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APL Names Two New Executives

APL Names Two New Executives

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he Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have announced the appointment of two new executives, Ant Hearne, and Michael Tange.

Hearne is set to lead all commercial activities for the APL, including user experience, marketing, content, sponsorships, rights negotiations, and other revenue opportunities, coming from a background as the chief commercial officer of Foxtel’s streaming division, Streamotion, managing Kayo, BINGE, WatchAFL, and WatchNRL.

Tange will join the APL as the strategy and digital director, managing strategy, digital development, and media rights for the organisation, coming from a previous position with Nielsen Sports in New York where he spent a decade working on commercial strategy, broadcast, digital and fan development across the NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA Tour, and MLS.

APL commissioner, Greg O’Rourke will continue to lead the operational side of the APL in conjunction with deputy commissioner, Tracey Scott, with the appointments marking the first official appointments made by the APL since the unbundling of the four professional leagues from Football Australia.

APL chair, Paul Lederer, said in a statement announcing the appointments of Hearne and Tange: “With full ownership of the four leagues, we have an ambitious vision for the growth of the game at every level.”

“The new, expanded executive team have been tasked with unleashing the APL’s commercial and entrepreneurial capabilities, and we now have a structure that will enable them to deliver the right outcomes for all of Australian football,” Lederer said.

New APL chief commercial officer, Ant Hearne, said he is excited to take on the role and help football in Australia grow.

“Football represents the biggest growth opportunity in Australian sport, we’ve got twice as many participants as any other game in this country, we’re leaders in women’s sport (with all eyes on the game in the lead up to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup),” Hearne said.

“It’s now time to deliver commercial outcomes that will fuel the sustainable growth of the game.

“Our teams are playing exciting, fast-paced, uncompromising football in front of the most passionate fans and the APL’s mission is to take that direct-to-consumer in order to unlock the power of the fan and ultimately grow the whole game.

“It’s going to be an exciting ride,” he said.

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