The decision not to market the A-League during the footy season is one worth debating, but it’s great to see so many clubs stepping up their social media game.
“There’s little point in spending what we have now when it will just be obscured by those other codes and when we don’t have any product – live games – to sell anyway,” one club official told Fairfax reporter Michael Lynch as to why we’re yet to see any advertising ahead of the new A-League season.
Fair enough – although a cynic might also suggest that A-League clubs can’t spend money they don’t have.
Fans have long complained about a lack of marketing – often the only A-League ads we see on TV are when we’re already watching an A-League game on TV – but it seems like the eleven clubs are happy to wait until the season kicks off.
It’s questionable how effective mass marketing actually is in terms of getting mainstream Australians through the gates of an A-League ground anyway.
It’s not like all the information we need isn’t simply a click away, although that does of course mean fans need to be digitally savvy.
And that tends to suit an A-League demographic that skews younger than the equivalent AFL and NRL fan-bases.
It’s been great to see, then, a few A-League clubs really starting to think about their social media and how to use it to connect with their online fan-base.
Brisbane Roar have been doing it for years now, while Sydney FC’s recent ’15 moments’ series across Twitter and Facebook has been a great way for fans to reminisce about some of the club’s biggest achievements.
"To be a part of a Grand Final is great, but to win it is even more special."
Head Coach Steve Corica re-lives the inaugural 2006 @ALeague Grand Final and his winning goal ???? Be a part of our story too – https://t.co/yWUp7g50MV#SydneyIsSkyBlue #WeAreChampions #SydneyFC15 pic.twitter.com/3gtsDxz97r
— Sydney FC (@SydneyFC) September 24, 2019
But the club that has really started to steal the show on social media recently is the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Wanderers have always had some handy videographers on staff and the drone shots of their new Centre of Football are nothing short of spectacular.
But they’ve also been posting plenty of light-hearted pieces across their social media channels of late, several of which feature charismatic defender Daniel Georgievski.
My personal favourite was the one where one of Georgievski’s pieces to camera was interrupted by Polish midfielder Raddy Majewski, who was apparently upset with the breakfast items on the menu at the club’s training centre.
With a loaf of bread in one hand and having handed what looks like a jar of Nutella to Georgievski, an aggrieved Majewski is having none of the defender’s antics.
“Is it not better than nothing?” Majewski thunders. “That’s the last I’m going to speak to you,” he adds as barges through the front door.
“Thank god,” laughs a bemused Georgievski. “Hopefully that’s the case!”
— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) September 17, 2019
Contrived or not, it was another example of how funny Georgievski is and a reminder that not all A-League players have to be anonymous automatons.
Hopefully we see a few more video updates from Georgievski and the Wanderers social media crew throughout the season because that sort of short, sharp video content is the perfect way to connect with fans with phones in hand.
And it would be remiss not to point out that every A-League club has a genuine crack at creating decent social media content, even if some clearly do it better than others.
It may perplex Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick, but social media is a cheap and effective way for A-League clubs constrained by threadbare marketing budgets to get their message across.
???? "Apparently it's a virus on Tinder now…"
— Daily Football Show (@DFS_AUS) September 13, 2019
And when the new season finally does kick off on October 11, hopefully all eleven clubs and host broadcaster Fox Sports start pumping out the sort of highlights that make new fans want to come to the stadium and experience an A-League game for themselves.
In the end, that might be a smarter way of doing things than simply spending money on advertising most fans may never even see.