LC
Earlier this year

NBL to take over the WNBL?

On 18 April 2019, Basketball Australia (BA) announced Sally Phillips' departure from her position as Head of the WNBL.

The news raised more questions than answers, and no official reasons were given for her decision.

Enter Larry Kestelman?

Phillips’ departure positions NBL perfectly for WNBL takeover

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Hopefully they do.

Reply #742586 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Bendigo and dandenong struggle so cut them.

9 teams in nbl/wnbl 2021
Same name or different from the men's??

United/?
Bullets/?
Hawks/?
Phoenix/Boomers
36ers/Lightning
Wildcats/Lynx
Taipans/Fire
Kings/Flames
-/Canberra
Breakers/-

Future
Tas men's/women's huskies 2021-22
Canberra men's 2022
Auckland womens 2022
Newcastle men's/women's 2023 (3rd nsw team)
Maybe 2nd men's/women's nz later
Maybe Gold Coast men's/women's later (3rd qld team team)
Maybe Geelong men's/women's later (3rd vic team)

12-15 teams total top tier
Nbl1 second tier Australia wide (dandenong/Bendigo included)

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Food for thought  
Earlier this year

Umm, no thanks. The NBL isn't even a profitable entity yet, and you're suggesting they take on something that is perhaps an even bigger liability than themselves?

The NBA can prop up the WNBA because it's a multi-billion dollar business, and even then, the WNBA loses them tens of millions per year. The NBL taking on the WNBL would be like signing up 10 more Illawarras to the NBL and having to bail them out every second season.

Let's not.

Reply #742597 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Earlier this year

Then there's the whole "equal pay" can of worms to look forward to. You're going to have idiots like Liz Cambage playing in a league that draws 1-2 thousand fans and only the extended families in TV viewership on a good day saying she expects Bryce Cotton money and having her hand out to Kestleman and the NBL to provide it, with the help of the media who love nothing more than to stoke such garbage. We've already seen this kind of outcry coming from the AFLW towards the AFL. With the way gender and identity politics are today, dealing with running a men's league as well as a woman's, and with the inherent differences in interest, revenue, and social relevance could be a real war zone.

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Cram  
Earlier this year

I don't know that anyone has ever seriously suggested that AFLW players should get the same pay as AFLM.

All I've seen is suggestions that more players should at least have the chance to get paid enough to do it as a full time gig, which would enable them to train more and as a result, create a better product.

Reply #742604 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

AFLW games are free no admission costs, can't see wnbl doing that.

Reply #742605 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

It's a good buy for kestleman, already has the sponsors and pretty much owns the merchandise if he aligns the women's teams with the Nbl men's.

Reply #742608 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Earlier this year

AFLW games are free no admission costs, can't see wnbl doing that.


Well actually that was the Adelaide Lightning model last year (despite having one of the most expensive rosters in the league) and their crowds were still embarrassingly tiny. It went so well that by mid-season there were articles about being unable to participate in the league next season. People who have followed the team would know that the previous owner pumped a heap of his own personal money in as well to keep the team afloat.

So I've got reservations about this idea. The WNBL is a great comp on the court but also clearly a mess right now off it. The disparity between the haves & have-nots is pretty huge, and IMO some kind of salary rules need to be put in place to save clubs from themselves.

But I'll go with Larry's judgement on this one.
It's quite possible that the mess he sees is one he thinks he can fix if given free reign, and maybe there are synergies with the NBL that he thinks he can exploit.
But my gut reaction right now would be to keep the focus on strengthening the NBL, which is moving in the right direction but not what I would call rock solid & stable just yet.

Reply #742609 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Earlier this year

I feel like he runs the risk of trying to spin too many plates. I'm guessing with the hefty membership fees for teams the 3X3 mostly pays for itself. NBL1 is basically a rebranded SEABL and as I understand it isn't costing Larry anything to help run. These things help strengthen pathways to the NBL and keep the league on fan's lips during the season, and they do so at a small cost. The same will not be able to be said about the WNBL, which may end up being an equally difficult undertaking to the NBL itself. As for Kestleman owning the merchandise, sure. He will own more merchandise that struggles to sell. Maybe the sponsorship deal could have some sort of pay off just because it means more visibility, but even then I'm not sure it would be enough to justify it.

