“We’re Not Simply Mirroring The Men’s Comp”: AFL Women’s Marketing Guru

“We’re Not Simply Mirroring The Men’s Comp”: AFL Women’s Marketing Guru
SHARE
THIS



With the Adelaide Crows crowned champions for the inaugural season of the AFL Women’s competition over the weekend, B&T sat down with the brains behind it all, Jemma Wong (pictured below), to reflect on the trials and tribulations she’s faced in building the brand.

Jemma Wong

The AFL Women’s competition has had great success in getting bums on seats for its inaugural season. Do you see this continuing next season, or will the ‘bliss period’ be over once the initial hype’s died down?

It’s been an incredible first season. Naturally, there is a lot of energy and emotion wrapped around year one and every milestone to date has been history-making, but AFL Women’s is more than just novelty. This ‘movement’ has been 100 years in the making, built by the pioneers of the game who never gave up and created from the demand of 350,000 girls and women playing the game at a grassroots level.

We know the interest will build from here because of the product itself. It packs power. It’s footy at its best – it’s compelling, entertaining and unpredictable live sport that has captured the imagination of fans all across the country. While it’s certainly early days, the appetite and passion from fans has proven that AFLW can hold its own ground.

There’s already been a surge of interest in female participation off the back of our first season. The Victorian Amateur League will play its inaugural women’s competition this year with 40 teams, which is an extraordinary result. Our next phase will be sustaining the interest we’ve ignited over the last eight weeks throughout the off-season and managing the expectations as we kick off for the 2018 season.

How easy/hard has it been to attract sponsors to the AFLW?

In approaching brands to partner with AFLW, we found that we couldn’t sell based off traditional sponsorship metrics given there was no historic broadcast or attendance data. Our position in market was to align with like-minded brands who wanted to tell a story about equality. What was fantastic was that we were able to partner with a mix of existing AFL Partners such as NAB (the premier naming rights partner of AFLW) and also new brands that had previously not been involved with the code – Chemist Warehouse and Kellogg’s. Our partners have been extremely supportive and understanding of the challenges we face building a competition and brand from scratch, and like us, they see the mass potential of AFLW to grow the game.

Is the onus on female brands to support the competition through sponsorship?

This is about normalising and demystifying women in sport as much as it is about successfully growing AFL. For that to happen, we need a range of brands from a diverse mix of categories to help us drive the agenda.

When you reflect on the fact that women are the most influential consumer audience carrying the majority purchasing power in Australian households, it becomes more important to work with brands that tap into and respond to that insight, rather than searching for interest from ‘female brands’.

Do you think some female-skewed brands are put off by sponsoring contact sports such as AFL?

This really depends on the brand’s values and who their customers are. I do think it’s limiting to assume that female-driven brands or female customers wouldn’t see benefit in associating with an elite contact sport, particularly when it promotes values such as empowerment, confidence and women conquering their limits.

We celebrate the physicality, athleticism and the energy of AFLW. These qualities are part of our DNA and part of the reason why so many girls want to pick up a footy and play. I’d invite all brands, whether they are female-skewed or male-skewed, to be curious about the motivators and barriers for playing the game, and to think about the type of role models and heroes their audiences need to start seeing.

How are you trying convince more girls to go out and kick a footy? How hard is it trying to change the perceptions around women playing contact sports like AFL?

We want AFLW to be a gateway for participation. This comes down to visibility and opportunity – young girls need to see their potential pathway to the top on TV screens, on the back of footy jumpers, in headlines and on social feeds. They need to feel empowered and inspired by their place in the game, alongside having the right local or state program on offer.

We’ve spent the last six months telling stories of our AFLW players and working with different types of content creators to show the power of football and belonging in an empowering and real way. This is all part of breaking the stigma and stereotypes surrounding women in sport. Cultural shifts take time, but if we look at the number of young boys and girls wearing AFLW player jumpers over the weekend, we know it’s moving in the right direction.

What’s the biggest challenge that the competition faces going forward?

From a marketing perspective, we need to ensure we continue to tell insightful and compelling stories about AFLW that stretch across 365 days of the year – not just during the competition. We need to focus on brand building in community footy to drive interest in the next generation of talent, and to focus on the total experience of all audiences across broadcast, content, digital platforms. We need to keep our edge by continuing to be brave in how we make decisions for the sustainable growth of AFLW and not simply mirroring the men’s competition.

Jemma Wong will feature as a speaker at this year’s Ministry of Sports Marketing event on Tuesday 18 July in Sydney. Click here to secure your seat. Early bird tickets are on sale now!

