Time to be bold and grab a market share in the US and overseas

Obeanie1

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 26, 2007
21,090
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Posted this in another thread on the Eagles board but should be discussed by all IMO. It is cold thinking like this when things in the real world are turning to poo but we need to look to the future.

Everything post covid 19 will be a lean and mean version of our previous competition. Shorter game times that still gives networks plenty of extra minutes to sell. List reductions in play next year. This season will be shorter or run longer. 2020 will look like nothing we have ever seen before and that's after borrowing AUD$500M to keep things going.

So its time for the AFL and clubs to be bold with what we do and what we market in 2020 and even 2021.

I can see Australia getting on top of this earlier than the US, America will be shut down for much longer. The US is a massive market for live sports and sports betting, this is what we need to target. In the months before games recommence the aFL should develop and start marketing online into the US. It can all be achieved during a lock down using existing footage and current players and pod casts. We spend two months educating this new market on what is the game and who are the players. Allocate AFL clubs to US regions, the Eagles to the West Coast of America, Geelong to the big Ford car making / industrial states, Freo to a big port city / region, Gold Coast to Florida etc. When the games start and nothing esle to watch we have spent 2 or 3 months on the internet and pay TV educating them to what they are about to see. Get some US footy strategy commentators on a podcast having the various strategies and tactics explained to them so they can then talk to their own.

Imagine the Americans meeting 190 - 200cm endurance beast that runs all day, plays with no pads and jump on peoples heads to 'catch a punt'. Every player punts the ball, they play a full game and tackle and bump.

When games start lets trial some of the rules we think may help with scoring more. Maybe play with 16 not 18 on the ground. Give a coach one time out to use per game, the yanks like sports that start and stop for some reason.

Tapping into the US market before their sports gets back going could pay that AUD $500m loan back pretty quickly. Earning US dollars now is a massive advantage with the fx rate.

Target the US sports and live betting markets. People will be crying out for some escapism and live sports. Everywhere.

And yes, if there are private investors in the US willing to purchase clubs then we do that as well.

If we become bold and attack the US market when there is little to no competition the AFL could set itself up for massive boosts in turnover. Some of that increase in turnover should be directed into fighting this pandemic.

We all know its the best game on the planet, here it the opportunity to show it off.
 

Mister M

Club Legend
Oct 16, 2016
2,626
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I can see Australia getting on top of this earlier than the US, America will be shut down for much longer. The US is a massive market for live sports and sports betting, this is what we need to target.
Let me stop you there--- in only 16 of the 50 US states is sports betting legal and in those states it's only been legal for the past couple of years. The US has a very different sports betting culture than Australia does; I completely understand where you're coming from, but the US sports betting industry (which is mostly done illegally) isn't the best way to ensure the profitability of the AFL in my opinion.
 

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eastfreo75

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 11, 2011
8,719
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pakenham
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Fremantle
Posted this in another thread on the Eagles board but should be discussed by all IMO. It is cold thinking like this when things in the real world are turning to poo but we need to look to the future.

Everything post covid 19 will be a lean and mean version of our previous competition. Shorter game times that still gives networks plenty of extra minutes to sell. List reductions in play next year. This season will be shorter or run longer. 2020 will look like nothing we have ever seen before and that's after borrowing AUD$500M to keep things going.

So its time for the AFL and clubs to be bold with what we do and what we market in 2020 and even 2021.

I can see Australia getting on top of this earlier than the US, America will be shut down for much longer. The US is a massive market for live sports and sports betting, this is what we need to target. In the months before games recommence the aFL should develop and start marketing online into the US. It can all be achieved during a lock down using existing footage and current players and pod casts. We spend two months educating this new market on what is the game and who are the players. Allocate AFL clubs to US regions, the Eagles to the West Coast of America, Geelong to the big Ford car making / industrial states, Freo to a big port city / region, Gold Coast to Florida etc. When the games start and nothing esle to watch we have spent 2 or 3 months on the internet and pay TV educating them to what they are about to see. Get some US footy strategy commentators on a podcast having the various strategies and tactics explained to them so they can then talk to their own.