Reply #742622 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

WNBL piggy backed on the NBL Foxtel deal last year and the NBL helped them extensively with commercial arrangements so I doubt it would be a huge stretch to bring all the administration under the one umbrella.

Reply #742639 | Report this post


proud  
Earlier this year

On one hand I do love the idea as I want the WNBL to be as successful as it possibly could be but I'd like to see Larry just wait a season or two, get Southern Huskies in, understand what NBL1 truly is and then if he wants to take another major risk then go for it.

I would love to see the Lynx play before/after the Wildcats at the Arena as that would be a great way to spend an afternoon/early evening

Reply #742658 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Exactly, play he women's games before the men's. Same as the nbl1.

Reply #742659 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

" don't know that anyone has ever seriously suggested that AFLW players should get the same pay as AFLM. "

Then you need to et out more.

That kind of nonsense has been afflicting every sport for years.
And for some reason it seems to get worse the more non-viable the sport is.

Women's Gold I can't really comment on, because I fundamentally just don't get Golf as a spectator sport. That's just me.

I tend to prefer the women's version of such things as Gymnastics, Figure-skating, etc. Call it "grace," or maybe better fine motor skills, women are just generally better.

I also prefer women's tennis, although I could forgo the grunting. Your average top ranked male is too strong for the traditional game, and IMHO you get better rallies in the women's.

I notionally support the Lynx, and I don't mind top shelf international Women's BBall, but the WNBL pales in comparison to the mens. Just not enough height and upper body strength.

The AWFL is just that, awful. The average skill level is appalling, and the kicking would better suited to ovals half the size.

If you accept that LK's model is that of teams owned by Billionaires, pouring in their own cash, then taking on the WNBL makes sense.

I just don't know if there's enough Billionaires to go round?

Reply #742685 | Report this post


Cram  
Earlier this year

"Then you need to et out more."

You then listed examples which had nothing to do with my statement, followed by a bunch of knuckle dragging.

Can you point to an example where someone has suggested AFLW or WNBL players should be getting EQUAL pay to that of the AFL or NBL players respectively? Or A-League Vs W-League? Or Super Rugby Vs Super W? Or NBA and WNBA?

Women's tennis getting equal money is based on the fact that in grand slams they play in the same tournament and crowds/tv deals etc are all for the tournament combined.

All of the instances of calls for equal pay that I can recall have fallen into one of two categories:

1) An event with both men and women competing as per the tennis example above.
2) Players for a national team wanting the same pay as per the US women's football team.


Reply #742705 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Women surfers now get paid the same.

Reply #742706 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Earlier this year

Cram, whether or not the word "equal" is specifically used, the common and constant drone we hear is that women somehow deserve more money for being athletes, and when they say that, they ALWAYS compare the salary of mens and womens comparative sports without taking into account every other factor that comes into play. Liz Cambage has only just recently had a public tantrum/brain fart about the fact that the average WNBA player makes 1 percent of what an NBA player makes. Now if she gets a modest raise, do you think people like her will actually relax and get over themselves, or will they just jump for the next raise, and then the next one, and then the next one, all the way to their undeserved parity?

Of course they're going to keep trying to get more money than what their worth to sponsors on the league can justify.

Then I think you mentioned that AFLW players just want to be paid more so they can take the game seriously and not have to take second jobs. I find that criticism to be a bit ridiculous. A lot of things have to develop before you can say that the AFLW justifies being a fully professional league, and selling tickets (FOR ACTUAL CASH MONEY) would be one of the first hoops they have to jump through to do so. The AFL started off as a group of semi-professional leagues. It just seems like when it comes to womens sports, and this will offend some people, but it seems like women just want to be granted everything men had to work towards, just because they're women. The men's league has made a league for them from their own pocket, and they will not ever see real profit from them, and I certainly am not hearing a whole lot of thank yous.

The WNBA is the exact same situation. It runs as essentially a charity case off of the NBA, and rather than appreciating that it is actually the nous and hard work of the mens league that even allows them to have their league, they have their hands out whinging and bitching for more money.

