Telstra and AFL launch platform for players to create content

The AFL, Telstra and the AFL Players’ Association have launched an online platform for players to directly publish digital content to the public.

Under the deal, which forms part of the AFL and Telstra’s existing digital rights agreement, the organisations will work with players to create digital content across the official AFL and Telstra digital networks, while also providing social media training.

Paul Marsh, Joe Pollard and Gillon McLachlan with AFL player Sean Docherty (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

While the service is available for all players currently in the AFL, 50 ambassadors will also be chosen. The ambassadors will appear in Telstra promotions and participate in AFL community events.

Gillon McLachlan, AFL CEO, said in announcing the service: “We’re always exploring new ways to innovate our game with Telstra. Footy fans want to connect with the game, their clubs and, most importantly, with the players. We want to bring fans and players closer together.”

McLachlan told Mumbrella he doesn’t see this service clashing with companies such as Players Voice and 20Four which have been rolling out player engagement platforms over the past two years: “This is about giving a greater voice to the key people in the game – the players. It doesn’t mean they won’t be able to use services like PlayersVoice or deeper pieces in other areas.”

Proceeds from the deal will be shared between the individual players, the AFL player’s retirement fund and support services for retiring players.

Paul Marsh, AFL Players’ Association CEO, said: “This partnership demonstrates the players’ commitment to working with the AFL and its partners to identify new ways to strengthen the industry and grow the game. Over the next five years, AFL players aim to enhance the fan experience by creating new, interesting and engaging content for everyone to enjoy.

“Every AFL player will benefit from the partnership, including through greater contributions into the player retirement scheme.”

Joe Pollard, Telstra’s group executive of media and chief marketing officer, added: “We’ll work closely with the AFL, AFL Players’ Association and AFL players to create engaging social media content for fans and exclusive moments for Telstra customers to connect with their AFL heroes in the virtual, and real world.

“We want to open a new door to give our customers the chance to get to know the personalities involved in our great game so they can build deeper connections with their favourite players, and understand and experience the hard work, dedication and fun these incredible athletes have in their lives on and off the field.”


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