Exclusive: Danny Townsend On The Growth Opportunity for Football In Australia
In an exclusive interview with Ministry of Sport, Managing Director for the Australian Profession Leagues (APL) and CEO of Sydney FC, Danny Townsend, discussed the new growth opportunities for football in Australia.
Recently the A-Leagues announced a new three-year naming rights partnership with Izusu UTE Australia for its men’s competition, now officially branded as ‘Izusu Ute A-League Men’s’.
When asked about the growth opportunities with Izusu UTE partnership, Townsend said:” You’ve got a great brand, and it’s supporting football with this country which is important for us to have a brand with the stature of Izusu UTE.”
“It’s the fastest growing car manufacturer in Australia at the moment; it’s on a growth trajectory and we see ourselves as one of the biggest sports in the country on a growth trajectory as well, so there’s a real neat fit there between us and them.
“For the fans, I think you’ll see the investment they’re making being deployed into all the things we are doing at, APL to improve the fan experience, whether that be through the launch of KEEPUP and the investment they’re making in the digital platform, but all aspects of the game that are rolling out from this weekend”, Townsend told Ministry of Sport.
The APL launched its new $30 million digital platform KEEPUP with the goal of converting Australian football fans into supporters of domestic competition.
Townsend explained the need for KEEPUP, saying: “I think one of the challenges we’ve had in football is the fragmented customer experience.
“Fans who are naturally predisposed to football have to go to multiple different places to get their football fix.
“What KeepUp is all about is aggregating all of your favourite football leagues in one place, all of the ways in which you engage with your community clubs, the way in which you engage with your friends, is ultimately all being driven out of one digital platform for football, and that’s what KeepUp is designed to do.
“We think by connecting the football customer in one place, it will enable us to encourage more football fans who may not be fans of the A-Leagues to sample our great product and get to know and love it.
Danny Townsend said he didn’t foresee any issues with the upcoming season in relation to COVID-19 restrictions and said there was a strong season to come.
When asked about any potential issues with the upcoming season, Townsend said: “Nothing really, we’re feeling probably the last effects of it with a couple of the different states having closures and alike.
“Greg O’Rourke, the commissioner and his operations team have done a fantastic job, really planning and predicting what will happen around borders and things like that.
“We’re playing most of our games this weekend if not all to full capacity stadiums so there’s really no inhibitions at the moment and we’re really ready to unleash a great new season under APL leadership”, said Townsend.