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Football Australia signs expanded partnership with rebel

Football Australia has announced a multi-year expanded partnership with rebel - Australia's largest sports retailer.

Football Australia has announced a multi-year expanded partnership with rebel, as Australia’s largest sports retailer has signed on to be the official sponsor of Football Australia and the Westfield Matildas through to 2024.

The partnership will support the growth of the women’s game and grassroots football across the nation. The news comes as the Westfield Matildas are currently in Europe preparing for international friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands this month.

The partnership matches the core business of rebel, who want to encourage Australians to live a healthy and active lifestyle doing the sports they love. Football Australia’s mission is to achieve gender parity in participation by 2027.

With Football Australia and rebel sharing similar values, they will focus on initiatives that inspire more females to play sport, as Football Australia aims to secure over 400,000 new female participants over the next six years.

The ‘Sport is Calling’ platform will be used by rebel to motivate women and girls to unlock health and social benefits of pulling on football boots for the first time – this inspires ambitious players to reach their potential by promoting Westfield Matildas’ training regimes.

The partnership links to Football Australia’s MiniRoos program, which will also include a content strategy to bring football fans and rebel customers closer to the action. There will be exclusive, money-can’t-buy opportunities on offer for rebel active members.

rebel General Manager Customer & Marketing, Jennifer Gulliver:

“rebel is passionate about supporting women’s sport and women’s football and to sponsor Australia’s most loved team in the Westfield Matildas is something the whole organisation is behind.”

“We can’t wait to inspire the next generation of girls over coming years, and perhaps help a few realise their dreams of becoming a Westfield Matilda in the future.”

rebel Managing Director, Gary Williams:

“In just two days’ time the Westfield Matildas will return to international action for the first time since March 2020, which will provide inspiration to thousands of girls and boys across Australia’s football family who are preparing to play the game at community and grassroots levels throughout 2021. This unique timing only adds to our excitement to continue our support of football in Australia.”

“With our ‘Sport is Calling’ mantra, rebel is committed to growing sports participation across the country, and this partnership with Football Australia will unlock exciting opportunities and offers for rebel’s football fans through an array of online, in-store, and in-stadia experiences.”

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson:

“We are delighted to have secured another corporate partner for Football Australia that believes in our long-term vision for the sport, including the enormous potential that exists in the women’s and community spaces.”

“rebel has been a long-term partner of football in Australia, and as Australia’s largest sports retailer, is well positioned to help football deliver positive outcomes across the country. As the national governing body, Football Australia looks to work with organisations that will proactively help us supercharge football’s growth.”

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

Player sentiment up, average age down: PFA releases annual report

Sentiment is well and truly up for A-League players, according to the annual Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report.

This time last year, only 33% of A-League players felt confident about the direction of their football careers.

According to the PFA’s latest annual report, that number is now 56%.

Of the A-League’s 312 players, 200 responded to the 2020/21 A-League survey, capturing 70% of the current cohort, with the results proving that even despite the ongoing turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the majority of players feel much more confident about their futures within the game.

The report highlights that Australian players actively want to remain in the A-League, as opposed to seeking opportunities overseas.

The key numbers that demonstrate this include:

  • 55% of players said they would like to stay playing in the A-League next season, up from 45% last year.
  • 56% of players are confident about the direction of their football careers, compared to 33% in 2019/20.
  • Only 4% of players would move to an overseas league even if it was for similar money and/or playing standard.
  • Only 16% of players who would prefer to move to an overseas league would only do so if the money and standards were better.

Other highlights of the report include that the average A-League player is getting younger.

Over the last 14 years, the average age of the A-League player has consistently trended upwards.

In 2020/21, however, this changed and the average age trended downwards, dropping from 27.6 to 25.1.

The number of players utilised in the A-League who were aged 21 and under came in at 107, representing 35% of the 300 players who received A-League minutes during the 2020/21 season.

The youngest squads on average belonged to Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, with average ages of 23.6 and 23.9 years respectively.

Another highlight was the fact that of the league’s 312 contracted players, 300 received A-League minutes.

“These reports have been immensely valuable, helping the PFA and the players better understand the industry in which they are employed, monitor the application of high-performance standards, assess technical progress and survey the players’ experience,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said of the report.

“For the last five years, we have been able to utilise these reports to formulate evidence-based positions to improve the environments in which our members work through collective bargaining.

“Promisingly, after a period of significant uncertainty, the players have indicated that they are more confident in the direction of their careers and the future of the competition than this time last year, signifying a positive shift in the perception of the A-League.”

The report also highlights the fact that A-League attendances were the lowest ever in the competition, thanks in large part to COVID-19, with an average attendance of 5,660.

Foreign players in the league reduced by 12 to a total of 51, whilst the average salary in the A-League is $136,791.

Access the full report HERE.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

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