A-League & W-League 2021/22 Off Season Thread

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giggler99

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Jul 5, 2011
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Melbourne
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Geelong
Other Teams
Victory,Napoli,Liverpool,Penguins
As per usual post any news, rumors, signings, de-listings, transfers, injuries, retirements, controversies, whatever, you name it over the off season post it all in this thread. I will keep it on the sticky list till round one next season.

thanks
 

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giggler99

Moderator
Jul 5, 2011
11,409
13,836
Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Victory,Napoli,Liverpool,Penguins
found the article btw General Giant I think its paywalled so I'm posting it!

A-League in $30m digital splurge as private equity deal looms

The A-League will make a $30m bet on a bold digital strategy designed to win the hearts and minds of soccer fans, as part of what looms as the most crucial off-season in the game’s recent history once Sunday’s grand final is played.

Soccer’s huge spend will form the foundation of what the A-League — now under the club’s Australian Professional Leagues control after decoupling from governing body Football Australia — hopes will arrest a decline in crowd and broadcast numbers amid falling interest in the code in recent years.

It also will be a major part of the commercial partnership the APL hopes will soon strike with a private equity partner, with rumours of a $100m injection from a group such as Silver Lake on the verge of being agreed to within days.

While APL chief executive Danny Townsend, also the CEO of Sydney FC, would not be drawn on the looming private equity deal or exact plans for the new digital strategy, he said the spending was critical to finally harness the potential of soccer, which has a large player and participation base at the amateur level but has struggled to gain ground against big professional leagues such as the AFL and NRL.

“It is the most important off-season the sport has ever had,” Townsend tells The Weekend Australian. “It is a new dawn for us under APL owners … and while we will put a lot of work into the product on the field, the main thing for us has to be about how we engage football fans more.

“The digital product will be the biggest investment the game has ever made in itself. It is not just for A-League fans, it will be for football fans, participants, coaches, managers of grassroots clubs, members of A-League clubs, digital fans of other leagues around the world and so on.”

Sunday’s grand final between Melbourne City and Sydney FC in Melbourne will cap a tumultuous Covid-hit season ahead of a 2021-22 competition likely starting in October that will be telecast for the first time by Network 10 and its new Paramount streaming service under a five-year $200m cash and contra deal.

That deal could mean no live match content for the APL’s new digital “Home of Football”, at least to start with, and the $30m spend is likely over several years and could include paying for production of the broadcast of A-League and W-League matches.

Townsend says from a business perspective it is crucial that the sport better engages with its fans in order to finally fulfil its potential and monetise its large base.

“Football is the biggest sport for under 35s. They are digital natives, so we need to serve them up content digitally and engage them digitally.

“But it’s not really doing anything different to other industries organising a customer base on a one-on-one data relationship basis, based on their behavioural characteristics where they opt in to certain things, and allowing us to transact with them.”

The strategy will likely see football content such as written stories, videos, highlight packages, behind the scenes footage, news clips, short matches and longer replays, with both an Australian and international focus.

“We’ve done extensive work on this and when we ask our fans where do you go to find your football fix, there’s not one single place to find out what is happening if you want to know about Sydney FC, Arsenal [in England] or Barcelona,” says Townsend.

“Sport has to be driven by engagement and we have to give them value for what they are consuming. Spending on football has not been perceived as good value for money so it is on us to make it more valuable and a better fan experience.”

The A-League will also need to find a new sponsor for the league having failed to sign a replacement for car manufacturer Hyundai since its long-term and lucrative deal expired last year though Townsend is optimistic.

“For the first time in a long time we have positive tailwinds and … we are the only major domestic league that is in the market [for a big sponsor] and we have just announced a free-to-air deal. The right brand that buys into our vision should get the benefit of what we are doing now.”

 

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acm21

Club Legend
May 7, 2019
1,994
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Essendon
Any word on kit/sponsor changes? Which teams will keep the same kit as the previous season?
New Balance has been suggested for the roar, and I'm expecting a kit change from Sydney. Wanderers are using the same kit in the promo pics of the new signings, which could (and probably does) mean nothing.
 

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