FFA to rebrand as ‘Football Australia’ following difficult year

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced significant losses for FY2020 and a rebrand to ‘Football Australia’ following its AGM today. The name change had overwhelming support following a consultation process as part of the development of the XI Principles for the future of Australian football.

“Today we took another significant step on this new journey we have embarked upon when the FFA Congress unanimously resolved to change the organisation’s name from Football Federation Australia to ‘Football Australia’,” said FFA chair, Chris Nikou.

“This new name – which we will transition to over the coming months – signifies a fresh and exciting start for the game under the new strategic agenda, and a return to the roots of football in Australia.”

The FFA has had a challenging year. First, the suspension of the Hyundai A-League season in March due to COVID-19 resulted in the renegotiation of FFA’s long-term media rights agreement with Fox Sports Australia, and then the suspension of all international and grassroots football activity caused further challenges to the financial performance of the organisation.

Broadcast income was down A$5.6 million on the previous financial year, mostly attributable to the loss of FTA broadcast rights income. The FFA’s sponsorship takings dropped $7.1 million from FY2019. The decrease is attributable to the expiry of “various large contracts” including Caltex, ALDI, NAB and Harvey Norman during the year, the FFA’s annual review stated.

“Despite the challenges of the year, 2020 has witnessed many highlights for Australian football,” said FFA CEO Jame Johnson. “Among the headline moments, we won the right to co-host the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, saw both Men’s and Women’s teams qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and launched the XI Principles for the future of Australian football, a new strategic agenda and 15-year vision for the sport.”

As disruption to the domestic and international football picked up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the association moved swiftly to pivot some of its planning to ensure participants and fans retained, or even grew, their connections to the game throughout the challenging period.

This shift in strategy has seen exponential growth in its digital presence. Across the 2020 Financial Year, the Socceroos digital platforms saw a 244% increase in total video views; 355% increase in total hours viewed; and 14% increase in total social engagements.

The Westfield Matildas digital platforms over the same period saw equally impressive growth with a 91.5% increase in total video views; 157% increase in total hours viewed; and 9.3% increase in social followers. The FFA also re-negotiated commercial agreements for the Westfield Matildas during the year.


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