Is a rebrand the answer for AFL Fantasy?

Ryman White Editor

By Ryman White, Ryman White is a Roar Editor


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    It was recently announced the AFL Dream Team competition is being rebranded as AFL Fantasy.

    As well, the traditional design of the competition is set to be challenged through the introduction of free draft-based leagues.

    Now the decision to rebrand Dream Team is not a huge surprise when you consider participation levels have been in decline for the past two years, indicating the interest of the semi-committed was beginning to wane.

    It was clear something had to be done to invigorate user interest and get more people engaged with the game – so an overhaul was ordered.

    At this stage it’s impractical to predict if users will embrace or reject these changes, however it is clear that if the AFL does not also overhaul their strategy for engaging users outside the competition space, all of the changes will be in vain.

    I am talking about the content produced by the AFL Media department, which is published to and aims to support and promote their fantasy competition.

    In 2012, published just two weekly articles that related to Dream Team, with a sprinkling of other content only appearing following heavily publicised incidents such as the injuries to Gary Ablett and Nathan Fyfe.

    The bulk of this content was also retrospective, meaning it provided users little in the way of informed analysis which could help readers overcome the various fantasy related hurdles that appear throughout a season – an essential aspect of writing for fantasy sports.

    Providing users with regular engaging content is a simple function the AFL have so far failed to fulfil; this is an area that desperately needs improvement, regardless of any brand revamp.

    Studies have shown fantasy sports users possess an above average desire to source and consume sports content, as there is the chance that by doing so they might gain an advantage over their competition.

    In 2013, the AFL needs to vastly improve how they fuel users’ desire for fantasy related content.

    Enabling users to engage with quality fantasy related news and analysis (that is produced in large quantities) will result in improved competition and more satisfied users.

    In the end it could be the difference between success and failure for the AFL Fantasy rebrand.

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • December 20th 2012 @ 7:49am
      james rosewarne said | December 20th 2012 @ 7:49am | ! Report

      Great companion piece Ryman to go with last week’s really interesting one. Fantasty sports, with all of its many and varied and fascinating by-products (including the field of fantasy sports writing) have been done really quite poorly in Australia. We need a fully fledged revolution, but we need the right one.
      Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff.

      • Editor

        December 21st 2012 @ 10:44pm
        Ryman White said | December 21st 2012 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

        Thanks James, I appreciate the support. Fingers crossed there is a lot of activity leading into the 2013 season to generate a bit more discussion on this topic.

    • December 20th 2012 @ 3:38pm
      josh said | December 20th 2012 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

      The AFl dream team was too complicated for its own good. I play the Footytips one. Its simple and easy.

    • December 21st 2012 @ 9:18am
      Alex said | December 21st 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      The fully fledged revolution of fantasy sports in Australia is here. Having played nfl fantasy for a while; draft based games are much more interactive. Having a draft night with mates over a few beers where you pick your team is one of the best nights on the calendar! Having unique players and improving your team by trading with your mates is such a better format than playing against an almost identical team.

      For the number 1 destination for draft based Fantasy AFL advice and analysis head over to

    • December 21st 2012 @ 6:29pm
      Adam Brown said | December 21st 2012 @ 6:29pm | ! Report is undoubtedly the best dreamteam related site online.. sucks fo

      • Editor

        December 21st 2012 @ 10:50pm
        Ryman White said | December 21st 2012 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

        I agree completely, they do a great job producing large quantities of fantasy content. That being said it seems odd that don’t see the potential in taking a more professional approach. Why not be interested in tapping into the fantasy audience? They would have an instant audience reach, and fantasy users would likely welcome the content with open arms.

    • January 8th 2013 @ 3:55pm
      johno said | January 8th 2013 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

      Having just complete the first initial season of our own year on year fantasy league I must say that it much more fun that Dream Team. We start by drafting 44 players and need to put these players on the field each week. there is limited trading during the year between clubs and only two draft nights – the initial night was great fun and involved many beers and pizzas.

      Having said that I am also part of an AFL Fantasy comp that is in its 18th year. I joined this in 2005 taking over a franchise of one coach who had no time or desire to continue, in my first year I had a premiership and have languished in the bottom 8 ever since.

      These styles of leagues are far more enjoyable that Dream Team where you generally play teams with 75% the same players week in week out.

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