Call it pay equality or not, the end result is the constant moaning from the media, feminists, and some not-so-bright players about the apparent inequality in pay, while conveniently sidestepping the elephant in the room - the inequality of standard of product.

Now, in sports where women are competing on the same level as men and where they generate the same money, pay them equal, absolutely. But trying to pay a WNBL or WNBA player anything like a male professional is like trying to pay a kid flipping burgers the same as Gordan Ramsey.

Reply #742717 | Report this post


Cram  
Earlier this year

You could have saved yourself a lot of time and replied saying "no, I can't find any examples of people seriously suggestion female athletes should be paid the same as male athletes in pro leagues. On this point, Cram, you are correct".

But instead you started theorising about slippery slopes and those damn feminists always wanting more and showed yourself as another knuckle dragger.

Reply #742720 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Earlier this year

And you've just proven your inability to look deeper than the surface layer of an issue.

Reply #742721 | Report this post


Cram  
Earlier this year

"look deeper" being just "make up argument to suit your case" then hey?

Reply #742725 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Earlier this year

Straw man is the term for that, I believe

Reply #742730 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

Bad hair day Cram? Or just PMS?

Reply #742733 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Earlier this year

Well, yeah. When you debate a point you tend to collate things that support your assertion, Cram.

Reply #742766 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Two months ago

You ain't that stupid, surely. Seriously. I think even D2.0 might not be *that* stupid.
Comparing 2 things to show the magnitude of the discrepancy is not the same as claiming the 2 things should be equal.
That's a massive fail, and you both clearly have NFI on this topic.

Reply #742773 | Report this post


koberulz  
Two months ago

Bad hair day Cram? Or just PMS?
"Ooh, I know what will make me sound genuine instead of just sexist! A PMS joke!"

Reply #742775 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Two months ago

"You ain't that stupid, surely. Seriously. I think even D2.0 might not be *that* stupid.
Comparing 2 things to show the magnitude of the discrepancy is not the same as claiming the 2 things should be equal.
That's a massive fail, and you both clearly have NFI on this topic."

I never said they're the same thing but they lead to the same place = having to overpay female athletes relative to their actual commercial worth. And yes, it is a slippery slope, and they will continue to make light of discrepancies until they close. so in action, pretty similar. Same destination.

Reply #742787 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Two months ago

I've been following the WNBL and WNBA salary situations pretty closely, whereas you clearly have no clue.
"Slippery slope" is a meaningless & lazy, most token attempt possible, at disguising an insult as an argument.


Anyway back to the actual topic.


This from Justin Nelson yesterday:

Replying to @DamianArsenis @NBL and 2 others
In my 5yrs the WNBL clubs collectively lost $millions, so before anyone else takes it on there must be a thorough analysis and a strategy put in place. Losing money and having clubs struggle to survive isn't an attractive proposition for Larry, or anyone else. Fix the product.

Reply #742789 | Report this post


anon  
Two months ago

"" It just seems like when it comes to womens sports, and this will offend some people, but it seems like women just want to be granted everything men had to work towards, just because they're women. The men's league has made a league for them from their own pocket, and they will not ever see real profit from them, and I certainly am not hearing a whole lot of thank yous. ""

so you think women in sport dont work as hard as the men, seriously, they actually have to work a dam sight harder just to get recognition, let alone any form of sponsorship, unless they are running around in skimpy suits they dont draw a crowd, that says everything for what a 'fan'base consists of. How about respecting the fact that women athletes put their bodies through just as much, and many times more as any male athlete, for far less money or respect. Do you think they train less, give up less, want it less than their male counterparts, if so perhaps you need to get out to the gyms, and training grounds where these women are working day in day out AND having full time jobs in most cases unlike the men, simply because they cant afford not to.

men draw bigger crowds...why?, because they get the exposure, , they get the exposure ..why?, because they have big name sponsors who demand it.
Maybe start showing women's sport the respect it deserves, and you may level the playing field.
Just this week their has been a situation re a race, a race that had both men and women participate, top three runners were given cash prizes, organisers didn't state if it was a mens or women's race, didn't separate the two entities UNTIL the race results were posted, top three winners where men, stands to reason, they are have different muscle/endurance strength, which equals usually speed and stamina, did they train harder than the top three women, no, but yes they performed better because their is a huge difference between the make up of men and women, but the effort, dedication and sacrifices are the same, and as such both should have been recognized. Organizers of the race also gave the results for 'top three women'' yet they received nothing( until they spoke up about it), so the hypocrisy is like a lightening bolt,
men and women are never going to be equal in most sports purely because of their physical differences, but their efforts and dedication to their chosen sport is the same, when that aspect starts to be appreciated and respected, only then some form of equality will come into play. Statements like you have just made above, show its a long way off.



