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Whispering_Jack

THE DISNEYFICATION OF THE AFL

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This academic article argues that the AFL’s increasing corporatisation is alienating fans. Years ago, the game was powerful enough to pull in the fans. Does it need all of the razzmatazz and Thor-inspired footy strips to survive and thrive?

THE DISNEYFICATION OF THE AFL

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18 minutes ago, Whispering_Jack said:

This academic article argues that the AFL’s increasing corporatisation is alienating fans. Years ago, the game was powerful enough to pull in the fans. Does it need all of the razzmatazz and Thor-inspired footy strips to survive and thrive?

THE DISNEYFICATION OF THE AFL

No.  

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If this is the case, I fear the day when in 20 years time that it gets out that they have been cryogenically freezing Ross Oakley's head under Marvel Stadium.

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Posted (edited)

I was pondering the vision of Aussie Rules in the early years of the twenty second century.

A bit of Jetson's like images came into my head. Drones delivering your pie (would of course by then be vegan sushi) to the crowd sitting in their hover chairs.

No need for runners as all players will be fitted with telepathic chips providing instant communication with the coach who could well be an AI device.

PS of course one thing would not change..they'd still be tinkering with the 19th century train lines.

Edited by Diamond_Jim
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Not surprising really. Many people these days live in one form of Disneyland or other.

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Why I always enjoy ABC radio’a commentary- they let the game speak for itself and if it’s a bad game, they say it’s a bad game.  The commercial stations will outright lie in their commentary to keep you from turning off.

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1 hour ago, america de cali said:

Not surprising really. Many people these days live in one form of Disneyland or other.

You may never say anything more true that that line adc. Just look at the ratings of MAFS.

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3 hours ago, TeamPlayedFine39 said:

Why I always enjoy ABC radio’a commentary- they let the game speak for itself and if it’s a bad game, they say it’s a bad game.  The commercial stations will outright lie in their commentary to keep you from turning off.

You can't make a silk pusse from a sour ear...   bring back Dougie !

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11 hours ago, america de cali said:

Not surprising really. Many people these days live in one form of Disneyland or other.

It's a small world after all ADC!

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9 hours ago, old dee said:

You may never say anything more true that that line adc. Just look at the ratings of MAFS.

And your favourite personality in that magnificent series OD was? 

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Marvel is a Disney owned franchise.

Disney are about to launch the biggest competitor to Netflix.

Watch this space

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On 4/14/2019 at 3:04 AM, John Demonic said:

Donald Duck has been captaining Geelong for years

We have had a few Goofy's over the years as Chairman as well.

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:24 PM, Rusty Nails said:

And your favourite personality in that magnificent series OD was? 

I spat the bait RN.

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The problem is that the AFL lacks a truly marketable star, Buddy Franklin maybe being the only one that neutrals would go out of their way to see. In the 90s you had a league filled with absolute superstars that could still put on a show even if their team lost by 90 points. But you had a not-so-friendly family attitude, low attendance rates amongst women, and falling participation rates.

So the AFL has worked hard to shape both the game and viewing experience around being welcoming and accessible to a more diverse audience.

The problem, however, is that it is over-investing in areas that defer attention away from the main attraction. This alienates the core fanbase. 

I feel the game overall is in a good position, but the AFL badly needs to realign its focus here. 

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Well, we have 'Mickey Mouse' umpires who make heaps of Goofy decisions each week. There's a Fantasia there somewhere and us Dees fans are wishing upon a star or two (  Oliver and Maxy )

Disneyfication of the AFL seems appropriate really.

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On 4/13/2019 at 7:19 AM, Whispering_Jack said:

Does it need all of the razzmatazz and Thor-inspired footy strips to survive and thrive

We don't need it, but the league? Yes, of course it does.

Every year I go to every game Melbourne plays in Victoria, I try to get to an interstate game and I'll usually get to 3 or 4 other games as a neutral supporter each year.

All this marketing crap is not meant for me nor for others like me (likely anyone obsessed enough to be on a footy forum). It's just noise. I didn't like the Thor jumper I think that was a step too far. But I think too many footy fans take marketing to heart. They're not trying to get diehard fans to the ground, they know we're going. They also know we couldn't care less what's happening before the game or in the breaks.

Outside the demon dash and Hogan's Heroes which happened every week. I couldn't tell you anything Melbourne did last year. But if there are people out there who went to a game because of a marketing campaign and came again because the game caught their eye. Then the AFL is doing their job.

That's not to say they can't do a little more to support the long term fans. Priority access to finals tickets for 10 or 20+ year members for one. But for the most part I think we need to just let it go. It's not hurting anyone. I'll be there this week, marketing or not.

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When I saw the title of this thread I got excited for a moment thinking it was about ESPN going after the broadcast rights.

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It's actually a really poor article. It claims that that "Disneyfication" of the AFL is "alienating fans" with no evidence to back up that argument. It's a shame, because the author may well be right. But without the data to back it up, it just becomes an opinion from a fan who prefers football the "old way". If the AFL were presented with this article all it would need to do is show that various metrics are positive (largest numbers of members ever, crowd attendance figures, participant numbers skyrocketing, (although that's primarily due to women's footy), etc).

If the author's premise is correct (and, for what it's worth I fear that it is), the AFL may find that it's short term "fan activation" ideas may ultimately fail. But we're going to need the argument to be better articulated than it has been here.

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The AFL is a microcosm of society. 

Like a McDonalds, the AFL has become a marketing organisation rather than a football organisation. Everything the AFL does is based on marketing decisions. How best to sell the game, how to improve revenue flows, how to satisfy media and advertising demands, how to ensure that all the participates in the industry continue to improve their takings from the game..  Everything can be manipulated to satisfy the commercial and financial cravings of the industry. 

Assumptions are made and projections based on marketing/selling objectives. 

Disney is simply the latest opportunity to feed the machine.   

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Posted (edited)

The closed roof environment of Docklands lends itself to staging the mini spectacular.

If they go ahead with the refurb I hope the audio visual experience will be a high priority.

Went to the World cup in Russia last year and visited a couple of very new stadiums. The thing that disappointed me was the absence of anything new in the tech area. Just the usual big screen and the half time boundary entertainment was woeful.

The fan zones were also often soulless.

Perhaps we need a little razzamataz.

Edited by Diamond_Jim

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8 minutes ago, Diamond_Jim said:

Perhaps we need a little razzamataz.

Now I know why you are known as Diamond Jim.

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3 hours ago, praha said:

The problem is that the AFL lacks a truly marketable star.

It used to be that the game itself was the only star that was needed.

As for alienating fans, even with the increasing competition for eyeballs, the lack of any sustained organic increase in fan numbers with the extensive amount of promotion/publicity/pitching is a worry.

Let the game speak for itself. We have the greatest game on earth and to treat it like a mere form of entertainment is a travesty. Shame on the AFL and the paid boosters. Shame, shame.

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