How The AFL Changed The Game To Reach New Fans

How The AFL Changed The Game To Reach New Fans
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Welcome to the first instalment of a week-long series on B&T, brought to you by Facebook. From Monday to Thursday this week we’ll be providing you with a look at Facebook’s latest Face 2 Face series, hosted by Tribe founder Jules Lund.

By tuning in to this series you’ll be privy to the unique insights of some of Australia’s finest marketing thought leaders and visionaries.

Face 2 Face invites you to explore the latest in marketing trends. Throughout you’ll gain an understanding of how top marketers click with consumers. But more than anything, the chats highlight the importance of cultivating brands with a pulse – that is, brands that really live in people’s minds, created by adhering to the long-standing principles of brand building: fame, emotion and consistency.

Each day this week, you’ll be privy to a snappy 90-second video of several marketing gurus, dispensing juicy morsels of wisdom and practical advice to help make your brand shine. And you can go even deeper with an in-depth podcast with each pair sharing the secrets behind some truly innovative campaigns.

First up, Lund speaks to Julian Dunne, the AFL’s head of marketing and insights; and John Dawson, communications design director at Initiative.

You can check out the highlights in the video below:

Dunne and Dawson chatted at length about the rapidly changing digital world and the power and influence that social channels are having on their products, which for the AFL has meant a spike in ticket sales, as it has been able to target die-hard fans and those who have never been to a game with tailored messaging.

People don’t realise the reach that can be achieved via social, Dunne explained: “I mean if you think about – if you actually do the maths behind an ad that might reach 500,000 people, you only need 0.01 per cent of those people to transact and you’re getting some pretty good numbers.

“It actually surprised us in terms of how many tickets we were selling, but then when you look closely, there’s probably room for improvement and you don’t need massive penetration, but the beauty of it is, you know straight away how successful you’ve been.”

For Dawson, it is the pace of change in the industry today that makes it an attractive and exciting career.

“Even in the relatively short time that I’ve been in the industry, there’s been so much change,” he said.

“I think every year I’ve been in the industry it’s been the year of mobile, but even within that period, what is mobile has dramatically changed.

“We were talking before about IGTV which launched recently and how that can potentially change the game on vertical video. That’s how quick these things can happen. I love the speed and then yeah, being able to see your work out in the world.”

For Dunne, a calculated risk – for the right reasons – sticks clearly in his mind. The AFL changed its logo for the first time ever – a move which ruffled some feathers, but opened the game up to a new community.

He explains: “We changed the AFL lettering to YES and we put that out in the front of our building. There was a lot of work that went into that and a lot of discussion and I thought it was a really brave decision by our organisation in terms of the commission, executive and our CEO to back that.

“But we had bomb threats and we had to clear the building.”

To hear the full stories in the podcast, you can listen in below, or check them out on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify… wherever you get your podcasts from.

 

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