As a Sydney Swans member, I receive regular communications from the club that keep me informed and feeling involved with my team’s progress.

This strengthens my connection to the team and encourages me to renew my membership each year.

Of course, the Swans are not alone in their efforts to connect with members. Over recent years, all the clubs in the Australian Football League have become more sophisticated in their communication strategies.

In the superannuation industry, as competition ramps up and funds battle to connect with their members, there are many lessons to learn from sporting codes such as the AFL.

New technologies are making it easier for all sorts of organisations, be they footy clubs or super funds, to connect with members. The challenge is figuring out how best to use them without overloading people or losing the personal touch. Technology is developing so quickly that the latest thing soon becomes obsolete. Funds with limited resources have to decide which technology best suits their member base and allocate resources accordingly.

That is why I am so delighted that Richmond Tigers chief executive Brendon Gale has agreed to open the 2018 FEAL Fund Executive Forum with a keynote presentation on how his club has built strong and lasting relationships with its members.

Connections is the theme for the 2018 forum, to be held at The Melbourne Business School, Carlton on March 1. The program includes thought leaders from within our own industry and outside it, and dedicates time to exploring how fund executives can best connect with their brands, boards, members and contributing employers.

Cbus Super chief executive David Atkin will deliver a presentation on how the construction industry fund is promoting its brand. VicSuper executive manager, marketing, insights and experience, Sara Daymond, will share a case study on how the fund is building and maintaining connections with its members.

From academia, the University of Melbourne’s Simon Bell will examine why super funds need to promote their brand.

Professional non-executive director Katherine Woodthorpe will share lessons from outside the super industry on how executives can improve the quality of their working relationship with the board, while Qantas Super chair Anne Ward will bring insights from within the industry on how to improve the effectiveness of interactions between the board and executive team.

A range of other speakers will be confirmed in coming weeks.

In designing the program, our aim is to provide an opportunity for fund executives to share their thoughts and ideas on how best to achieve these goals. Time will be allocated for group discussion to facilitate peer learning − an important part of what the FEAL Fund Executive Forum offers. For more information on the program or to register, please visit the FEAL website.

Join the discussion