Imagine the Americans meeting 190 - 200cm endurance beast that runs all day, plays with no pads and jump on peoples heads to 'catch a punt'. Every player punts the ball, they play a full game and tackle and bump.

When games start lets trial some of the rules we think may help with scoring more. Maybe play with 16 not 18 on the ground. Give a coach one time out to use per game, the yanks like sports that start and stop for some reason.

Tapping into the US market before their sports gets back going could pay that AUD $500m loan back pretty quickly. Earning US dollars now is a massive advantage with the fx rate.

Target the US sports and live betting markets. People will be crying out for some escapism and live sports. Everywhere.

And yes, if there are private investors in the US willing to purchase clubs then we do that as well.

If we become bold and attack the US market when there is little to no competition the AFL could set itself up for massive boosts in turnover. Some of that increase in turnover should be directed into fighting this pandemic.

We all know its the best game on the planet, here it the opportunity to show it off.
USA has a population of 330m.

As an exercise if you get a TV audience of 5-10m I really think it is worth it. That’s a small faction of the population.

I would only targeting New York and LA at first.

ESP could show a VFL Winners like program, top 10 marks, goals and hits and maybe one game of the week.
 

Mister M

Club Legend
Oct 16, 2016
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USA has a population of 330m.

As an exercise if you get a TV audience of 5-10m I really think it is worth it. That’s a small faction of the population.

I would only targeting New York and LA at first.

ESPN could show a VFL Winners like program, top 10 marks, goals and hits and maybe one game of the week.
The average NBA game on ESPN got 1.63m (in 2017-2018).

Do you really think the AFL could draw 4 times that when LIVE AFL games are often played in the middle of the night in the US?
 

Engimal v3

Premium Platinum
Sep 21, 2017
4,438
8,492
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Australians vastly overestimate how interesting our sport is over other sports. The game is 150 years old and for all intents and purposes is unknown outside of Australia.

No doubt it's the greatest sport on Earth, but I think there is a 0% chance that Aussie Rules ever gains any sort of meaningful foothold in the United States.
 

Obeanie1

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 26, 2007
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what is the benefit to the football watching community?
The comp not going broke or weighted down with $500m in debt.

We could actually retain the list sizes and support people as it's affordable.

Keeping an 18 team comp and even expanding.

Attract more female players overseas.

If club's earned more $$ with TV rights then memberships and game costs could be reduced.
 

Power Raid

TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
65,545
55,153
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The comp not going broke or weighted down with $500m in debt.

We could actually retain the list sizes and support people as it's affordable.

Keeping an 18 team comp and even expanding.

Attract more female players overseas.

If club's earned more $$ with TV rights then memberships and game costs could be reduced.
I'm actually seeing a financially broke AFL a good thing

perhaps they'll start thinking of the ordinary bloke again rather than just the wealthy

it will also make for a more even comp and less risk of performance enhancing drugs and other programs that add no benefit to the game
 

Obeanie1

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 26, 2007
21,090
15,211
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Australians vastly overestimate how interesting our sport is over other sports. The game is 150 years old and for all intents and purposes is unknown outside of Australia.

No doubt it's the greatest sport on Earth, but I think there is a 0% chance that Aussie Rules ever gains any sort of meaningful foothold in the United States.
And six months ago What was the chance a virus would close the world down as it has today.

How many people world wide would take an interest when 95% of world sport is shut down.

The opportunity is there you just need to take advantage.
 

eastfreo75

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 11, 2011
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The average NBA game on ESPN got 1.63m (in 2017-2018).

Do you really think the AFL could draw 4 times that when LIVE AFL games are often played in the middle of the night in the US?
NBA plays 82 games with 30 teams.

A lot of the games are pretty meaningless and only the involved teams supporters will watch unless it’s a big match up.

A mid week show going one hour like the winners could get an audience of $5m. Plus, these days people can stream it at any time.
 

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eastfreo75

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 11, 2011
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The comp not going broke or weighted down with $500m in debt.

We could actually retain the list sizes and support people as it's affordable.

Keeping an 18 team comp and even expanding.

