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ACT Government to invest $20 million into ‘Home of Football’

In a recent press release from ACT Football, it has been confirmed that the ACT Government will be investing $20 million into a new ‘Home of Football’ facility in the national’s capital.

This announcement comes only a week after the Victorian Government announced they would be investing a similar amount ($22 million) into facilities across the state.

Here’s a link to that story:

Victorian government to invest $22 million into state football facilities

With both Federations clearly confident of what the future holds for soccer in their respective state/territory, it will be interesting to see if more announcements are made across other states in the coming weeks and months.

Full press release can be found below:

Canberra will have a new ‘Home of Football’ following the announcement of a $20 million investment by the ACT Government, announced in Tuesday’s budget.

The facility, to be built at Throsby, will be the new headquarters for football in the ACT. It will feature multiple outdoor fields, indoor futsal courts, office space for Capital Football, and associated amenities.

With the ACT Government investing $20 million to the project, Capital Football will contribute $4.5 million to build the 24.5 million-dollar facility. It is expected to be operational during the second half of 2021.

Capital Football CEO, Phil Brown, says the organisation has been looking for a parcel of land in the ACT to establish a headquarters for the entire football community for some time as many facilities are already operating at capacity. He says, “This high performance and community facility is just as much about providing for the grassroots as it is about providing a training base for our elite teams, such as Canberra United.”

And Mr Brown says the establishment of futsal courts will contribute to gender parity in football; “In Canberra, 42 per cent of futsal players are female. This is more than double the national average for females of 20 per cent. With Futsal centres in Canberra at capacity, the new facility will provide opportunity to run more competitions that will support our work to achieve parity with male participation.”

Tuesday’s budget announcement sees the ACT Government partnering with Capital Football and Football Federation of Australia (FFA) to establish the headquarters for football in Canberra. Mr Brown sees this injection of funds as having significant benefit for the future of Canberra football, “The ‘Home of Football’ facility represents a real opportunity for strategic growth in football in the ACT.”

As part of the partnership, the FFA will be bringing three elite games to Canberra over the next 18 months, including Matildas and Socceroos matches. Further details around these games will be announced on Friday morning when an official Home of Football announcement will be held onsite in Throsby with representatives from the ACT Government, Capital Football and Football Federation of Australia.

*ENDS*

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

FIFA’s commercial partnership structure unlocks opportunities

FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

For the first time in eight years, FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

Three partnership variables have been launched which include women’s football, men’s football and Esports/gaming. As a starting point, brands will now be able to negotiate dedicated partnerships with women’s football and Esports.

FIFA are building on their Women’s Football strategy implemented from 2018, by launching a dedicated women’s soccer commercial vertical to show their commitment to making soccer more accessible for women and girls across the globe. Their main aim from this vertical is to accelerate the growth and equality of the women’s game.

As for opportunities that provides for Australia, it could be a key driver for broadening the business side in women’s soccer, as well as the ever-growing Esports.

FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman:

“This marks a groundbreaking moment to maximise the growth of the women’s game and its marketing appeal, as we create equal commercial models across Women’s and Men’s Football for the first time,” she said.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for brands who want to support women’s sport, help accelerate women’s equality, and wish to align themselves with the unparalleled momentum around women’s football.”

A dedicated partnerships structure for Esports will allow FIFA to further broaden its gaming footprint. The structure provides exciting opportunities to participate in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Overall, FIFA’s new partnership structure includes the following:

  • All partners will receive extensive global commercial rights across national team tournaments.
  • Sponsors will receive global activation rights surrounding the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and/or across all FIFAe competitions.
  • Tournament Supporters will be able to select territorial activation rights for any of the above listed tournaments.
  • FIFA partners continue to hold the highest level of association with global partner status and category exclusivity across competitions.
  • FIFA’s new commercial approach will enable brands to benefit from new opportunities to associate with FIFA’s brand for business-driven purposes

FIFA Chief Commercial Officer, Kay Madati, on the impact these changes will make:

“As we continually work to make football truly global, accessible and inclusive, we recognised the need for a nimble and customisable commercial structure that enables brands big and small, global and local, to connect with all aspects of the beautiful game,” he said.

“The new model will allow our partners to create more tailored programming and marketing activations that align directly with their strategic business goals, and connect them to the world’s most passionate fans, in the world’s most engaging sport.”

Sport Republic acquires stake in Southampton FC

Sport Republic – backed by billionaire Serbian businessman Dragan Solak – have acquired a large stake in the club.

English Premier League club Southampton has confirmed that Sport Republic – backed by billionaire Serbian businessman Dragan Solak – have acquired a large stake in the club.

They have purchased the stakes that were previously owned by Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng, and will work in collaboration with Katharina Liebherr – daughter of Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr – who owns the remaining stake in the club.

Sport Republic are a London-based investment firm for the sports and entertainment industry. They were founded by Henrik Kraft and Rasmus Ankersen and headed by Dragan Solak. Their portfolio includes Tonsser – a football player app that empowers youth players to progress and unlock their potential.

Southampton CEO Martin Semmens:

“Over the last two years, together with the shareholders of our club, we have searched for the right partner to take the club forward. Today we have found the perfect solution,” he said.

“Sport Republic are experienced investors, but also experienced within the world of elite professional sports. That combination is very hard to find, and we are thrilled to have reached an agreement that secures our short and long-term future.

“We are grateful for the support of Mr Gao and Katharina that allowed us to take our time, turn away the wrong options and ultimately find the right partner for the future of this great club, its fans, staff and the people of Southampton.

Sport Republic Lead Investor Dragan Solak:

“My partners and I have experience in long-term investments in the sports and entertainment industry and Sport Republic has been founded to combine this expertise and deliver something unique to the market,” he said.

“Southampton has so many of the qualities we have been looking for in a major sports organisation. It has a great management team, excellent talent development, talented teams playing attractive football and a dedicated fan base. We are delighted to be able to complete this acquisition.”

Sport Republic Chairman Henrik Kraft:

“We will be an active and engaged owner, but we will not be starting any revolutions. We were attracted to Southampton because it is already a well-run club that follows a clearly defined strategy,” he said.

“Whilst Southampton is Sport Republic’s first acquisition, we expect more investments to follow over the coming years. Our ambition is to build a portfolio of high-influence stakes in football clubs and other sporting assets across the world.

“At the same time, we will also invest in early-stage sports technology companies and use our portfolio to accelerate the development of these companies. The acquisition of Southampton is a great first step and we are very excited about the journey ahead.”

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