AFC outlines commitment to expand ‘fan-first’ strategy

The AFC further outlined its commitment to confirm football as the continent’s number one sport, through an expanded ‘fan-first’ digital strategy.

The AFC Media and Communications Committee recently held their second meeting for the term of 2019-2023, with engagement figures of the AFC’s digital platforms in 2020 surpassing those of the previous year.

Chairperson of the committee, Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar, said: “As you know, COVID-19 has disrupted our competitions and fixtures, but I am pleased to note that it has not affected our ability to engage with Asia’s passionate fans.

“We should be proud that the engagement numbers in 2020 has surpassed 2019, which was an AFC Asian Cup year. We have seen a 202% increase on our English sites and 876% on the Arabic website. We have also seen 91% of our traffic coming via mobile devices and a really impressive 30% of female engagement.

“This is the result of the ‘fan-first’ digital strategy that was approved by this Committee at our first meeting and congratulations to you all. We must continue to ensure that we deliver the best outcome for our Member Associations, the AFC as well as to our fans and importantly, potential commercial partners.”

To build on the momentum and reach of its fan-first approach, the committee approved the AFC’s social media strategy for 2021-2024.

The strategy looks to engage Asia’s passionate fans through quality content on appropriate platforms, with the aim of benefitting AFC and its Member Associations.

The committee also agreed on the creation of the Editorial Board for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China, with members from both the AFC and the Local Organising Committee.

The members in the Editorial Board will play a significant role in delivering an integrated digital fan engagement strategy, for the upcoming tournament.

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football Coaches Australia welcomes Sports Integrity Australia independent investigation


Football Coaches Australia (FCA) welcomed the broad independent investigative mandate provided by Football Australia to Sport Integrity Australia, encompassing four different areas – harassment, bullying, intimidation and discrimination.

FCA encourages current and former players, administrators, referees and coaches, as well as parents and others involved in football in Australia to come forward through this process to enhance the positive cultural development in our sport.

FCA President Phil Moss stated: “As an organisation we have sought transparency, due process and procedural fairness from day one, so we fully support an independent and wide-ranging investigation into the culture of football in Australia.

“We must, as a game, hold ourselves to the highest of standards.

“The culture we live every day, how we treat each other and ensuring we are setting up the next generation to enjoy our great game is of paramount importance and entirely non-negotiable.”

Newly elected FCA Vice President Sarah West endorsed Phil’s statement:

“Everyone in our sport, from professional players, coaches, referees, administrators and staff through to those involved at the grass roots, has the right to participate in a positive and safe environment and to be treated with respect and fairness.

“There is no place in our game for abuse or harassment of any kind. This unacceptable behaviour harms people and diminishes the game.

“As coaches we have a duty of care to those we are entrusted to work with and must endeavour to always create environments which provide safety, trust and inclusivity so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful game on and off the pitch.”

Media inquiries can be directed to FCA Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Warry, on +61 417 346 312

Manchester City teams up with Qualtrics

Manchester City Qualtrics

English Premier League side Manchester City have announced a new partnership with Qualtrics which will see the leader and creator of the Experience Management (XM) category become the Club’s Official Experience Management Software Partner.

Qualtrics empowers organisations to listen to customer and employee feedback, understand and analyse what they hear, then take action to improve experiences and design new ones, all in real time.

Manchester City and Qualtrics’ new partnership aligns with the club’s ongoing commitment to provide the best possible matchday experience for fans and will allow the club to use industry-leading experience management software to listen to fans’ feedback following each fixture.

From overall matchday experience – to catering, facilities, retail and more – Qualtrics can provide valuable insight and real-time data from fans to help the club shape their future strategic planning and decisions.

The new partnership is also expected to include further activations across wider areas of the organisation in coming months, using Qualtrics’ experience management software to listen to fan feedback and enhance the digital experience for Cityzens across the globe.

Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Sales at City Football Group, Stephan Cieplik:

“As a club, we are continually working to improve our matchday offering for fans both in-stadium and across our digital platforms for those following across the globe,” he said.

“Through this new partnership with Qualtrics, we will be able to use industry-leading software to gather valuable feedback and insight from those at the heart of our club to help shape future decisions around matchdays.”

Qualtrics President of Products and Services, Brad Anderson:

“With Qualtrics, Manchester City can listen to and understand fan feedback in real time and take action to improve matchday experiences,” he said.

“But fan experience isn’t limited to the stadium — the digital and at-home fan experience is just as important, and Qualtrics will help Manchester City to deliver a personalized experience to their fans wherever they are.”

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