A-Leagues launch new digital hub for football

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL), the entity charged with growing the professional football leagues in Australia, has unveiled its unique digital platform KEEPUP in an effort to unite football fans on and off the pitch.

Featuring football content from around the world, the platform aims to broaden and enhance the fan experience by connecting A-Leagues fans and international competition fans in one place.

The KEEPUP digital platform and data infrastructure, which launched today, represents a major investment in football in Australia. It is currently available as a website or app on both IOS and Android.

In its current form, the platform will focus on creating and curating content to bring fans close to the game however they choose, with significant expansion planned into the future.

KEEPUP will feature compelling content from the best of the A-Leagues, European and world football, the Socceroos and Matildas, NPL, and FFA Cup. A-League clubs’ content hubs will also be integrated onto the platform to ensure fans are offered the most comprehensive football resource available in Australia.

“KEEPUP is a football platform, built by football people for football fans and which delivers a unique experience and provides a central source of news and features to unite the currently fragmented football market. Our digital-first strategy creates the opportunity for our fans to experience what’s happening in the world of football, both on and off the pitch,” said Ant Hearne, Chief Commercial Officer, APL.

KEEPUP will continue to evolve through the season as it adds layers of dedicated coverage, augmented by significant tie-ups with domestic and international content providers.

KEEPUP has already assembled an unprecedented array of voices to tell unique and powerful stories about football in Australia and around the world. The site and app will provide insights, in-depth features and analysis on games, transfer news, as well as stories on culture and football identities from a team of football journalists on staff led by Richard Bayliss, Director of Content.

APL will also feature commentary from some of Australia’s football elite including Premier League great Mark Bosnich, Matildas legend Melissa Barbieri and Socceroos captain Matt Leckie.

“And this is just the beginning. We have a bold plan to evolve KEEPUP into an unparalleled global digital hub, expanding functionality beyond a content base to include gamification, e-Commerce, ticketing, second screen live stadium experiences and loyalty programs,” continued Hearne.

Future phases of development also include engagement with Australian grassroots football players via digital products and services designed to improve their football experience, to ensure every fan can enjoy the football in the way they choose.

Central Coast Mariners academy even stronger with top-tier Portuguese side

Central Coast Mariners announced a partnership with Liga Portugal club Portimonense SAD.

The club, which now competes in the Portuguese first division, has a long history of generating top-tier players via both its academy and first-team programmes.

This collaboration is intended to mutually benefit young development for both teams, as well as general progress for Portimonense and the Mariners, making it a strategically smart move from Mariners who also have a history of producing young talent.

The contract would allow prospective Central Coast players to transfer into Portuguese first division football, one of Europe’s best divisions, while the Mariners will receive access to outstanding players from Portimonense SAD to enhance their team.

This has already begun with Mariners signing Ronald Barcellos on loan, with the goal of assisting both teams in their respective divisions while also allowing our players to continue their football growth.

Central Coast Mariners’ Sporting Director Matt Simon is eager to be working with Portimonense.

“To be able to work closely with a club of Portimonense’s pedigree is extremely exciting and an opportunity that we are greatly looking forward to,” he said via press release.

“We are clubs who see youth development as extremely important and to be able to work together on this will only benefit us both.”

Central Coast Mariners Chairman Richard Peil also commented on the partnership outlining the importance of the alliance.

“We’d love to own a network of clubs to be able to help players progress their careers and maximise their value, but that is just not realistic,” he stated via press release.

“This is the next best thing. The relationship with Portimonense is an important step in our progression to becoming a self-funding football club.”

Officials from Portimonense’s elite coaching squad are scheduled to visit the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence this month (February) to begin work on the relationship.

Brisbane Roar sign deal with VERVE Fitness to focus on player development

Brisbane Roar announced a two-year partnership with Queensland-based fitness equipment company, VERVE, which will aim to invest in the club’s athlete development programs.

VERVE Fitness is a 100% Australian owned company run by athletes, designing premium equipment tested by athletes to help athletes perform at their best. The company’s ethos is to provide an excellent standard of fitness equipment that has been tested by athletes to ensure peak performance.

The partnership is a significant one with the cornerstone of the deal being the development of the VERVE Performance Centre which is being constructed at Brisbane Roar’s new Brendale training facility – to be ready in time for the 2024/25 season.. This new centre aims to be a hub for the club’s men’s and women’s team to train, using only the best fitness resources in order to help achieve on-field success.

VERVE and the Roar are focusing on putting significant investment into the future of sports training and athlete development. Both organisations have similar values in their views of the importance in athlete development as well as the growth of the grassroots game.

VERVE are making plenty of effort to play their part in improving the qualities of gyms in the league. The fitness equipment company also have an active partnership with Western United as the ‘Official Gym Partner’ and similarly are helping the Victorian-based club by providing state-of-the-art training facilities in their new $2 billion sport focused suburb project.

In this collaboration, VERVE Fitness will play a vital role in supporting Brisbane Roar’s NPL teams. As a result of this commitment, the VERVE logo will be featured on the back of Brisbane Roar’s NPL and u23 team jerseys for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. This visibility puts VERVE’s commitment to sports development at both the grassroots and professional levels on display.

Brisbane Roar COO, Zac Anderson, discussed the alignment in the values of both parties.

“This collaboration with VERVE Fitness is a significant step for Brisbane Roar. It aligns perfectly with our vision of fostering talent and delivering best-in-class facilities to our athletes. The VERVE Performance Centre will be a game-changer in our training capabilities.” Anderson said in a club statement.

VERVE CEO Nial Wogan mentioned the company’s focus on the launch of the new performance centre for the Roar and providing elite fitness resources for the players.

“Today marks a significant milestone in VERVE’s journey as we announce our partnership with Brisbane Roar FC, solidifying our commitment to excellence in sports performance and community,” Wogan added via media release.

“The launch of the ‘VERVE Performance Centre’ symbolizes not just a collaboration but a homecoming for the Brisbane Roar, embodying our shared dedication to reaching new heights. Over the 2024 and 2025 seasons, both organizations will synergize our expertise to empower athletes and redefine what’s possible.”

VERVE Fitness added to existing A-Leagues deals, previously teaming up with Western Melbourne Group and Central Coast Mariners.

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