Reply #742807 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Two months ago

"so you think women in sport dont work as hard as the men, seriously, they actually have to work a dam sight harder just to get recognition, let alone any form of sponsorship, unless they are running around in skimpy suits they dont draw a crowd, that says everything for what a 'fan'base consists of. How about respecting the fact that women athletes put their bodies through just as much, and many times more as any male athlete, for far less money or respect."

I'm not talking about whether or not they train hard. I'm talking about whether they expect to have foundations set for them just for existing, and they do. What has the AFLW or the WNBA or WNBL done for themselves to make their own names known? Nothing. And no one is owed money or respect for existing. If people don't want to watch your version of the sport, they're not obliged to. If sponsors don't feel that your product has enough interest for them to invest in you, they wont. No one is forcing women to play sports. If they choose to put their bodies through "many times more" stress for their sport, that is their decision to make and no one else should have to reward them if said stress is not parlaying into revenue for the league and sponsors. This is not a competition of giving away money for those who try the most. It's a bloody business. I am sure that there are people working at Bedford Industries, trying very very hard - harder than a CEO. But they're paid in relation to what their product is deemed worth, not for how hard they try.

"men draw bigger crowds...why?, because they get the exposure, , they get the exposure ..why?, because they have big name sponsors who demand it.
Maybe start showing women's sport the respect it deserves, and you may level the playing field. "

Umm, no. WNBA got plenty exposure for 20 years and still didn't draw crowds. The AFLW is getting plenty of exposure and people turn up to games I suppose... provided those games are free and they have nothing else going on. You're not going to sit there with a straight face and tell me the reason why more people are watching Lebron James fly through the air than are watching Liz Cambage shoot a two handed lay up is because big name sponsors demand we do so. That's just stupid. You're also not going to tell me that people watch the AFL more rather than watching women struggle to kick a ball a third of the distance that men do because of the names on the singlets.

But wait, they're training really hard, so suddenly people should take time and money out of their day to appreciate women TRYING? It's not about TRYING. It's about whether the product is objectively good. The reason why mens sports get more interest than womens sports is the same reason why the NBA gets more interest than the NBL - it's objectively better. NBL players also try. Are you going to say NBL players don't train hard? Your whole argument is laughable.

" Organizers of the race also gave the results for 'top three women'' yet they received nothing( until they spoke up about it), so the hypocrisy is like a lightening bolt,
men and women are never going to be equal in most sports purely because of their physical differences, but their efforts and dedication to their chosen sport is the same, when that aspect starts to be appreciated and respected, only then some form of equality will come into play. Statements like you have just made above, show its a long way off.
"

Pretty sure they weren't given nothing, but a lot less. And even if that was unfair, it's just one example. Most examples are of women in their own leagues wondering why they aren't paid like men in men's leagues. Of course there is no specific rule stating that women can't play in the NBA. So if Liz Cambage wanted to earn like an NBA player, she could. But not sure she would enjoy leaving the court after every possession without a single positive stat to her name. Your whole argument is that women should be paid the same (or more) because they try really, really hard. I could just as easily try really really hard, but if I am not good enough for whatever reason, I don't deserve the same pay than someone who is delivering more because they're genetically made to do so. You obviopusly live in the new age mindset filled with participation trophies and "everyone's a winner".

Reply #742812 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two months ago

"WNBA got plenty exposure for 20 years and still didn't draw crowds."

clueless

Reply #742813 | Report this post


KET  
Two months ago

Sports are part business (entertainment) and part public interest (justifying government funding).

