News Corp Australia will combine the power of its TV network, newspapers and websites to launch the NRL and AFL seasons by undertaking a regional roadshow this month across three states showcasing its top footy commentators and columnists.
Building on the success of the original tour in Victoria last year, News Corp and Foxtel will again join forces with the stars of Fox League, Fox Footy and footy writers from Australia’s most read-newspapers to stage the roadshow as part of an expanded ‘Full-On Footy Tour’.
Former NRL and AFL greats and the faces of Foxtel’s dedicated rugby league and AFL channels, along with News Corp’s top footy writers, will hit the road to visit regional footy fans, taking footy back to the grassroots.
Starting on Tuesday 20 February in Newcastle, the roadshow will tour through NSW, Queensland and then Victoria, visiting local fans who will have the opportunity to meet the stars at school visits, footy clinics, and special Full-On Footy Tour Sportsman’s Nights in each region.
Viewers and readers will be invited to register to attend the free events, which will be held at schools and Foxtel venues across the eastern seaboard.
NRL icons Matty Johns, Gorden Tallis, Justin Hodges, Michael Ennis, Bryan Fletcher and Nathan Hindmarsh – along with League Life hosts Lara Pitt, Jess Yates and Hannah Hollis – will visit NSW and Queensland to meet fans on the NRL tour.
Some of the AFL’s biggest names, including Jonathan Brown, Dermott Brereton, Nick Riewoldt, Garry Lyon, Jason Dunstall, David King and Paul Roos, will join Fox Sports’ Sarah Jones and Kelli Underwood to hit the Victorian roads for the AFL tour.
A raft of News Corp newspapers will support the tour across print and online, including The Daily Telegraph, the Townsville Bulletin, the Cairns Post, Sunshine Coast Daily, the Herald Sun, and the Geelong Advertiser.
The papers’ leading footy writers will join the tour in each state.
From Newcastle, the four-week national roadshow continues to Wollongong and Bathurst to wrap up the NSW leg, before hitting Cairns, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Down south, Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo will welcome some favourite faces from Fox Footy, the Geelong Advertiser and the Herald Sun to town, with a fourth and final event to be staged in Melbourne at Prahran’s Flying Duck Hotel.
Separately, The Courier-Mail will launch the NRL season on Tuesday 27 February with a gala lunch at Suncorp Stadium in partnership with Fox League and XXXX beer.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg will be the keynote speaker with a panel featuring Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green and Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan.
The Courier-Mail league experts Robert Craddock, Peter Badel, Rikki-lee Arnold, and Travis Meyne will lead the discussion alongside Fox League’s Gorden Tallis and NRL great Darren Lockyer. The event will be hosted by Fox League presenter Yvonne Sampson.