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NBL and A-League set for summer sport battle

NBL and A-League set for summer sport battle
October 7, 2011

The National Basketball League (NBL) and football's A-League start their national competitions this weekened, having waited to start their seasons until after the AFL and rugby league's grand final weekend.

The highly-anticipated NBL campaign tips-off tonight (Friday night) when Round One of the 2011/12 iiNet NBL Championship season gets underway with games in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast.

The Melbourne Tigers will host their archrivals, the Sydney Kings, before what will be a sell-out crowd at the State Netball Hockey Centre (The Cage) in Melbourne.

The game will also be the NBL debut for indigenous Australian NBA superstar Patty Mills, who has signed to play with the Tigers for the duration of the NBA lock-out.

An hour later, the reigning NBL champions, the New Zealand Breakers, will get their title defence underway when they visit the Gold Coast Blaze at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

The new season will see three games per round broadcast on the NBL's Australian free-to-air broadcast partner, ONE.

The build up to this weekend's A-League kick off has been marked by the Football Federation Australia (FFA)'s release of its new 'We Are Football' slogan and advertising campaign.

The slogan is part of an aggressive new public strategy that the FFA hope will reposition the sport, bring fans back to games and unite the Australia's 'football' family of players, officials, coaches, parents and fans.

The new direction has been backed up with a free to air TV advertising campaign, a new look presence on social media and new look club websites.

The campaign plays on key themes including football's unique passion and the growing quality of the A-League as a brand with the potentially antagonistic slogan - which will feature on stickers sent around Australia - rankling AFL and rugby league fans.

Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou has backed the campaign, stating "fans are the oxygen that keep football clubs alive.

"They provide the atmosphere, passion, resources and commitment that makes the game so special."

A-League Head Lyall Gorman explains "'We Are Football' is calling on the whole football community to speak with one unified voice in support of this great game.

"It's a call for unity and a call for the football family to come together as one.

"'We Are Football' is a chance to link all sections of our game from grassroots to Hyundai A-League and football fans, to the players, young and old, who enjoy this great game in the park and on the pitch every week.

"This is a call to action for all those 2.5 million people that are an active part of football in Australia to celebrate this great game and proudly announce that 'We Are Football'."

Meanwhile, the FFA has announced new owners for Brisbane Roar FC with the Bakrie Group of Indonesia taking a controlling stake.

In addition, the Central Coast Mariners have joined forces with emerging Soccer5s sports centre brand to become the club's front of shirt sponsor for the forthcoming A-League campaign, as well as form a key component of the Mariners community engagement initiatives.

Related Articles

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21st April 2011 - Sell Out for Game two of NBL Grand Final Series

15th September 2010 - New Brand Campaign for NBL

15th December 2009 - Low A-League crowds could harm World Cup bid

1st June 2009 - Basketball Moves Forward As Tigers Join Competition

4th November 2008 - A-League will meet Asian criteria

19th September 2008 - Basketball Review Unveiled

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