AFL Media, the powerful content arm of the Australian Football League, is looking to recruit an advertising executive to sell its production services to clients outside of the AFL.
Sam Walch, CEO of AFL Media, told Mumbrella that he had drawn up a shortlist and an appointment would be made within the next few months.
“We’re shamelessly looking to recruit a commercial director with an advertising background. That person will be working with ad agencies and advertisers on content projects,” he said.
AFL Media is a centralised news service which runs AFL Films, prints the Footy Record and publishes the AFL website, afl.com.au. It was founded at the start of the year, has around 100 full-time staff, including 22 journalists, and now offers print, video and digital production services.
The body recently picked up a brief from Walch’s former employer, Cricket Australia, to handle video production work for CA’s Big Bash League, with a view to taking on more work in the future.
The AFL works with the Melbourne office of creative agency GPY&R, but Walch insisted that the group was not looking to challenge the role of ad agencies.
“We don’t purport to be a one-stop advertising shop. We’re not looking to take out the role of the advertising agency, and we don’t see ourselves as a rival to ad agencies,” Walch said.
“But we observed some time ago, that there are certain inefficiencies in the content production process, and it made business sense to do a lot production work ourselves,” he said. “And yes, we have the resources and capacity to take on some types of production work beyond the AFL, where there’s demand.”
When AFL Media launched 10 months ago, there were concerns among mainstream media that the league was invading its turf. Eight months later, The Age reported that the AFL would become the first major Australian sporting body to sell footage of matches directly to fans.