A raft of new A-League marketing innovations for home viewers and fans in the stadiums are being discussed for next season while the “Big Wednesday” concept will return.
au.fourfourtwo.com understands that one new idea being discussed is the miking-up of A-League managers.
Now Fox Sports viewers could be taken inside the inner sanctum of dressing rooms to hear what coaches say to their player and their instructions, though this could be broadcast on delay or it might be edited.
This idea may also be extended to hearing the instructions when a player is about to be sent on from the subs’ bench onto the field.
Another idea being explored is live tweets on stadium big screens to vote for fans’ player of the match via Twitter or Facebook.
It’s a logical extension of the official A-League app launched this season as part of FFA’s focus on digital platforms.
Meanwhile, the success of this season’s “Big Wednesday” marathon ensures that the concept will continue next season.
Crowds and viewing figures were up over 32% on comparative standalone midweek crowds from the previous season.
And with a hugely entertaining round of goals and excitement across three time-zones, 5000km and two countries over 11 hours of broadcast time, it was the perfect summer showcase for the competition’s scope and scale.
FFA head of communications Kyle Patterson explained that this season’s successful marketing initiatives – that also included the rivalry round, community fixtures, replays of controversial incidents on big screens and the derby games – were a result of a collaborative approach.
And he said it’s given the game a platform to move forward and strengthen the league’s grip on the psyche of Australian sports lovers.
“We’ve had input from clubs, broadcasters, fan groups which was a process and hearing ideas from them,” he told au.fourfourtwo.com.
“We got that clear air in early October for the A-League kick off and I don’t anyone can dispute that was a stroke of genius because it removed us from that shadow of other sports.
“It gave our fans and the media a chance to properly kick the league off. And we’ve had a spectacular kick-off.
“We’ve had a big jump in crowds and TV and we’re holding onto them.”
Another part of this appeal is the evenness of the league.
Only four points separate fourth from ninth with all clubs outside the six a chance to jump up and make the play-offs. Even bottom-placed Gold Coast are only points off the six.
“The competition has sustained itself because yes we’ve put a lot of money and effort into the ‘We Are Football’ campaign and the kick-off, but the league now has its own stories to tell and nice momentum with some nice fixtures still to come,” he said.
“And there’s another Melbourne derby up our sleeve which is fabulous. And when the finals come around, we reckon we’ll hold our own and get our share of the media.”