/management of ANZ Stadium’s multiple online/digital marketing and sales channels. Since then, set digital marketing KPIs have continually been exceeded including campaign conversions, Web visitation, social KPIs, SEO rankings, website goal conversion targets and app downloads.

    In addition, Madigan was part of a leadership working group that initiated a strategic project, based on data strategy deficiencies, to explore and recommend how to best deal with increasing technology and innovation opportunities.

    Key opportunities identified were:

    • Determination of whether the core business system and CRM is appropriate for current/future business and if not, identify a suitable alternative
    • Data collection and storage strategies, technology and resourcing
    • Ongoing development of the stadium’s website and app including enhanced ecommerce functionality
    • Improved customer services including online food and beverage ordering and loyalty/reward programs
    • E-ticketing and in-stadium online ordering for corporates and members.

    The recommendations prompted the business to create and appoint a new project director for data, innovation and business integration. This role brings together the views of the entire business and is focused on developing a long-term strategic plan for technical innovation, data management and business systems focused on improving business and customer outcomes.


    An example of creativity at ANZ Stadium is its work around the Sydney Olympics anniversary celebrations. September 2015 marked 15 years since the Sydney 2000 Olympics at ANZ Stadium, the biggest stadium in Olympics history.

    Madigan initiated a marketing program with heavy social media content engagement and media coverage designed to:Unite and engage all of Sydney/Australia in a celebration of the Olympics; reinforce the valuable role ANZ Stadium has and continues to play in the state’s sporting, entertainment and economic landscape.

    A series of activations relived historic moments and tapped into people’s emotions and memories. The stadium also launched a 16-day ‘Favourite Sydney Olympics Memories’ consumer promotion aimed at sharing photographic and video content across the community.

    Another part of the ongoing creative process for Madigan is developing and nurturing solid relationships with key print and electronic media agencies to deliver ‘money can’t buy’ experiences to fans. One such example was a Daily Telegraph reader promotion where a lucky reader won the once in a lifetime opportunity to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the entire Tottenham Hotspur team during their Sydney visit. This generated significant amplification of the Tottenham visit and substantial additional campaign media value.

    On the customer retention front, ANZ Stadium has also introduced a formal two-year strategic member insight and satisfaction research program and identified key retention indicators that will help drive future creative efforts.

    In addition, marketing has developed new member engagement strategies including online ticketing platform enhancements, online and in-stadium members’ concierge, member-exclusive event day courtesy shuttle, new Fresh Food outlets, and a members’ e-calendar that syncs new events, event updates and reminders with personal electronic calendars.

    Member satisfaction indicators have risen by 10 per cent year-on-year and unsolicited feedback has been strong, with retention also up year-on-year, Madigan said.

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