Hitting the boards in US for big ideas
FIRE general manager Richard Goodbody will scour the world’s premier women’s sporting competition for ideas to bring back to improve the Townsville WNBL club as he heads to the US to visit the Phoenix Mercury.
Goodbody and Melbourne Boomers general manager Justin Nelson yesterday flew out to spend a week with the WNBA titleholders.
The Townsville boss was excited at the chance to learn from his American counterparts and see how Fire star Cayla George is faring in her debut season in the WNBA.
The Fire were the WNBL’s benchmark franchise last year with their maiden championship coming in front of a packed Townsville RSL Stadium and on the back of the best season in their 14- year history.
Townsville ranked number one in the league for television audiences, attendances and membership, and Good- body said his US trip was about ensuring the club didn’t rest on its laurels.
“The trend of where we are going is upwards but we don’t want to just tread water, we want it to be bigger and better for this coming season and every season after that,” he said.
“American sports do fan engagement better than anyone, so to be able to see how they interact with their fans in the lead- up to match days and during the match is stuff we can conceptualise when we see it and d t try to bring it back here.”
Goodbody and Nelson will be on hand to watch George and Sydney Uni Flames star Leilani Mitchell in the Mercury’s home matches against the Seattle Storm and Atlanta Dream.
“Justin had done some initial work with Phoenix with ( Boomers player) Tess Madgen being over there and it’s a great chance for us to be able to learn from the best of the business,” Goodbody said.
“I think they are the premier women’s sporting club in any code in the world at the moment, so it’s a great opportunity to be able to learn from what they do.
“The Mercury have indicated that their front office will be as open and accessible as possible, and I’m hoping there are a number of initiatives that can be implemented at the Fire.”
ON TOUR: Townsville Fire general manager Richard Goodbody has left for a factfinding mission in the US and will catch up with Fire’s championship- winning forward Cayla George ( right), who is playing with the