Bulldogs appoint first female CEO in Australian rugby league in 15 years

Raelene Castle

We certainly do not see it very often but it is a fantastic move forward for both the Canterbury Bulldogs and the NRL, with the club appointing New Zealand Netball CEO Raelene Castle as their new Chief Executive Officer.

With her official duties to commence on July 15, Castle has been CEO of NZ Netball for the past 6 years and oversaw growth in commercial and broadcast revenue during her tenure there.

With Castle also having experience in the marketing sector, having worked for Telecom, Fuji Xerox and the Bank of New Zealand, Bulldogs Chairman Ray Dib says getting Castle on board is a great coup for the club.

“Raelene was the standout applicant from a list of high quality candidates made up of sporting and business leaders from around the world,” Dib said.

“Her combination of business and marketing acumen coupled with her experience with high-performance athletes was unrivalled.

“Under Raelene’s leadership, the Bulldogs can move forward into a new era with great confidence.

“It is also a watershed moment for the Bulldogs with the appointment of our first female Chief Executive and we’re delighted to welcome Raelene to the Club.”

Castle is also no stranger to rugby league, with her father Bruce Castle captaining the New Zealand Kiwis side that played against the Australian Kangaroos in the 1960’s.

“I have grown up with Rugby League. I believe my appreciation of its history and the importance of the game to the Australian sporting landscape will be an excellent platform for the business acumen I bring to this role,” Castle said.

“The strong governance, sound financial standing, alongside the priority the Bulldogs place on community engagement provide with me an excellent opportunity to continue the substantial growth the business has shown in recent times.

“I am excited for the opportunities ahead for this Club and for Rugby League and I will look to continue a Bulldogs tradition of innovation and strong leadership to ensure we can make the most of them.”