Why Sport In The Sunshine State Is Australia’s Biggest Ad Opportunity

Why Sport In The Sunshine State Is Australia’s Biggest Ad Opportunity

In this guest post, Katherine Frost (lead image), sales director at Foxtel Media, says sports mad Queensland represents a boon for likeminded agencies and brands…

As Australia’s home of sport and sunshine, Brisbane has recently been announced amongst TIME magazine’s World’s Greatest Places of 2023, which comes as no surprise to those of us who call Queensland home.

Over the last few years the city has come alive, with population migration from southern states at an all time high and the announcement of Brisbane as the home of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where the city will have the opportunity to shine on not only the Australian sporting stage, but with a global audience.

Queensland stepped up during the pandemic, enabling live sport to keep spirits high during lockdowns. We kept the 2020 AFL season alive, ending with an historic Grand Final at the Gabba. Queensland again rose to the occasion in 2021 for the NRL, hosting another historic Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane’s had a long-term growth strategy and we’re seeing this come together with the Queens Wharf precinct opening later this year, along with new flight routes connecting Brisbane to the biggest cities in the world. Beyond restaurants and hotels, investment into sports infrastructure is booming. The growth of sport in Queensland will be turbocharged with the 2032 Olympics triggering billions of dollars of investment into new stadiums, facilities, and tech. The Federal and State Governments recently announced a $7.1 billion investment to build new venues and refurbish existing ones, including the transformation of the Gabba, which will directly connect to other major infrastructure projects, making it one of the most accessible stadiums in Australia.

We are, without a doubt, a sports mad state. If we just look at Kayo Sports, growth in Queensland is outpacing the Kayo base on many measures including subscriptions up 14.3% YOY and with each subscriber watching an average of 7.4 sports. This presents an incredible opportunity for advertisers to engage with both casual sports fans as well as passionate fanatics. Here are the reasons that sport advertising is so effective in Queensland.

New local teams & growth in women’s sport fuelling our passion

2023 signals a new era for sport in Queensland with the Dolphins joining the NRL. The Dolphins are currently three from three in their inaugural season. An achievement no one expected, proving Wayne Bennett’s impact on developing players. Queensland based brands like Budget Direct have been quick to see the value in the opportunity to be part of Dolphins history, with their playful Dwayne Bennett (the cousin of Wayne Bennett) campaign, and on-ground activations such as their ‘#phinsup’ game day hats.

With the number of professional sporting teams growing, there is greater opportunity for home grown talent to stay in the state they love, which is why the new Kayo Stadium is also the home of the Dolphins.

The expansion of AFLW and NRLW in Queensland cements our state as fertile territory for all athletes to achieve greatness. Queensland based companies such as Lite n’ Easy understand the importance of meaningful reach via sport. Their commitment to sponsoring female athletes demonstrates the opportunity in women’s codes, from grassroots to grandstands.

Netball has long been a core grassroots sport in Queensland. We’ve watched the professional league grow, with the Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning winning multiple premierships. Like many Queenslanders, I can’t wait to see what the Firebirds have in store for us this year. The new season of Suncorp Super Netball has begun, with Queensland based Flight Centre cementing a new three-year partnership. Global Managing Director Andrew Stark highlighted Netball’s reputation for ‘fairness and team culture played in respectful and supportive environments’ as a key alignment with Flight Centre’s values of diversity and inclusion.

Connection with fans through smart media strategy

As sport flourishes, brands are utilising platform flexibility to reach local fans & fanatics through geo-targeting and team targeting. These kinds of targeted campaigns are delivering exceptional cut through because of the high level of personalisation, which in turn increases how much audiences can relate to messages they are receiving.

This is taken to the next level for sports mad Queenslanders. The 2023 NRL and AFL seasons are already off to an incredible start for Queensland teams, with both the Broncos and Dolphins currently undefeated. These incredible sporting performances coupled with the increase in Queensland games (75+!) exclusive to Fox Sports and Kayo means that brands have even more opportunities to speak to this engaged, passionate audience. And this number doesn’t even touch on Suncorp Super Netball which is 100% exclusive to Fox Sports and Kayo as well.

State pride is part of our DNA

We get behind home teams. As well as cheering for our own, we also love seeing other Queensland teams succeed. As a Broncos fan, I watched in awe as the North QLD Cowboys snatched victory from them in golden point extra time for the 2015 premiership, the winning field goal kicked by Queensland legend Johnathan Thurston no less!

The mighty Brisbane Lions’ historic three-peat in the early 2000’s ignited Queensland’s passion for AFL. Singing ‘we are the pride of Brisbane town’ does indeed fill me with great pride for our incredible team. AFL Queensland announced a new registered participation record last year, signalling an exciting era ahead for AFL and AFLW.

And of course, there are the Maroons. The echo of ‘Queenslander’ booming through Suncorp Stadium before a State of Origin game is electric, and the ‘8 Straight’ banter with our NSW frenemies (plus the five series wins since) has made for many memorable nights on Caxton Street across the years.

It is ultimately Queensland’s fervour for sports that makes it such an incredible market. Savvy brands will look to harness this spirit through personalised, relevant and engaging campaigns that grow from grass roots loyalty to mega- stadium celebrations.




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Foxtel media Katherine Frost

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