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Belarus Premier League captures world’s attention with overseas TV deals

As the only European professional football league still playing, the Belarusian Premier League has now struck multiple overseas deals with broadcasters seeking live sports content during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the start of its new season earlier in March, the league has extended its reach into ten international territories, according to the Reuters news agency.

Among the broadcast deals reported, TV networks in neighbouring Russia and Ukraine, as well as countries further afield such as Israel and India, have snapped up rights to the league.

The Belarus Football Federation (ABFF) has refused to postpone play while the country is taking a more relaxed approach to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“What is clear is that this situation has never happened before in our country’s competition. [Previously] it was difficult for us to sell,” said ABFF spokesperson Alexander Aleinik on the national football body’s website.

With the Belarusian Premier League not signalling its intent to halt competition as this stage, it is sure to delight fans around the world who are craving something to watch, after having their local leagues suspended and postponed with no clear date of resumption.

“We didn’t expect them to have a decent league over there. We didn’t know this before because we didn’t show the matches,” said Viktor Samoilenko, the head of Poverkhnost Ukraine, which owns the country’s Sport-1 network.

The decision to continue playing comes with the Belarusian government deciding not to enforce the COVID-19 social distancing measures seen in other countries. Those regulations elsewhere have created a near-total shutdown of live sports events.

It means that as we’ve seen with some competitions previously, the league will look to continue operating as per normal until it is deemed too unsafe or recommended not to by their government.

It has definitely proved to be a unique approach by the people of Belarus and could serve as one of the few welcome distractions to what is happening around the world.

At the time of reporting, there have been 163 reported cases of coronavirus in Belarus, including 2 reported deaths and 53 patients who have made full recoveries. At the moment Belarus has one of the fewest number of cases in the world.

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

Sydney FC members to pick and choose membership packs in 2021/22

Sydney FC has introduced an Aussie-first membership platform, with members to gain more control over the customisation of their membership packs.

Sydney FC has introduced an Australian-first membership platform, with members to gain more control over the customisation of their membership packs.

The club and its membership products provider, TPF Sports, will greatly increase member satisfaction and reduce environmental impact. Sydney FC members who sign up for the 2021/22 season will have credits put onto their accounts, allowing them to choose from a variety of Membership card designs and, depending on their package, a variety of personalised items.

Each merchandising item may be customised with different colours and names, allowing for unique bundles based on age, gender, product choice, artwork style, personalisation, years of tender, and a variety of other factors.

Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend hailed the announcement as a big step forward for how the club engages with its members.

“Our new eMber+ platform is a huge step forward and once again Sydney FC is proud to be leading the way in Member engagement,” he said via a club statement,” he said.

“Gone are the days of receiving the same standard Membership pack as everyone else.

“Now you can tailor your package to suit your preferences and how you wish to support the Sky Blues.

“There’s a fantastic range of customisable merchandise available and I know I’m looking forward to my delivery in the coming weeks.”

TPF Sports Director Craig Dyer explains the move is a worldwide first and one of the benefits of the move would be the reduced environmental impact of membership packs, thanks largely in part to the fact that members will only receive merchandise they actually want.

“There are iterations of loyalty and rewards platforms globally,” he said.

“But to the best of our knowledge from 18 to 20 months of development and research, we believe this is the first-ever platform of its kind and certainly the first for sport and membership-based programs.

“Our vision in developing the platform is to revolutionise the long-standing pre-determined assignment of resources to Members by assigning credit. This allows them to redeem merchandise and entitlements they deem relevant to them.

“This platform also has a strong environmental slant, as we are only supplying merchandise and delivering this merchandise to Members who want to redeem it.

“Additionally, almost every product is on-demand, meaning we receive Members’ selection based on products and artwork, print them with selected artwork and personalisation, pick, pack and fulfil directly to the Members door.”

Football NSW grants webinar to aid clubs and associations

FNSW

Football NSW in conjunction with ‘The Grants Guy’ are set to premiere a free Grants Zoom online webinar next Wednesday (September 22) at 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

FNSW clubs and associations will be provided with valuable information through the grants webinar, especially for applying for funding which have assisted many teams in the past in their pursuit of seeking facility upgrades amongst various other beneficial elements.

The webinar will provide a practical guide to grant writing for any football club seeking to attain funding by applying for the Greater Cities Sport Facility Fund and the Regional Sport Facility Fund in particular.

Both grants will be explained through the practical step by step webinar, and guidance will be provided as to how to apply for the Grants.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • How to apply for the grant – the do’s and don’ts
  • Eligibility & Answering the Question
  • Project Assessment, Evaluation, Rationale, Methodology
  • Budget & Acquittal
  • Getting Grant Ready and Planning your Club’s Application

For the Greater Cities and Regional Sport Facility Fund, the second and final round of the $100 million grant is available, with grants of up to $1 million offered to sport and recreation organisations and councils.

In Round 2, up to $46 million is available for projects that improve sports facilities and recreational spaces and enable more people to participate in sport and active recreation.

Grants from $100,000 up to $1 million are available for a range of projects including lighting, amenity buildings, clubrooms, change rooms and grandstands.

Round 1 resulted in $54 million awarded for 91 projects, with over $10 million awarded to football projects.

Round 2 is the final round of the program with applications closing at 12pm, on October 8, 2021.

Register for the webinar today by clicking here.

For any further questions please contact Football NSW’s Government Relation, Infrastructure and Funding Manager Daniel Ristic via email on danielr@footballfacilities.com.au.

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