To that extent, things need to be considered in the light of 1) sustainability (particularly in revenue/expenses) and 2) growth.

We have a world class female cricket team who get paid pennies compared to the men, the reality is they draw significantly less crowds, revenue and sponsorship - pay equalisation would not be a sustainable approach.

With that said, we've seen the AFL W that is likely subsidised by the men's part of the AFL, this allows AFL W to show case the games for free to help establish the league, gather support, momentum and improve their ability to generate revenue. That goes directly into growth which is potentially good for revenue, expands that market and it's in the public interest to be inspiring kids to through another means of sport.

The AFLW Grandfinal with 53k, TV audience, the news items about the game AND the sheer crowd numbers will do a lot of good for the growth of the game, and a good way to achieve higher pay packets.

Particularly for basketball, we struggle to compete with overseas salaries, that pressure makes it even harder for teams to cope financially while drawing in talent.

The "equal pay for achieving the same thing" sort of misses that business aspect, and the "difference in talent between men and women" to a large extent is irrelevant IMO - we've got some girls that are comparably awesome on the world stage in cricket, soccer, basketball but that isn't enough to draw revenue and crowds. That's not the same for all sports, I'd imagine our top female swimmers are just as capable of drawing top sponsorship dollars over the top male swimmers in Australia - see Stephanie Rice from 2008 (the last time we achieved much in the Olympics!).

I think we are in a pretty good time where female competitions are being subsidized to get a place in the market, gather momentum, draw growth in the sport and that will translate to increasing pay for top female sports stars who and much deserved increase in spotlight - both of which go hand in hand.

Reply #742816 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two months ago

Women cricketers make a very good living at the top level.
1 of them is on 600k. A bunch on 300k.

Reply #742818 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Two months ago

""WNBA got plenty exposure for 20 years and still didn't draw crowds."

clueless

"

Well they did. And have. NBA spends about 15 million a year on WNBA marketing alone. How's that for clueless?

Reply #742843 | Report this post


Anon  
Two months ago

"Umm, no. WNBA got plenty exposure for 20 years and still didn't draw crowds. The AFLW is getting plenty of exposure and people turn up to games I suppose... provided those games are free and they have nothing else going on. You're not going to sit there with a straight face and tell me the reason why more people are watching Lebron James fly through the air than are watching Liz Cambage shoot a two handed lay up is because big name sponsors demand we do so. That's just stupid. You're also not going to tell me that people watch the AFL more rather than watching women struggle to kick a ball a third of the distance that men do because of the names on the singlets. “

We are talking about WNBL, not WNBA, our NBL couldn't compete with NBA , so your comparison lacks any backbone.
The AWFL IS generating plenty of interest, as proven by the 53k attendance, plus TV viewers, this is fir a sport in its infancy which will only continue to grow, and yes agree the actual product is pretty weak, but then most of these players haven’t been playing at the level or length of time the mens AFL have, so again your comparison is null and void.




“But wait, they're training really hard, so suddenly people should take time and money out of their day to appreciate women TRYING? It's not about TRYING. It's about whether the product is objectively good. The reason why mens sports get more interest than womens sports is the same reason why the NBA gets more interest than the NBL - it's objectively better. NBL players also try. Are you going to say NBL players don't train hard? Your whole argument is laughable. “

They are not TRYING really hard, they work dam hard, your attitude they TRY is everything that’s wrong with the attitudes of those who have no respect for women’s sports, also it’s one of the reasons women are put off continuing to play sport as a professional career. Not only is their a lack of support and money but the disgraceful attitude of so many males who still think they need to be dragging a club behind them while the little woman is in the kitchen cooking his dinner.

As for the race situation, your correct theyndid in fact give something to the three top placed female runners....a participation bag......the men got. $300 cheque......equality in the eyes of men

Reply #742849 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Two months ago

"We are talking about WNBL, not WNBA, our NBL couldn't compete with NBA , so your comparison lacks any backbone.
The AWFL IS generating plenty of interest, as proven by the 53k attendance, plus TV viewers, this is fir a sport in its infancy which will only continue to grow, and yes agree the actual product is pretty weak, but then most of these players haven't been playing at the level or length of time the mens AFL have, so again your comparison is null and void."

