For the inaugural season of the AFL Women’s competition, AFLW aimed to build up awareness of the competition and its position within the AFL culture, while highlighting players as athletes and positioning marquee players as celebrities in their own right.
In addition to this, AFLW were looking to lead social change by driving a movement of female empowerment while changing the focus and tone of conversation about women in sport, and in society. Brought on to the AFLW account to run the social media strategy and implementation for the lead-up, Loud Days developed a three-phased approach to the launch:
- Phase one – awareness
- Phase two – community buy-in
- Phase three – attendance
Initially, the focus was around building brand awareness and brand equity for the competition with players, clubs and ‘the future’ at the centre of all key message and content. Once established in it’s on right as a force to be reckoned with, the strategy shifted to focusing on gaining ‘buy-in’ from the wider targeted Australian community. Finally in the weeks leading up to the first ever AFLW match, the strategy once again diverted its focus to driving attendance for the AFLW round one games.
The tactical application of the AFLW social media marketing strategy included content strategy and implementation, platform strategy and implementation, community management and customer service, event amplification, market and competitor analysis and bench marking, and reporting and analytics to measure ROI and inform strategy updates.
Key results include
Fantastic growth in the AFLW social media communities, reaching all growth KPIs with 65% growth in the Facebook community and 41% growth in Instagram followers in just 12 weeks.
Active and supportive community
Development of an active and supportive community of loyal fans and brand advocates that translated into match attendance.
Sold out games
With a focus on initial match attendance, the first game of the season was a lock out, and the other matches in round one boasted between 9,000 and 10,000 attendees.