Dedicated football fans launch new online publication Kick360

After spending years behind Foxtel’s paywall, Australian football is emerging from 2021 as a more accessible sport for viewers, and one new publication looking to tap into the growing profile of the sport is the recently-launched Kick360.

The digital publication has a small team of contributors who file news stories and compile features covering Australia’s football leagues, from grassroots to professional.

Kick360 covers everything from the Socceroos and Matildas, through to the A-League and W-League, the state football system, and National Premier Leagues for Men and Women. As of August, the site already boasted 39,000 unique monthly readers, and has also launched a podcast.

Co-founder Neal Symons told Mumbrella that despite the additional coverage across the Paramount+ and Network Ten ecosystem, “Australian Football [remains] underrepresented in the Australian media landscape”.

“Publications have dropped off, coverage [has] slowed from the mainstream media. Yet Australians watch and consume a lot of football around the world. Effectively we wanted to tell stories within Australian football and provide focus to all levels of the game as feasibly as possible.”

Without referring to it specifically Symons alludes to the likes of SBS’s The World Game, which ceased operations earlier this year.

“The game’s public presence has ebbed and flowed throughout history. Sadly, the same has gone for the media outlets that were once staples of the Australian Football scene.

“Media is one of the hardest industries to monetise effectively, with the rise of social media and the changes in consumer consumption, and as such we’ve seen the demise of many websites and outlets that we religiously read as fans. There is a need for great features and coverage, and we’ve sought to pick up the mantle. We can’t replace them, but we can pick up the mantle and play our part.”

Fellow co-founder Deyaco Kamboozia said the void in media coverage around the sport has existed for a multitude of reasons, and admits that other professional sports have ultimately been much more successful in lobbying both in the media and for government support.

Some of the challenges faced by the sport have included “funding and cost-cutting” [which] starting prior to the pandemic but accelerated because of it.

“The transition of media from paid newspapers and magazines to digital outlets, changing business models and high costs of operation,” Kamboozia said.

The result of the “resilient nature of other codes” is that they’ve become “ingrained in the mindset and strategy of the major mainstream media”. This is something the team hope to do for football as well.

Kick360 co-founders Neal Symons and Deyaco Kamboozia

Momentum is already building around the sport, and Symons suggests that the profile that Network Ten will give the game on free-to-air television will be significant, as will the influence of the game’s new independent body, the Australian Professional Leagues.

“Absolutely, there is been a seismic shift ever since last year with the pandemic and to see that Football Australia and the Australian professional leagues have found a resolution to the broadcasting issues is fantastic and it’s wonderful to see the platform that they will have in a free to air landscape. It is also very nice to see other publications driving interest and coverage as well.”

Kick360 currently has a mixture of young up-and-coming journalists, alongside seasoned contributors like Joey Lynch, Paul Williams, and Samantha Lewis. “As we grow, we want to regularly feature insight and analysis from the large and diverse talent pool of freelance journalists, and perhaps have a complete full-time workforce at the right time,” Symons added.

“A mix of the future and talented experienced journalists is core to our long-term growth.”

Looking ahead, Kamboozia said the Kick360 website “is just one piece of the puzzle.”

“Behind the scenes we are working on a number of projects, with the ultimate goal to partner and work closely with major bodies in Australian Football as we head toward the FIFA Womens’ World Cup 2023.

“The game has a tremendous opportunity strategically to align and grow with the legacy of the FIFA WWC23, and we are wanting to partner and help the game on that trajectory with our media work but also our projects behind the scenes.”

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be broadcast in Australia on Optus Sport, alongside an as-yet-undetermined free-to-air partner.

Meanwhile, the A-League will kick off on 19 November, with the W-League beginning a few days later on 3 December.


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