MARTY Rowen was the right man for the job as the new General Manager of the Former Origin Greats, but the FOGS presented the right job for the man as well.
Rowen is one of Brisbane’s best sports administrators, having spent eight years at the Broncos in roles across marketing, media and business development, before his most recent role as Executive Officer to the Lord Mayor of Brisbane.
He is now tasked with helping the FOGS capitalise on the momentum created by the establishment of the new administration building to see the organisation grow and flourish in a new era.
Talking to Rowen about his new role with the FOGS, his enthusiasm and passion for the organisation are palpable and contagious, and he freely admits he has found his dream job.
“There is plenty to talk about, it is a hell of a role and a great place to be a part of,” Rowen told fogs.com.au.
“Every day I am pinching myself because it is everything that I love. All the different components of working here at FOGS are the things that I am passionate about.
“I love sponsorship, I love the commercial aspects of organisations. But I also love the care factor and giving back that FOGS are so proud of.
“I also love the strong connection to rugby league and grassroots rugby league, working together with the QRL where we can help to grow the game and using that to make a connection to Queensland communities.
“Working with FOGS, with the sensational work they have done through the ARTIE Academy with indigenous education, ticks all of the boxes.”
Rowen reports directly to FOGS Executive Chairman Gene Miles, and says his role is to oversee the commercial aspects of the business, and help build relationships with various levels of government and the private sector to help grow the FOGS’ brand and the business over the long term.
Rowen started with the FOGS in February, but has hit the ground running.
He revealed to fogs.com.au that one of the first major planks in the FOGS’ new era was a significant investment in the future of women’s rugby league.
“We are now a major sponsor of the Queensland Rugby League’s Women’s team, with the FOGS’ brand on the shorts and the back of jersey, and we are working really hard with the QRL to continue our sponsorship into other areas of the game as well,” he said.
“The relationship with the Women’s team was a natural one, with a couple of FOGS already involved with the team in Jason Hetherington as head coach and Trevor Gillmeister as his assistant for the game against NSW, which will be shown live on free-to-air TV on Friday June 22.
“We want to be at the forefront of the women’s game and support its growth and development right throughout Queensland.”
Rowen’s passion for Queensland is evident when talk turns to the work that FOGS have been doing in regional areas in recent years.
“I grew up in Rockhampton, married a Rocky girl, so regional Queensland is incredibly important to me,” he said.
“My dad was a school teacher, so growing up I went to eight different schools from the Gold Coast to Charleville, Innisfail, Boonah and Rockhampton.
“I was also a police officer for seven years, serving in different areas around the state, so I have lived and worked in regional Queensland pretty much all of my life.
“I spent eight great years at the Broncos, and I was very grateful to be able to work in and around rugby league. I have been around the game for most of my life.
“But to be involved with FOGS, who they are and what they represent, was just a unique opportunity that I wasn’t able to pass up.
“I am looking to add value and help make a difference to what they are as an organisation, through things like helping charities and communities right throughout Queensland, and their work in indigenous education.
“All of that fits in with my skill-set, but also with my value-set in so many ways.
“When you look at the FOGS as an organisation, as a Queensland brand of substance, it really was a perfect fit for me.”
His most recent role with the Office of the Lord Mayor is one Rowen thinks will have just as big an influence on his work with FOGS as his stint in rugby league-land with the Broncos.
“My role was essentially in the private secretariat that helps the Lord Mayor run the city,” he said.
“I sat next to the Lord Mayor and helped him with strategy, policy, economic development projects, solving major problems for the city. It was a fantastic role for four years.
“I still sit on the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust as a trustee for the Lord Mayor. He asked me to stay on in that role.
“So my links to charity and not-for-profits are incredibly strong. All of that has me in a good position to be a really good fit for my role here at FOGS.
“The foundations that the FOGS have built over the past 20 years is unbelievable. There is an incredible amount of success and brand awareness for us to build on.
“The exciting thing is that there is still the opportunity to grow and continue to do the work that has been going on throughout Queensland.
“We just need to build the right relationships and have the right conversations to help us to grow, and that is my long-term goal.
“My aim is to not only see us continue what we do, but grow what we do, such as expanding the work of FOGS into areas like PNG and the Northern Territory to help local communities and charities in those areas.”