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APL appoints three new executives for commercial and marketing

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have appointed three new senior executives who will develop a commercial and marketing function.

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have appointed three new senior executives who will develop a commercial and marketing function to be part of the APL’s ambitious growth strategy.

All three personnel have had extensive experience in marketing related to sport and global organisations, bringing across new ideas to promote the game.

Ryan Sandilands is set to be the APL’s first Commercial Director, tasked with supercharging the commercial and operational capabilities of the APL and club commercial teams. Sandilands is a sports and entertainment industry veteran of 20 years, having led commercial growth and strategic planning for companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Women’s Tennis Association, City Football Group and AEG.

Rob Nolan will lead the marketing and data operations function, as APL focusses on a new future about how it engages with football fans on a one-to-one basis. Nolan brings over 20-years of global marketing experience from six countries, including Kayo Sports, News Corp and iflix, one of south-east Asia’s biggest entertainment subscription VOD services. Nolan has also spent time building data capability to fuel growth with data agency Digital Alchemy and various telcos including Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and O2 in the UK.

Stacey Knox joins the APL marketing team to overhaul their operational capability to prepare the execution of the APL’s ambitious direct-to-consumer strategy. Knox has more than two decades of experience in global marketing organisations and agencies, including the Coca-Cola Company, News Limited and Inchcape. She’s also a coach and mentor to industry bodies and not-for-profit organisations.

“This team is here to innovate and supercharge the commercial and marketing capabilities of the APL as we realise our reinvention as a leading football entertainment company,” APL Chief Commercial Officer Ant Hearne said.

“We’re seeing the most entertaining football on the pitch and it’s our job to take that directly to fans with a world class fan experience and content offering.”

These new appointments add to the recently announced Managing Director Danny Townsend, Leagues Commissioner Greg O’Rourke, Chief Commercial Officer Ant Hearne, Strategy and Digital Director Michael Tange, and Deputy Commissioner Tracey Scott in the APL leadership group.

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Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Diversity and Inclusion Grant announced by ESFA for Association Clubs

Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) announced the finalisation of a Diversity and Inclusion Grant for its local Association Clubs.

New South Wales’ Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) announced the finalisation of a Diversity and Inclusion Grant for its local Association Clubs.

Acclaimed to be the ESFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Grant is a first for a local grassroots association in NSW, the grant will fund sport and physical activity events for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the ESFA Community.

Specifically, the grant is seeking to support projects that are aimed at the following:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Newly arrived migrants and refugees, or culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups’
  • Women’s football
  • People with a physical and/or intellectual disability
  • LGBTIQA+ communities

The grant reaffirms the ESFA’s dedication to developing football for the entire community – irrespective of age, colour, gender and disability.

Furthermore, the announcement represents a significant aspect of the ESFA’s key strategic pillars for 2021-24. These pillars outline a focus on delivering football which is not just of a high-quality standard, but football that is accessible to the entire Eastern Suburbs community in order to ensure that more members of the area are encouraged to be a part of the game.

ESFA Director Lisa Thorn explained the reasoning behind the grant by reiterating what the association stands for.

“This is an important mechanism to promote the growth of football for all,” she said.

“At ESFA we believe it is important that sporting bodies reflect the diversity in the communities they are a part of, and that they ensure that everybody has access to the beautiful game.

“This program supports people who are historically less likely to participate within ESFA competitions and will help build a resilient, cohesive and harmonious ESFA community.”

President of the ESFA, Nigel Singh, acknowledged the instrumental role football plays in fostering community and connectedness, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.

“The events of last season highlighted how important football is beyond just the obvious physical benefits,” he said.

“Football establishes a sense of community, and it provides an avenue to form deeper connections with people we might not ordinarily interact with.

“We believe this program will allow our Clubs to continue the fantastic job they are doing in growing the game and in highlighting that participating within ESFA is about more than just football.”

Yarraville Glory Football Club boosted by $1.18 million funding grant

Yarraville Glory Football Club have been the beneficiaries of $1.18 million in funding through the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund community grants program.

