Marketing change is all the A-League needs to get more fans

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The A-League’s marketing set up needs improvement, it needs to attract younger viewers and sell its story better.

The regular viewer of the A-league loves football. Still, with the league not having a significant presence on free to air television, it loses the potential of gaining more extensive viewership.

The marketing strategy focuses on the products on the field with a basic soundtrack of the game. The posters around cities are of the teams with no real storylines the casual viewer can get behind.

For many years, the NBA has been growing viewership across the world not just because of the quality of basketball but by selling its stars and storylines as its entity.

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No one would dare say the A-League is that big or could ever be, but the league could learn something about this setup.

If the league could focus its marketing strategy on the big-name stars and storylines that play out across the season, they could cultivate a larger viewing audience.

For instance, if the advertising campaigns at the start of the season focused on players leaving former clubs and pitting them against each other. While also focusing on advertising the younger generation of talent, you could build steady and long-lasting viewership. If people know a player from early on, they will want to stick around and see how their career develops.

In the NBA, people watch because they love the sport. However, the casual viewer may watch only the key matchups because of the storyline and see what their favourite player is doing.

As a whole, the A-league can sometimes be considered as stale with bland and safe marketing choices. They could switch it up with better pre-match entertainment and impact the current Australian sports landscape.

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Western United is an excellent example of a club missing out on attracting younger viewership. At their first home game of the season, the club got Daryl Braithwaite to perform. An Australian icon, but with an ageing fan base.

With a large and growing Australian music scene, A-League clubs need to hitch themselves on the idea of attracting a younger demographic. The Australian urban music landscape has been growing and is continuing to grow. By inviting and playing music that fits some of the up-and-coming players and fans demographic, it could attract fans that other sports have neglected.

With artists like Sampha the great, Hilltop Hoods, Lime Cordiale, Mallrat all great artists to combine with the A-League. They have been successful in Australia, but they provide the opportunity to gain international viewers with their fanbase.

The AFL is very traditional with their grand final music choices and their advertising because they can afford to be as they already have an established fan base. But the A-League is a growing commodity, and with a few simple changes, their viewership could grow and most importantly, the game could grow in Australia.

To attract a larger fan base and get a bigger share of the Australian sports pie, the A-League needs to make innovative changes that reach out to fans.

Feature Image Credit: Supplied

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Pokuah Frimpong
Obsessed football fan, current journalism student.

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