The Melbourne Storm celebrate on the podium after winning the 2012 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.
The Melbourne Storm celebrate on the podium after winning the 2012 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

World class Melbourne Storm side sold off by News Limited

DESPITE being based in an AFL-mad sports market, new Melbourne Storm CEO Mark Evans sees potential for his club to grow stronger in coming years.

It was the end of an era for the Storm yesterday, sold by News Limited which has been the club's owner since it entered the NRL in 1998.

Private consortium Holding MS Australia, put together by New Zealand entrepreneur Bart Campbell, is the new owner.

Campbell is non-executive chairman of international sports management and sports marketing company TLA Worldwide, while Evans was the chief executive of English rugby club Harlequins.

"It's a one-club town and the trending numbers and average crowd numbers are moving in the right direction," Evans said.

"The playing side is world class. We think the previous 15 years has been an incredible achievement, but there's still more opportunities."

The Storm's sale means the Brisbane Broncos are now the sole remaining NRL asset of the company which once ran the competition.

Outgoing Storm CEO Ron Gauci echoed Evans's thoughts, saying the club was now able to stand on its own two feet.


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