Football NSW announce funding for community ground lighting

On Wednesday this week, Football NSW released a statement declaring that they had received $300,000 that will go towards upgrading lighting fixtures for community clubs across the state.

This is a wonderful move by Football NSW, continuing to give to the community as they know they are their most important stakeholders. Their ‘Let’s Light Up Football’ campaign has now received over half a million dollars over the last year and a half.

The full press release can be found below:

Football NSW is delighted to announce the recipients of the second year of its highly successful ‘Let’s Light Up Football’ Campaign with 17 clubs/council’s being recently selected to receive funding.

Year Two of the Let’s Light Up Football Campaign has seen another $300,000 from the Community Investment Fund spread across NSW to provide much needed lighting upgrades for community football clubs across the state. The key objective of this Campaign is to incentivise a joint funding approach whereby matching contributions from a club and/or association is combined with local council support.

Together with projects supported in 2018, the Let’s Light Up Football campaign has now seen a total of $600,000 invested by football resulting in a further $5.8 million by clubs, associations and local councils. The key outcome is that over the first two years, 34 football fields in NSW will now be lit as a result of this campaign.

Football NSW CEO, Stuart Hodge commented, “Football NSW is thrilled to once again provide much needed funding to football clubs across NSW”.

“Improving field lighting is a fantastic opportunity for councils and clubs to increase the capacity of fields in a time when green space is scarce – none more so than in many of our associations in metropolitan Sydney”.

The recent NSW State-wide Facilities Audit revealed that lighting is a major concern across the state with 32% of fields not having lighting. For a sport predominantly played in the winter months lighting is a crucial element of any football facility allowing more hours for training and playing”.

“Lighting is a simple and effective way to improve a large number of community facilities for football”.

“The Fund was oversubscribed which again clearly demonstrates the need to light football fields across the state. Clubs are bursting at the seams and in some cases, there are multiple senior teams training on one full sized football field simply because there are not enough fields with lighting in their local area” further added Mr Hodge.

Fourteen grounds from metropolitan Sydney will be the beneficiaries of upgraded lighting with the remaining three projects, from as far south as Eurobodalla to as far west as Narromine, being from Regional NSW.

Successful applicants from the second year of the Let’s Light Up Football fund are as follows (alphabetical order):

The Community Investment Fund is a joint initiative of both Football NSW and Football Federation Australia (FFA) and is made possible by the FFA’s annual grant to Football NSW.

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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