Latest News

Daylight Agency Appoints Shelley Hammond As Director Of Agency Operations
  • Media

Daylight Agency Appoints Shelley Hammond As Director Of Agency Operations

The Daylight Agency’s significant growth has continued with the appointment of Shelley Hammond as Director of Agency Operations. Shelley is a leader in the global communications industry and brings vast experience following senior roles in major corporates as well as the agency environment. Shelley will be responsible for the commercial running of Daylight including client retention and […]

Host/Havas Takes Out Cannes Grand Prix With Palau Pledge
  • Advertising

Host/Havas Takes Out Cannes Grand Prix With Palau Pledge

Host/Havas has secured Australia’s first grand prix award at Cannes overnight, taking out the top gong for the direct lions with its work Palau Pledge. The work, which sees all visitors to the tiny island nation have their passport stamped with a pledge to be a good environmental citizen, which they must sign before entering […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes
  • Media

Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes

Curated this year by Ridley Scott, famed director of Alien, The Martian and other classics, The New Directors Showcase at Cannes is now in its 28th year. Acting as a platform for talented new directors to have their work premiered to a global audience, Scott took to the stage in front of a full house […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data

ANZ and media agency PHD have partnered with JCDecaux to launch a unique campaign that harnesses the power of data across three cities incorporating actual tram, train and bus timetable information to align with the new ANZ App.

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video
  • Technology

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video

Ooyala survey finds media companies created and processed nearly three times as much video content in Q1 as Media Companies Created & Processed Nearly Three Times As Much Video Content in Q1 2018 vs. Q1 2017.

MercerBell Calls In Two New Data Hires
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MercerBell Calls In Two New Data Hires

Proving many photos shot on an iPhone so often come out washed-out and grainy comes this article's accompanying pic.

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers
  • Campaigns

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers

Intrepid Travel has gone back in time and is placing classified adverts for a new ‘mystery expedition’ to places that yet mapped by Google.  The adverts to be placed in Courier Mail, Herald Sun and Sunday Telegraph are calling for intrepid people to join a journey with “long travel days, intermittent electricity, no Wi-Fi, cold […]

Watching tv and using remote control
  • Advertising
  • Media

GroupM Investment Forecast For Australia: TV On The Rise As Digital Slips

GroupM has updated its 2018 ad investment forecasts and released its initial 2019 outlook. GroupM predicts $24B in net new advertising investment this year, the best annual increment since the bounce back from the global recession in 2010 when $26B was added to investment. GroupM estimates total advertising investment will grow by 4.5 per cent this year […]

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run

Aboriginal Victoria’s campaign in support of Australia’s first-ever treaty legislation, Deadly Questions, has been deemed too controversial to run by one of Australia’s leading outdoor media providers, APN Media. Online platform Deadly Questions provides a safe space for people to ask questions and have them answered by Aboriginal Victorians, to learn more about their cultures, […]

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia
  • Technology

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia

The wait is over! Starting today, YouTube Music is available to everyone in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S, Mexico and South Korea in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Now fans around the world can find more of the music […]

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?
  • Opinion

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?

In this guest post, Haystac’s national general manager, Jason Carnew (pictured below), says with all this talk of Cannes at this time of year, it’s a kindly reminder that the PR business needs to get its act together in terms of awards, work and judging… All eyes on are Cannes as some of the best […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors
  • Campaigns

Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors

Two-times cancer survivor, Frankie Good Stuff Award Winner, ex-DDBer and founder of Bravery Co. Emily Somers has collaborated with a range of top-notch illustrators to produce Australia’s first range of designer headscarves for young cancer warriors. She is now crowdfunding $40,000 to produce the scarves and donate one to all the young women in their 20’s […]

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under
  • Advertising

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under

Following its massive success in Europe, Asia and the UAE, the Polishoe concept, which brings a high-demand shoe polish service and HD digital advertising platform together, has landed in Australia.

Women In Media Profile: Aimee Buchanan
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Aimee Buchanan

No Women in Media series would be complete without the irrepressible Aimee Buchanan. Read all her pressibles here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Set for blue sky, different clouds icons, cloud shapes, labels, symbols, icons. Flat graphic vector elements
  • Technology

PubMatic Unveils Cloud for Publishers And Tech Companies

PubMatic has launched PubMatic Cloud for publishers and tech companies looking to implement and control their own programmatic technology. By accessing PubMatic’s technology, global infrastructure and demand connections on a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) basis, clients are able to achieve full transparency and achieve greater control over their programmatic monetization. As programmatic trading becomes mainstream, innovations such as […]

Women In Media Profile: Claudine Hall
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Claudine Hall

The Women in Media Awards are back for 2018! To celebrate this wonderful fact, and to recognise some of the killer women in our industry, we’ve created a women in media series – and have profiled some pretty inspiring women so far. This week, we chat with Bauer Media head of trade marketing Claudine Hall. […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cancer Council and Target Tradies Tackle On-The-Job Skin Cancer Risks
  • Campaigns

Cancer Council and Target Tradies Tackle On-The-Job Skin Cancer Risks

Workers on construction sites receive five to 10 times more UV exposure every year compared to indoor workers. Target Tradies and Cancer Council have announced the launch of a partnership to help educate Australian construction workers about the importance of being SunSmart at work. With evidence showing that outdoor workers receive five to 10 times […]