• Black Knights head coach Steve Corica has won two A-League Championships and one A-League Premiership as both a player and coach.
  • American billionaire and Auckland FC owner Bill Foley. His Black Knight Sports organisation also has interests in USA ice hockey club Vegas Golden Knights, English Premier League club AFC Bournemouth, French Ligue One club FC Lorient and Scottish football club Hibernian FC.
  • Auckland FC owner Bill Foley and CEO Nick Becker.
  • Nick Becker speaking at the official launch of the club.
  • Auckland FC CEO Nick Becker at Go Media Stadium, Mount Smart. He has previously worked in football with English club’s Arsenal and Manchester City as well as A-League club Melbourne City.
Tags: Sports

Auckland FC – Your new home team!

North Shore football lovers will be eagerly awaiting the debut season of Auckland’s new professional A-League team, Auckland FC. While they will be playing their home games at Go Media Stadium (Mount Smart), their training base is at North Harbour Stadium and they see North Shore as an important area of their catchment. Local Shore business Benefitz, publisher of Channel Magazine, is thrilled to be a key partner of the new club with the supply of printing and signage. Aidan Bennett caught up with Auckland FC chief executive Nick Becker in late June to talk about their plans for season one.

If there was a blueprint for setting up a new professional sports club then Auckland FC looks to be about perfect: The world's biggest game, wealthy and successful owners with proven track records, topped off with an enthusiastic and experienced management team. Tick, tick, tick!
The man leading the sports start-up is Nick Becker. For Nick, landing the job in the football hot seat meant being able to return with his family to his home patch and do what he loves – sport and events.
A young Nick Becker left Auckland in 2003 for his OE in London. He landed a job in music events before moving to start his long association with football. That role was working in sponsorship and events for O2, largely its football sponsorship strategy that involved iconic English club Arsenal. Five years later he moved to become head of events at Manchester City Football Club. He stayed at Manchester City for four years before moving back down-under to a role as marketing director at Australian A-League powerhouse Melbourne City. He was in Melbourne from 2015 until 2023 when he was appointed CEO of Auckland FC.
"I am hugely excited about the challenge of setting up a professional football club in my hometown. It is a real privilege,” said Nick  when first appointed. "Bill Foley's a great owner; we couldn’t have a better owner. I like that he’s pulled together such an effective group, people like Anna and Ali, a group that is so engaged and focused on success for the club."
Nick Becker was referring to the club’s high profile owners, American billionaire Bill Foley of Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, as well as toy company magnate Anna Mowbray and her husband-to-be, former All Black Ali Williams. While they will demand results, having that powerful backing is essential for a new club.
This is one of many sporting investments for Bill Foley, reputably worth $2-3 billon. He is the lead investor, chairman, and CEO of Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, a consortium that owns the US ice hockey club Vegas Golden Knights. He is managing general partner of Black Knight Football and Entertainment, which owns English Premier League club AFC Bournemouth, and has a stake in French Ligue One club FC Lorient. Earlier this year the Black Knight organisation also became a significant minority shareholder in Scottish football club Hibernian FC. Bill Foley has has other investments in New Zealand, including Foley Wines (five wineries in Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago), a restaurant group with venues in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown (including the iconic Soul Bar in Auckland), and luxury lodge Wharekauhau on the South
Wairarapa coast.
Hence Auckland FC will also be known at the Black Knights, and its aim is for the whole of the Auckland region to embrace them as their new home team.
After spending time with Nick Becker, it is clear that they’ve got a very solid plan to achieve their goals – on and off the pitch. Their aim is to be New Zealand’s number one football club.
The early appointments of head coach Steve Corica, assistant coach Danny Hay and director of football Terry McFlynn have been good ones. As this issue was going to press they had announced the signing of 12 players, including six development players. More were to be announced in late June and early July with the aim to complete their roster as soon as possible. The word is there are some impressive announcements coming.
The signed players are Jesse Randall, Michael Woud, Francis De Vries, Cameron Howieson, Max Mata, Tommy Smith, Luis Toomey, Liam Gillion, Finn Mckenlay, Adama Coulibaly, Oliver Middleton and Jonty Bidois.
Black Knights head coach Steve Corica had an impressive playing career, including 430 games, earning 32 caps for Australia. He played a crucial role in winning two A-League Championships, one A-League Premiership, an Oceania Club Championship and OFC Nations Cup. His impact on the pitch earned him a spot in the team of the decade. Moving into coaching, he has over 180 games under his belt, securing 84 wins, leading his teams to two A-League Championships and one A-League Premiership, echoing the success he achieved as a player.
During the establishment phase, Nick Becker explains, Auckland FC has developed four values: community, ambition, talent and embracing all of their home patch of Auckland.
“Being part of the community is very important to us and is something that Bill (Foley) does wherever he invests,” explains Nick. “Ambition is hugely important as well; we will fight on and off the pitch. The Foley way is to always advance and never retreat. We will also be focused on creating pathways for our talent, with the added opportunity for players to play for other Foley-owned Black Knight teams in the UK (AFC Bournemouth), France (FC Lorient) and Scotland (Hibernian FC) being a bonus. We believe the final value of being here for all of Auckland is very important, ensuring we are weaving together the many cultures that will help us grow and be successful.”
Auckland FC’s season kicks off on Saturday 19 October with a home fixture for the Black Knights at Go Media Stadium (Mount Smart). Nick says that most of their home games will be Saturday afternoons at the convenient and family-friendly time of 5pm.
“Our aim is to entertain the fans both on and off the football pitch,” he adds. “On the pitch with an attacking style, off the pitch with a completely different match day experience. Having worked with Arsenal, Manchester City and Melbourne I have a good understanding of what football followers want for their match day experience, so I can assure supporters that they won’t be disappointed.
“We are aiming to fill the stadium on the nineteenth of October for our launch game and to have those supporters coming back for more and more.”
Auckland FC’s logo has real meaning. It features an A for ambition, always wanting to advance. The design also pays tribute to Rangitoto Island. The logo also represents the link to founder Bill Foley and his Black Knight organisation. The colours were chosen with a link to Auckland sporting teams (blue), and the black to the Black Knights organisation as well as New Zealand’s well known sporting heritage.
Auckland FC memberships are available to purchase right now, as are their founding jerseys that I reckon are a must if you are going to be a real supporter. There’s also a bonus for local football club members – when you join Auckland FC as a member they will give a percentage of your membership fee straight to your local club. The memberships for the 13 home matches to be played in the 2024/25 season are also very affordable. Adult memberships are from $20 per match (for all 13 matches) and Junior memberships from $10 per match (for all 13). There is an added opportunity to buy a founding jersey as well, with the first 1950 members having their names printed on the jersey that the team wears in that
first match!
An Auckland FC women’s team will be introduced for the 2025/26 season.
Auckland FC is also keen to hear from businesses who share the club's focus on community, excellence, innovation and inclusivity, and who are.interested in partnering with Auckland’s newest and fastest growing professional sports club, and the most popular sport in New Zealand.

For more information on 2024/2025 Auckland FC season memberships or commercial partnership opportunities visit: aucklandfc.co.nz