AFL and Telstra announce digital platform for athletes
Telstra and the AFL Players’ Association have announced what could possibly be the first deal of its kind, involving a sports league, players’ association and commercial partner.
The organisations will build an online platform where players can publish digital content directly to the public.
This landmark deal will form part of the AFL and Telstra’s existing digital rights agreement with 50 athletes to be chosen across the 18 elite teams, as ambassadors to help promote the platform.
Gillon McLachlan, AFL CEO, stated: “We’re always exploring new ways to innovate our game with Telstra. Footy fans want to connect with the game, their clubs and, most importantly, with the players. We want to bring fans and players closer together.”
This deal could potentially disrupt player engagement platforms such as Players Voice and 20Four who have been publishing original content from athletes for the last two years.
Players Voice was contacted for comment, but are yet to reply.
Financial terms were not disclosed however, it’s believed every AFL player will benefit from the partnership through greater contributions into the player retirement scheme, which was built to support players post-AFL careers.
Paul Marsh, the AFL Players Association chief executive, said: “This partnership demonstrates the players’ commitment to working with the AFL and its partners to identify new ways to strengthen the industry and grow the game.”
Joe Pollard, Telstra’s group executive of media and chief marketing officer, added: “We’ll work closely with the AFL, AFL Players’ Association and AFL players to create engaging social media content for fans and exclusive moments for Telstra customers to connect with their AFL heroes in the virtual, and the real world.”
“We want to open a new door to give our customers the chance to get to know the personalities involved in our great game so they can build deeper connections with their favourite players, and understand and experience the hard work, dedication and fun these incredible athletes have in their lives on and off the field.”