No you were unable to comprehend the comparison, it has nothing to do with it "lacking backbone". AFLW is generating interest, sure. None of that has parlayed into earnings and revenue and it remains to be seen whether that interest will continue. As for how long men and women have been playing football, that won't suddenly mean in 20 years women are pulling "speckies" or kicking goals from beyond the 50 mark. The point I've made is difference in quality is reflected in the difference in pay, interest and revenue. But clearly you've misunderstood the apparent understated complexity of my comment.

"They are not TRYING really hard, they work dam hard, your attitude they TRY is everything that’s wrong with the attitudes of those who have no respect for women’s sports, also it’s one of the reasons women are put off continuing to play sport as a professional career. Not only is their a lack of support and money but the disgraceful attitude of so many males who still think they need to be dragging a club behind them while the little woman is in the kitchen cooking his dinner.
"

Okay, the work hard. What do you want for that, exactly? For miraculous pots of gold revenue and sponsorships to appear out of thin air? The public is not putting their money in for these things. And if women cared so much about them, women would show up to womens basketball games, but generally they don't.

And yeah, do you wanna stop with the 1950s tropes? No one is under the illusion that women shouldn't have professional sporting leagues. No one thinks women should just cosign themselves to a lifetime of housewife duties. But to pay them to the level you pay professionals the public has to be interested enough to put their money down to watch them play, and generally they're not.

Talk to me about AFLW attendance when people have to pay for tickets. Talk to me about ratings once the novelty wears off. AFLW has proven nothing about being sustainable, or profitable. At best it has shown a few small promising signs in the right direction. Hardly enough to pull the chequebook out and sign Erin Phillips to a $500,000 deal.

Reply #742857 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Two months ago

Can I be bad yet work hard at something women are way better at and get subsidised for it by them with the revenue they generate?



Thought not.

Reply #742873 | Report this post


Anon  
Two months ago

Food for thought, you are defeating your own argument here,
AWFL women are getting the big sponsors ....unlike the WNBL women, when was the last time you saw a WNBL player on any mainstream TV advertisements, .....last time was Liz Cambage on the Swiss's vitamin range promoting the Olympics.....the reason is they have been promoted

Maybe try this little insight fir size

The sport’s popularity has caught the attention of the corporate world too, with the AFLW signing a four-year broadcast deal with the Seven Network and Foxtel’s Fox Sports network. It marks an important milestone for the league which previously had one-year deals with broadcasters. As part of the deal, every AFLW game will be broadcast live on TV, which only helps to bolster interest in the game.

The AFLW also now boasts 17 sponsors - up from eight in 2017 - including naming rights partner the National Australia Bank, Chemist Warehouse, Cotton On, Kellogg’s, Gatorade, McDonald's, Virgin Australia, Woolworths and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, which have also introduced the tagline, 'We Fight Fair’.

"It’s no doubt that in the first year of AFLW our ability to leverage corporate support was through the AFL brand and strength of the men’s competition. Now we have a situation where we are almost halfway through season three and we still have corporate sponsors coming and saying ‘how do I get involved? I would like to have an association with AFLW’," explains Livingstone.

"That is happening right now and we are at week three of the nine-week season, so we are still receiving commercial interest with only six weeks to go. To be in a position that corporate sponsors are coming to us, that is a great position to be in."

The growth of the AFLW and women’s sports, in general, comes at a significant time for sport in Australia. The scandals that enveloped the Australian men’s cricket team last year, which saw sponsors drop Cricket Australia and the players involved in the events, have been replaced by a wave of scandals across the National Rugby League with recent reports suggesting the sport could have lost more than $10m in potential sponsorships during the off-season alone.

Livingstone is not convinced these episodes have led to sponsors switching off from men's sports to support women’s sports.

“I haven’t seen any data about the impact of men behaving badly and sponsors pulling out and coming to women’s sport,” she says.

However, she does admit that the attitude to supporting women’s sports has changed. “I think it has evolved from ‘this is a good thing to do’ or ‘this is the right thing to do’, to now ‘this is a valuable thing for us to do as a corporation’.”

Yet despite all the positives, Livingstone is quick to point out the challenges facing both the AFLW - and women’s sports.