The program has been delivered by the state government’s West Gate Tunnel Project with Yarraville receiving a lion share of the $6.4 million in funding, which has been divided across 19 different projects.

The club, who is based at McIvor Reserve, will use the funding to develop additional clubrooms, a new training and development room, a flexible floor plan, as well as flood lights and an equipment shed, which will be installed to improve playing and training conditions for participants.

Yarraville Glory Football Club secretary, Vince Cosentino, told Soccerscene that the submission proposal took him 10 hours to write after extensive consultation with local community groups, schools and MPs, as well as the local Greek community, who are heavily associated with the club.

The club submitted the application at the end of February last year after the West Gate Tunnel Project put out expressions of interest for community grants.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yarraville only received the news they had been successful in their quest in recent weeks, with local MP Melissa Horne visiting the club to make the funding announcement.

Cosentino explained how the club plans to use the grant to benefit not only the club, but the wider community as a whole.

“It’s a real community club, the members and the board have been around for quite a while,” he said.

“What we are looking to do is open up the club a lot more.

“We’ve got a floor space that we are going to renovate to be able to invite more school groups in. We already host little school football matches and tournaments and other things like that, but we want to open it up for more educational experiences and for FV if they want to do any sort of training courses from there.

“Community groups will be able to use the facility more, we’ll upgrade the positioning of the canteen area to be able to cater for that sort of stuff. We are also going to put in some dedicated female changerooms which we don’t have at the moment and female gyms. We will be able to have a much more female friendly environment.”

With a home Women’s World Cup on the way in 2023 Cosentino claims it is vital that the club has accessible facilities for all, as it continues to grow its female presence across the board.

“I think it’s extremely important and it’s the one area that we necessarily haven’t tapped into as a club,” he said.

“Because it is a very ethnic club and it is a little bit more male dominated, we are really trying to pull back women into the game.

“I think this is the third season we have got a senior women’s team and there are really healthy numbers, in the grassroots especially, that’s what we have noticed this year.

“It’s massive, when you think about it it’s 50 percent of the population, it really needs to be tapped into. It’s what I consider a safe sport, it’s not like they are going to get their head knocked off or anything like that and its very community orientated.”

The club continues to work with council around the intricacies of the grant, with alternative renovations possibly made in the future.

“We’re working closely with council at the moment and there’s a lot of good governance structures, the process is as mature as I’ve seen in a very long time,” Cosentino concluded.

Image Credit: Melissa Horne MP

New community club support initiatives to be rolled out by Football Queensland

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced they will introduce a new offering of club support initiatives over the next weeks and months.

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced they will introduce a new offering of club support initiatives over the next weeks and months.

The move will benefit clubs based in the Sunshine State, as Football Queensland continue to focus on ways to strengthen the community, grassroots and volunteers for a more sustainable future.

“Football Queensland is committed to providing increased support to our clubs and dedicated volunteers at all levels of the game and this extensive new set of club support resources will provide practical guidance and support on a range of administration matters,” FQ President Ben Richardson said.

This news follows on from FQ’s announcement last week regarding their upgraded Club Support Hub, which is a go-to destination for club administrators to access important resources, guides and assistance with club processes and procedures.

“Following the launch of Football Queensland’s upgraded Club Support Hub last week, the introduction of FQ’s new club support initiatives will begin with an exciting new volunteer program which will be launched across the state in the coming weeks,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“As the season progresses, FQ will release a range of tailored resources for clubs that include new resources designed to inform clubs about specific operational activities including finance planning and budgeting, running an AGM and understanding the roles and responsibilities of committee members among others.

“Volunteers are critical to club operations, especially at this time of the season, so we are looking forward to providing an additional level of support to Queensland clubs as we strive to make the job easier for all volunteers.

“The development of additional club resources aligns with FQ’s commitment to providing high levels of customer service through the implementation of new technology and processes, while supporting clubs to deliver high-quality participation experiences in line with our Strategic Plan.

“We are excited to continue providing our clubs and volunteers across Queensland with unprecedented levels of support through the ongoing development of our Club Support Hub and the release of high-quality resources to strengthen our clubs at every level of the game.”

You can find the Club Support Hub here.

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