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ith the 2021 AFLW Grand Final set to take place in Adelaide on Saturday, the AFL has released the key figures around the 2021 NAB AFLW home and away season, highlighting another year of growth for the competition.

Led by a 35% increase in total TV audience compared to the 2020 season, reaching over five million people throughout the 2021 AFLW season, the league has seen the growth continue from the 49% increase from the 2019 season.

Discussing the rise in commercial partnerships for the league, which is highlighted by over 80% of AFL partners also investing in AFLW commercial partnerships, compared to 10% of AFL partners when the league was launched in 2017, AFL executive general manager of customer and commercial, Kylie Rogers, said the support from partners is the foundation for the evolution of AFLW.

“After the 2021 season we were proud to extend and grow partnerships with long term valued partners in AAMI, Bunnings, and Hostplus showcasing their ongoing commitment to the AFL and AFLW,” Rogers said.

“The competitive advantage offered by women’s football is in the quality of commitment, accessibility, engagement, and storytelling of talent within our growing network.

“Our partners share in our vision and belief that all women and girls have a right to play, participate and work in Australian Rules Football and we thank our partners for their commitment and passion to the AFLW,” she said.

Back to fan engagement, the AFLW introduced ticketing for the first time in the 2021 season and saw a total of 13 games sell out over the season, despite the restrictions placed on the league due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AFLW reached an all-time high in memberships in 2021 as well, reaching 24,423 members, while recognising more than 600,000 women in girls play the sport nationally in grassroots and amateur leagues, as well as the elite level.

Throughout the 2021 AFLW season, the league also introduced a range of inclusion focused initiatives, such as the first dedicated Pride Round, the inaugural Indigenous Round, and the Toyota Good for Footy Round, with the latter marking the first joint themed round across both the AFL and AFLW.

The AFLW season is set to wrap up officially on Saturday with the 2021 AFLW Grand Final taking place at Adelaide Oval.

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