fbpx

How Melbourne Victory can restore their brand

Melbourne Victory fell to their 14th loss of the season on Sunday in Perth, losing to the Glory 2-1.

It’s a new low for the club which has, for the lifespan of the A-League, been the benchmark off the field and sit just behind Sydney FC on it.

The club regularly tops the charts in attendances and memberships each season, with crowds at some points surpassing 40,000 for regular season matches throughout their history.

This season however, tells a different story.

Victory currently average 5,860 people a game, the lowest figure in their history by some margin. They sit sixth in average attendance this season, behind crosstown rivals Melbourne City.

Whilst the effect of a global pandemic has affected numbers all around the A-League alongside other factors, here are some of problems the head honchos at Melbourne Victory must specifically address to regain their prominence in the competitive Melburnian sporting market.

Revamp the current squad

It’s hard to argue that this isn’t the worst Melbourne Victory team ever assembled. The Victory currently sit second last on the table and their goal difference of -29 is unheard of for a club who’s usually vying for the top position in the league. With Tony Popovic set to coach the team next season, his number one priority will be to clear the deadwood at the Victory and bring in some fresh faces to rebuild the club’s winning mentality.

Address the Marvel Stadium situation

Victory have played at the Docklands venue since its second season due to a financially favourable stadium deal, but the overall experience at the ground is not ideal for football fans. The club plays five games a season at Marvel Stadium, however due to declining levels of active support and a poor viewing experience, games at the stadium are becoming a chore to attend.

At a minimum, if games are to continue at the stadium seats on the first level should be pushed in to increase atmospheric levels and active support should be further encouraged, not continuously stifled.

More energy should definitely be put into filling the 30,000 capacity of a premier footballing venue in AAMI Park every gameday.

Develop an academy site – connect better with the community

After 16 years of being in the A-League, Melbourne Victory are yet to have a facility constructed for its academy setup that befits their size as a club. Their proposed academy base at Footscray Park, which also would have been a home for the club’s W-League side, fell through due to push back from locals in the council area.

Local rivals Melbourne City had a state-of-the-art City Football Academy based in Bundoora for a number of years, before switching their academy site in recent months to Casey Fields, to further connect with the South-East Melbourne football community.

With other Melburnian franchise Western United set to develop their own stadium and training facility in the Western Melbourne suburb of Tarneit, Victory is quickly falling behind the other two teams in their state when it comes to ownership of facilities and connecting with strong segments of the Victorian football community.

Remove the ‘Pay as You Go’ ticketing model

Introduced in response to the uncertain nature of a covid effected season, Melbourne Victory’s current membership model is impacting on its current gameday attendance. This season, fans who purchased a season ticket paid a discounted base fee for the year.

However, this was because each matchday these supporters would have to pay to lock in a seat at half the regular price of a normal match ticket, each time they wanted to attend a game.

The new process is more of a hassle and not as accessible as, for example, bringing in your general admission card, scanning in at the gate and picking your own seat on the day.

Re-build the active support in the north and south ends

It’s been touched on before, but the atmosphere at Melbourne Victory home games were once unrivalled in all of Australian sport.

Whilst the loyal folks are still there and making great noise, there is a lot of work to do by the club to encourage those who have been disenchanted with the club and the professional game in general, to come back to the terraces at the north and south ends.

 

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.

MyRepublic announced as Official Internet Provider for Melbourne City

Melb City

Melbourne City FC has announced that MyRepublic will be the Official Internet Provider for the club going forward.

MyRepublic is a next generation internet service provider. They will have their logos feature on the sleeve and back of the City’s Liberty A-League jerseys and will also be displayed on the front of the A-League Men’s training kit.

This new partnership is set to help City extend the reach of their matches to a wider audience, while highlighting the club on various social media platforms and delivering incredible experiences for City fans.

MyRepublic Group Chief Marketing Officer and Country Manager for Australia, Ji Jing:

“We are extremely proud to be the exclusive Official Internet Provider of Melbourne City FC. As an ISP in Australia, we are also a champion for diversity and inclusion by breaking down the digital divide. MyRepublic has brought fast broadband connectivity into many households in Australia.

“It is thus befitting that the theme of speed is chosen for this sponsorship deal. We hope to bring the fans closer to the football action, as we line up a slew of marketing activities for our customers with money-cannot-buy type of experiences.”

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse:

“We are thrilled to partner with a business that is focused on becoming a market leader in the next generation of networks.

“Our fans want to see the fastest players on the pitch and I’m sure they want their club to partner with the best brands off the pitch. With MyRepublic we have opened a door for them to experience a genuinely trailblazing proposition and lightning speed internet connectivity.

“We look forward to partnering with MyRepublic in using football as a key platform to strengthen social and community bonding in Australia.”

Australian Professional Leagues announce minority investment from Silver Lake

ALM

Australian Professional Leagues (APL), the entity responsible for the operation, commercialisation and marketing of professional football in Australia, have today announced that Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, has made a significant minority investment in the organisation.

The investment will drive technology enhancements and innovation aimed at improving the fan experience and driving further development of the game in Australia. The transaction values APL at approximately USD$300m / AUD $425M.

Silver Lake’s investment aimed at supporting APL’s sustained, long-term growth strategy for the leagues, with a measured deployment of capital over the coming years. Funds will be used to drive enhancements widely across many aspects of the professional game.

APL’s digital first strategy will continue to evolve with a focus on marketing, product development and strengthening its direct-to-consumer execution.

Funds will also be allocated to support the on-field enhancement of the A-Leagues including increased investment in all competitions with a specific focus on extended growth in the Liberty A-League Women and A-League Youth competitions. Additional investment is planned to be deployed for development of unique community engagement propositions to further connect the game.

Silver Lake Managing Director Stephen Evans will become a Member of the APL Board.

Commenting on the announcement, A-Leagues Chair Paul Lederer said:

“Silver Lake is a world-class leader in technology and media investing and this partnership is a testament to the compelling opportunities for growth and even better, deeper fan engagement that our leagues are cultivating. This valuation recognises the latent potential that has long existed in the professional game in Australia, and the ability of our board and executive team to realise that potential.

“We welcome the opportunity to work closely with Silver Lake to harness the team’s experience, including around new technology adoption and other growth strategies critical to realising the potential of Australian football.”

Silver Lake Managing Director Stephen Evans added:

“The Australian Professional Leagues has a large, growing and passionate fan base across its 13 teams and the organisation has made great strides as it focuses on leveraging technology to strengthen Australian football and enrich the fan experience.

“We are excited to partner with the Board, Danny Townsend, and the entire executive team to help further accelerate APL’s digital transformation and support its continued momentum and ambitious vision for long-term sustainable and inclusive growth.”

The Silver Lake transaction has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Football Australia.

© 2021 Soccerscene Industry News. All Rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Most Popular Topics

Editor Picks