“I don’t want to paint a picture that it’s all rainbows and butterflies because it is still difficult for women’s sport and quite often, we are all competing in the market for the same type of sponsor and that makes it a very competitive market," she says.

“Women’s sport is judged on the same metrics as men sports and we are judged off people coming to games and watching on TV and when you look at big sports like the AFL you have around 1.5 million watching an AFL grand final and over 100,000 going to a game.

She continues: "It’s difficult because networks have a commercial reality and if you put us up against something like ‘My Kitchen Rules’ or ‘Married At First Sight’ we are not going to rate the same. And sport is traditionally on the weekend so these are very poor slots for the networks. Sometimes we find ourselves on secondary channels, which doesn’t have the same traffic, but that’s also when our streaming is very important.”

This year the AFLW launched a dedicated app and its own standalone website, as fans previously could only access its website through the men’s afl.com.au website. The standalone site and app offer streaming services, allowing fans to stream all the games.

“We understand that our audience at AFLW is very connected to social and digital media. So, compared to the AFL, we have really gone full-throttle into making sure we are connecting, promoting and saturating our content through social and digital media. We are really trying to make sure we think about how we can be innovative," explains Livingstone.

“That is the mantra of AFLW – how can we innovate? We don’t want to get bogged down by what 130 years of men’s football looks like, we want to make sure everything we do is best for AFLW and best for women’s football.”

To ensure it understands its fans, AFLW has conducted data research at its games to gain insights into the audience. It found in the first year of elite competition, 30% of attendees had never been to an AFL football match and didn’t support a team.

“They were turning up to support a women’s movement because they wanted to be part of it,” says Livingstone. “We collected more data on our opening round this year and found 44% of people that turned up to round one had never been to an AFLW match before.”

The AFLW, which is majority funded by the AFL, is also working with state and local governments across Australia to update the sports facilities to make them more accessible for women sports.

“The majority of our sporting facilities were built in the 40s, 50s and 60s with men in mind, they were not thinking about women participating in sport," says Livingstone."We are in a position now where our sporting facilities are not suitable for women. We’ve made a big dent in that but there is still a long way to go with something close to 70% of our venues around the nation, not being judged as female friendly."

With men's sports still attract the lion's share of sponsorship dollars, Livingstone says there is still work to be done to prove the value and worth of women's sports and players. And, she would know, as a former Australian swimming champion and three-time Olympic medallist, Livingstone is no stranger to the world of sports sponsorships.

“It’s really important for us to be showing corporate Australia that we are really of value to them. A key part of that is thinking about the difference we are making to the fabric of our nation and the difference we are making to women in our society. That is something that we are proud of, the fact that we now have these women flocking to football clubs like never before," she says.

“We are certainly seeing growth in women’s sport but we do need to see it become tangible in the economy of sport, where it is actually making a difference and putting women to be equally valued. Women’s sport has always been here in Australia and women have always punched well above their weight, we now need to try and get to a point where female athletes are equally valued."

Reply #742877 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Two months ago

Thanks for cutting and pasting an entire article. But the fact of the matter is.. and I'll say it again... IT. IS. STILL. NOT. MAKING. MONEY.

The games are still free. The evidence that it is going to grow when people have to pay and when the novelty goes isn't there. Okay it has some partnerships and sponsors, but that hasn't led to revenue. And once again you're jumping the gun of what is happening there.

Reply #742881 | Report this post


paul  
Two months ago

The AFL use AFLW as a PR tool, particularly for their corporate audience, hence the announcement of deals that are often leveraged off the bigger product. The GF aside, attendances and ratings are at low levels, it has the potential to grow as the spectacle improves over time, but it is still very much a work in progress as its own competition.

Reply #742883 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

People's thoughts on today's announcement with Lauren Jackson and tal Karp?

https://australia.basketball/blog/2019/06/18/basketball-australia-welcome-lauren-jackson-and-tal-karp/

Reply #747604 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

Appears more about participation than elite

Reply #747606 | Report this post


D2.0  
Last month

Reply #747685 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last month

THanks for breaking copyright rules.

Reply #747709 | Report this post




 

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