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FFA launches Female Football Week, looks for audience and revenue growth

FFA launches Female Football Week, looks for audience and revenue growth
March 8, 2016

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has launched its Female Football Week, a national promotion and celebration of the role of women and girls in the game, while also releasing a new Strategic Plan for 2016-19 with a focus on audience growth and fan engagement for the A-League.

With more than 20% of registered outdoor club players being female, Female Football Week is a week of activities across Australia dedicated to the further development of female football.

Launched as the Matildas celebrated their qualification for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, the week also coincides with International Women’s Day and the Asian Football Confederation's Women’s Football Day.

Throughout Female Football Week each of the nine State and Territory Member Federations of FFA will be conducting a range of activities all aimed to celebrate and recognise female football including female only coaching courses (advanced and community), referee courses, girls football festivals and gala days, parent and daughter sessions, administrator networking functions, women’s leadership workshops and the Women’s National Premier Leagues launch.

Explaining that female football in Australia is pivotal to the game's future development, FFA Chief Executive David Gallop “we are proud that more than 20% of our entire participation base of outdoor club players are female. No other footy brand can compare with that.

"Females represent the fastest growing segment in our participation base. Girls starting out in football have a pathway that goes to World Cups and Olympic Games, and there are fantastic role models in the Westfield Matildas, who are on show at the moment.

“In May last year, FFA released a Whole of Football Plan, a 20-year vision for the game.

“We made a critical strategic call; that women’s football will not be treated as a separate pillar in the game’s development.

“It’s too important to our future to the carved out from the everyday. It must be part of everything we do.

“Whatever the program, whether it’s elite player development, coach education or referee recruitment,we will place women’s football in the equation at the outset,” concluded Gallop.

FFA Head of Community and Women’s Football, Emma Highwood, said that the Female Football Week is a fantastic opportunity to highlight all the positives of Female Football in Australia.

 Emma Highwood

Highwood added “last year we saw record participation numbers in our female grassroots registration levels with over 100,000 females playing regularly for clubs throughout the football season.

“We hope to surpass that number this year following the recent success of the Westfield Matildas on the world stage increasing the profile of Female Football around the country.

“Football is a great sport for Girls and Women to get active and develop personally and socially.

“FFA is committed to continue developing Female Football and promoting Gender Equity in Football whenever possible.”

Also released this week, the FFA’s 2016-19 Strategic Plan seeks to boost interest in the A-League in order to drive commercial revenues.

The initiatives in the Strategic Plan include;

• A refresh of the A-League brand to connect more fans to the competition as viewers, members, ticket buyers and consumers of digital content.
• New investment in digital platforms to improve the experience of the 2 million grassroots participants and connect more of them to the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League.
• A new centralised approach to Marquee Player Recruitment to assist Hyundai A-League clubs in attracting top class international players, including Caltex Socceroos returning home.
• Incentives for football stakeholders at all levels to collaborate and align their programs to the game’s overall national objectives.

Introducing the Strategic Plan, FFA Chairman Steven Lowy said football needs more capital to invest in the concepts at the heart of the Whole of Football Plan, the game’s 20-year vision released in May last year.

Lowy stated “the four-year strategic plan represents a significant shift in emphasis towards our showcase competition, the Hyundai A-League.

“This is primarily about broadcast rights and commercial partnerships, which are the economic foundation of football around the world.

“The upcoming renegotiation of our broadcast arrangements will be critical to funding our four-year strategy, but some projects can’t wait until we wrap up that new deal.”

 Stephen Lowy

FFA has reaffirmed that growth in participation will always be nurtured, but under the new Strategy the focus is to improve the experience for all participants; players, coaches, referees, administrators and volunteers.

Commenting on this, Gallop added “having the funds to invest in the Whole of Football Plan is fundamental, but so too is the unity of purpose that comes from all football’s stakeholders working together,

“Our state and territory member federations, their zones and associations, and the 2,300 clubs across Australia do an outstanding job, but they need more support,” said Gallop.

“Digital touchpoints will be vital to achieve this goal and we are committed to investment in new platforms.”

Having the Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas qualify for every World Cup remains a key priority, but the Strategy promotes a pipeline of talent so Australia will have generations of successful teams.

Gallop concluded “results at youth international level matter, but not as much as finding the next generation of stars to keep the Socceroos and Matildas at the forefront of Asian and world football.

“The establishment of A-League academies and the integration of the Foxtel National Youth League teams in the Sony PS4 National Premier Leagues are great steps forward in this aim.”







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