AFL Fan Marketing: 2023 Season Highlights

From pre-match to post-match, from your TV to the stadium, our partners at the AFL collaborate with us to elevate their fans’ experiences throughout the season.

With the 2023 season coming to a close, we’re excited to present our favorite fan marketing highlights from each team.

By the numbers, across the league:
First, let's take a look at some stats across the league as a whole. We proudly call 17 out of 18 AFL squads our partners, so we wanted to take a look at how fan engagement is trending league-wide in 2023.

League-wide Statistics


Nearly a 20% increase in campaign entries league-wide is a killer number! With that, let's get into how each team is making the most of fan marketing. 

What to Expect

We've divided this year’s highlights into four distinct segments:

  • Fan Engagement
  • Sponsorship
  • Community
  • Data Focus

Though all of our partners killed it in each category, we had to narrow it down to our favorite highlights. So, let’s dive in!

Fan Engagement

Fan engagement is all about connecting with fans to develop a deeper relationship. These are campaigns that focus less on the numbers, and more on the fan experience. 

Swipe left for some examples that stood above the rest this season:

Fan Engagement Title Slide
Geelong Cats Retro Frame: The Cats launched a UGC campaign for fans to  make their own Retro  Player Cards.   This campaign boosted engagement for their 'Retro Round' event, activated their partnership with Ford, and rewarded the best-dressed fans with a $200 Cats Shop voucher and a VIP match day Experience.
Sydney Swans Sweep: This pre-match campaign assigned  fans a random player from the squad. If their assigned player scored, the fan is put into a prize draw.  The campaign was highly effective in engaging fans and increasing athlete exposure.
Brisbane Lions Game Changer: The Lions delivered an MVP-style 'Game Changer'  campaign allowing fans to select their favorite player every week.   This straightforward and easily accessible campaign maintained post-match fan engagement throughout the season and provided valuable insights into their fanbase.
Western Bulldogs Bont 200: Celebrating the 200th game of club legend  Marcus Bontempelli, the Bulldogs launched a competitive memory match game as part of their marketing efforts.   Fans with the fastest time to match “Bont Faces” stood a chance to win a signed 2023 Western Bulldogs Guernsey.
Melbourne Furphy Unbelievable Moments: Melbourne FC ran this 'Furphy Unbelievable Moments' campaign year-round, where fans could watch and vote on their favorite Demons highlights.   This strategy stands as a prime example of repurposing content to maintain fan engagement and promote sponsor assets consistently throughout the season.


Whether simply displaying partner assets for brand exposure or crafting creative giveaway campaigns to reward and engage fans, our AFL partners constantly find ways to activate sponsorships throughout the season seamlessly. 

Swipe to get a closer look at the outstanding sponsorship fulfilments of 2023:

Sponsorship Title Slide
Carlton Fc and Trip A Deal Coin Toss: These pre-match campaigns let fans predict the coin toss for a chance to win a $5,000 voucher for Carlton FC’s sponsor TripADeal.   Simplicity paired with an amazing prize garnered fan interest and a high percentage of sponsorship comms opt-ins.
Gold Coast Suns and Plungie Play: The GC Suns collaborated with their pool partner Plungie and delivered a pre-match mini-game to fans. The top-scoring fan got to kick a ball in the third quarter, while other participants were entered for a chance to win their own Plungie Pool.   The Suns gained valuable insights into  their fanbase including identifying  superfans all while effectively integrating sponsor assets.
Saint Kilda and CMC The Stat is Right: The Saints conducted a mini quiz with their sponsor CMC to test their fans’ knowledge of historical club statistics. Correct answers gave fans a chance to win prizes from both.   The campaign doubled as a pre-match social media campaign and a live in-venue activation, effectively engaging fans and driving continuous round-after-round sponsor brand exposure.
Adelaide Crows and Hungry Jacks Giveaway: The Crows and Hungry Jacks partnered to deploy a competition giving away match day VIP tickets and free stadium Food & Bev simply by entering unique codes from Hungry Jacks receipts.   A seamless partnership that saw tens of thousands of entries and drove new fan discovery and data collection.
Fremantle Docker and Bankwest Best Seats: The Dockers teamed up with Bankwest to offer two VIP tickets for the best seats in the house.   They used a digital Scratch and Win campaign to get fans to enter. This campaign was highly successful in engaging fans, gathering first-party data, and showcasing sponsor assets.



From die-hard fans to company employees, community engagement is a great way to build trust and understand your audience better. 

Here are some examples of how efficient use of data can lead to exceptional experiences for your community:

Community Title Slide
Port Adelaide FC Junior Mascot: A simple entry form focusing on families and their young fans, when the Power first entered the AFLW in season 7. One lucky fan got to run out with inaugural AFLW Club captain, Erin Phillips, in a club mascot experience.  A great way to create hype around their league entry, leveraging the famous Phillips name to start building a robust fan database for their AFLW program.
Richmond FC I Am W: The Tigers' "I AM W" campaign celebrates their dedication to inclusion, honouring all the women in the Richmond FC family.  To enhance this digital campaign, the Tigers organized a giveaway for "I AM W" T-shirts. They ran a digital Scratch and Win campaign to give out the prizes to winners.
GWS Giants Attend and Scan: The Giants ‘Attend and Scan’ grand prize had fans buzzing. Fans had to both enter online and scan a QR code in-venue during any of their AFLW matches.   With a goal of targeting  a younger generation of Giants fans and promoting the GWS Women’s matches, this campaign effectively hit two birds with one stone.
West Coast Eagles Corporate Solutions: The Eagles use the Tradable Bits platform to facilitate efficient corporate experiences for their employees.   Simple campaigns such as entry forms and surveys gather and centralize all employee preferences and goals in one location, ensuring employees get the most out of their time in the organization.


Data Focused

Gathering the right data, when you need it, is easier said than done.  It’s about creating an authentic fan experience that ties into your long-term goals. Which, once again, is easier said than done. 

Here are three examples of teams excelling in data collection and utilization, tied to strategic goals:

Data Focused Title Slide
Collingwood FC Where Do You Want to See The Cup? After winning the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership the Magpies leveraged that excitement to further build their fan database through a campaign targeting non-members and new fans.  With this campaign The Magpies gathered insights into their fan  demographics while promoting their 2024 membership interest.
Northern Melbourne FC Which Player Shares Your Birthday? Aiming to enrich their database, North Melbourne FC came up with this Birthday Campaign. Fans entered their birthdates to check which of the Kangaroos they shared it with.   This campaign allowed them to beef up their database and better understand their fan demographics for more tailored marketing  efforts.
Essendon Bombers: The Bombers excel at gathering and effectively using their fan data, with some of the most engaged supporters in the league. They boast the highest SMS and Email opt-in rates. When the Bombers communicate, their fans are all ears.
AFLPA: To celebrate 10 years of the AFLPA 22Under22, the AFLPA put together a dream team campaign, allowing fans to build the ultimate dream team of the decade.   Running the campaign throughout the season allowed the AFLPA to garner heavy interest, with over 60% entries coming from new fans.


As we reach the conclusion of the AFLM season, we extend our warmest congratulations to the Collingwood Magpies, the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiers, for their incredible season. To all clubs embarking on AFLW finals, all the best and good luck!

And to all of our AFL partners, we’ll see you in 2024 for another year forging the path for fan engagement!

Thanks for reading!

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