A lifelong cricketer, Alex shares his experiences and insights after first discovering Last Man Stands in Canberra, Australia a few years after finishing his grade cricket career.
Why I turned Franchisee from Team Organiser
In 2017, I co-founded the well-known Fargoff Yorout team, better known to LMS fans globally as the Goffs, who have gone on to achieve great things both on and off the field. It was through leading the Goffs that I fell in love with the LMS format and saw the huge potential it had to deliver great social outcomes through its inclusive, fun and fast format, engaging communities and individuals that aren’t always suited to the more traditional forms of the game.
With Port Macquarie on the picturesque Mid-North Coast of NSW, as my home town, I was offered the opportunity to take on the Port Macquarie region and utilise the existing network and connections in the area to get LMS back up and running following the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Then, after 20 years living in the national capital, I relocated from Canberra to the Gold Coast. With the Port Macquarie region now back up and running and slowly starting to build, I was then asked to also take on the Tweed Coast region. This region straddles the NSW/QLD border, covering the Tweed Heads area at the top of NSW and the Southern half of the Gold Coast just above the border in QLD. This Tweed Coast region had ceased all LMS competitions during the pandemic, due to the strict QLD Border regulations in place across a prolonged period meaning competitions were not viable.
Alex with his team, Fargoff Yorout (‘The Goffs’)
Bringing professional experience and skills to build & grow a Franchise
Professionally, I work in the Executive Sports Management field, leading Australia’s Olympic High Performance Programs chasing medal success on the world stage. With the Paris 2024 Olympics now only one year away, I am busy helping Australia’s best athletes to qualify and then prepare themselves to perform on the world’s biggest stage. It’s this sports management background, which has given me the experience, knowledge and skills to successfully run an LMS franchise.
Alex Vallentine, LMS Port Macquarie & LMS Tweed Franchise Owner
Plan for success!
While acknowledging there are many FO’s around Australia with more experience than me, I have learned during my time as a Franchise Owner that to be successful you need to focus on:
The Consumer: players and teams need to be considered consumers, not just participants. It is only by understanding what the consumer needs and expects, that allows you to meet this need and exceed their expectations. Retaining consumers is a lot easier than attracting new ones, so the key is to do everything you can to ensure a happy and satisfied end user experience
The Planning: to be successful you need a plan and the plan must include an optimal timeline for execution of logistics and activity. Trying to do things last minute, or in a half-organised way, leads to poor outcomes and often a dissatisfying end user experience
The Strategy: where do you want to go, and why? Your strategy should inform your plan, approach and activity. Everything you do should progress things towards your end goal, even if that means starting slowly to cement the approach and then seeking growth and progress from there
A Creative Approach to Challenges is the only way!
I believe that when you are facing challenges and obstacles, you need to get creative and innovative to overcome them. Don’t get dismayed the first time something doesn’t work, or you don’t get the answer you want. Go back, consider, look at alternate angles to achieve the same outcomes and then action them.
Taking People on Your Journey
Building strong relationships has been key to my early success in getting LMS back up and running in both Port Macquarie and Tweed Coast regions. Relationships with local cricket clubs, associations, facility owners, other sporting organisations and the broader community are vital to being able to build the participation levels of LMS.
At every level, sport is about the passion. LMS is the perfect vehicle to tap into people’s passion for the game of cricket, no matter their situation, experience or skill level.
LMS Community is wide– Regional, National & Global
The other hugely attractive thing that LMS offers participants is a sense of community. There is community at all levels; the local region community, national community and of course the global LMS community. The amazing part of World Rankings for both players and teams, is the ability for players to compare themselves to everyone else right across the world.
Alex and the umpiring team
What I’d advise any new Franchisee…
In terms of advice for anyone considering becoming an LMS FO, the key is having:
Passion for both cricket in general and the LMS format
The capacity to devote the required time to making it a success
The ability to effectively communicate to a diverse range of stakeholders who all require different messaging
I believe that LMS is on a hugely positive upward trajectory and that we will only see more people participating in this great format of the game globally, in more countries and more locations, more often!