Attract more female players overseas.

If club's earned more $$ with TV rights then memberships and game costs could be reduced.
You make a great point about female players.

I can see a AFLW team going to the US and getting a tall who has a massive vertical.
 

Mister M

Club Legend
Oct 16, 2016
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NBA plays 82 games with 30 teams.

A lot of the games are pretty meaningless and only the involved teams supporters will watch unless it’s a big match up.

A mid week show going one hour like the winners could get an audience of $5m. Plus, these days people can stream it at any time.
I'll provide more information again-- because it's so incredibly unlikely.

I'll use Wednesday 1st April as a 'mid week' example for you.
  • On Broadcast TV (so the main US channels-- ABC, CBS, Fox, etc.) The Masked Singer got 8.75 million viewers, Survivor got 8.15 million viewers & Modern Family got 4.29 million viewers.
  • On Cable TV (where this hypothetical show would more likely be on-- so channels like ESPN, TNT, USA, etc.) Married at First Sight US got 1.2 million viewers, My 600lb Life got 1 million viewers and everything else that got over a million viewers last Wednesday on Cable was either CNN, Fox News or MTV.
How can you realistically expect 5 million Americans to want to watch AFL football; especially if you're suggesting a mid-week show that will just be showing the highlights that this same audience could see on AFL.com.au, Twitter or YouTube days earlier?
 

Kwality

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 14, 2011
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The comp not going broke or weighted down with $500m in debt.

We could actually retain the list sizes and support people as it's affordable.

Keeping an 18 team comp and even expanding.

Attract more female players overseas.

If club's earned more $$ with TV rights then memberships and game costs could be reduced.
What about winning tattslotto too.
 

Hawk_francais

Club Legend
Sep 20, 2015
2,969
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The comp not going broke or weighted down with $500m in debt.

We could actually retain the list sizes and support people as it's affordable.

Keeping an 18 team comp and even expanding.

Attract more female players overseas.

If club's earned more $$ with TV rights then memberships and game costs could be reduced.
Someone needs to post that thing about the fisherman who has already caught enough fish...

The last thing the AFL needs is another expansion plan to bring football to people who don't want it. How about they save all those dollars from teaching Uncle Sam to handball, and broadcast all the games where ordinary people can actually watch them, at least on replay.
 

Obeanie1

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 26, 2007
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15,211
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Someone needs to post that thing about the fisherman who has already caught enough fish...

The last thing the AFL needs is another expansion plan to bring football to people who don't want it. How about they save all those dollars from teaching Uncle Sam to handball, and broadcast all the games where ordinary people can actually watch them, at least on replay.
Expansion plan?

No new teams needed.

Using existing footage and hundreds of AFL players and media people sitting around doing what? SFA.

It's a marketing opportunity to explore when you can't do anything else. Its something that can be done during a lockdown.

Open you mind......and use it.
 

Oraaaaazio

Club Legend
Jun 23, 2014
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Essendon
Let me stop you there--- in only 16 of the 50 US states is sports betting legal and in those states it's only been legal for the past couple of years. The US has a very different sports betting culture than Australia does; I completely understand where you're coming from, but the US sports betting industry (which is mostly done illegally) isn't the best way to ensure the profitability of the AFL in my opinion.
I don't think aussie rules will ever take off in the US/anywhere overseas really but lack of betting interest is not where it will fall over. There's already an appetite overseas for betting on the AFL outside of Australia, overseas books are offering markets on it and turning over plenty but don't think the AFL are making any licensing fees out of it.

The US sports betting market is about to explode.. it's started to grow & is going to take off in more states. Yanks have the same hunger for gambling as Aussies do, they've just had to do it underground through illegal bookies or go to a different state to be able to do it in the past. Aus company Pointsbet have gone over there trying to grab as much market share as they can before it goes bananas. Pre-corona they were valued at almost a billion dollars despite making losses every year of operation & not being a big player in Aus. Their value was based entirely on the likelihood that things blow up in the US & they already have a foot hold over there. It's just a matter of timing & whether PBH have gone too early, in the next couple of years it will be a huge growth industry in the US.
 

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