Sunshine Coast Lightning is at the forefront of elite netball in Australia, as proven by its premiership-winning performance in the nation’s top club competition, Suncorp Super Netball (SSN). Lightning’s off-court team is also changing the way professional sporting Clubs operate. Unique membership and ticketing models and an increased focus on community involvement and fan engagement with the athletes have set it apart from rival Clubs.
The side is fortunate to have numerous industry experts and world-class athletes at its disposal. Chief Executive Officer, Danielle Smith, CA, has made a career out of her passion for sport. Having started at accounting firm, KPMG, Smith is now an Executive Director and the Chief Operating Officer of rugby league club, Melbourne Storm as well Lightning CEO. With a commerce and arts double degree to her name and 20 years’ experience, including 14 years in sport and major events, Smith was a pivotal figure in helping to establish the culture that exists today.
Smith’s finance and governance skills have been a tremendous asset, but her success is also due to a strong commercial and operational focus. Smith has taken a corporate approach with respect to revenue generation and financial sustainability and has balanced that with the need to satisfy Lightning members and fans.
The Club set the benchmark on court in 2017 and its ultimate objective is to continue winning premierships. Smith gives up her time to speak at industry events which strengthens our position in the netball fraternity as a respected business which is looking to give back where it can. Smith built a strong corporate culture to support the on-court operations, which were led by the Head Coach she appointed, Noeline Taurua.