Editorial

How the A-League in Australia is Trying to Attract Fans

The A-League is back and this time around, it is here to stay. After hovering around in uncertainty and ownership battles ever since its inception in 2005, things are finally ready to change for Australia’s premier soccer league championship in 2022. Before things truly take off, let’s take a look at what the league has in store for the 8 million soccer fans in Australia.

The Problems Faced

One of the primary issues that kept A-League from seeing peak success is the fact that Australian sports fans were already far too engrossed in cricket, NFL, EPL and NRL to give the A-League a fair chance at succeeding. For example, betting on the English Premier League matches is second nature to Aussie punters, but most soccer fans are not even interested in Australia’s own A-League.

When there is interest lacking in any sports event, the sponsors and owners usually invest in marketing, broadening, and improving the tournament, but once again, A-League did not get a fair treatment there either. Instead of the Football Federation Australia and the 12 team owners working together, the Federation and the 12 team owners went to war against each other over control!

End of the War

A-League and the W-League will be joining forces in 2022, as the war is finally over, and everyone associated with soccer in Australia is now investing big money in creating a strong base for the domestic league to grow from here on. The owners have formed a new organisation called the Australian Professional League (APL) and separated themselves officially and completely from Football Federation Australia.

Big Investments

A $130 million private equity deal was struck between Silver Lake and the APL, making sure that the newly structured A-League has a solid financial foundation to build itself on. What is even more interesting is the fact that the APL has allocated $30 million to develop an exclusive A-League digital platform. Apparently, this platform will serve to make sure that the soccer league in Australia goes international from the first day of its new inception. The KEEPUP app is already available for download on both iOS and Android, while the official website is accessible from all devices. It would be interesting to see how they go about adding features to the app and the website to popularise A-League down the line.

New Logo and Channel Ten Promotion

APL has partnered up with Channel Ten to broadcast the A-league across all states in Australia and New Zealand. Given that Channel Ten is quite famous for their aggressive marketing strategies, rest assured that if anyone did not know about the A-League before, they will be notified of its existence, as long as they watch TV!

The bookmakers will also pick up the feed from Chennel Ten of course, creating live streams for their members to watch and bet on the games online. Suffice to say, APL is going in all guns blazing and leaving no stone unturned to make the A-League a true success story. Finally, if you look carefully, the new logo says A Leagues now, and that too is not without reason. There will also be a Women’s A-League going along right beside the Men’s A-League, giving even more people another reason to be interested.

Will It Work?

Now, the question is, will all this be enough to save the league, or is it too late? Given that this time around the soccer league will be operating with complete freedom and they have a strong financial base, there is no reason to believe that the A-League can’t succeed. Traditionally, Aussies have always been supportive of their domestic sports events, or footie would not have been as big as it is today in the country.

Therefore, there is no reason to believe that the A-League won’t get fan support next year. It will take some time for people to become truly invested in the league though. Also, the APL must invest in bringing home a few big-name foreign players because that is essential to draw in the viewership they need. Everybody is looking forward to finding out who they manage to book and for what team, so let’s hope that the fans are not left disappointed on that front.

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