Speaker day one, Content Marketing World Sydney.
Matthew Pinkey gave a great presentation on the AFL’s content strategy. As one of the country’s largest sporting organisations (with over 700,000 registered members and 8 million game attendances in 2012), the AFL has taken the radical step of creating AFL Media – a separate business unit of the AFL that operates on a 100% owned media model.
Edwina Lawry: As a Walkley Award-winning journalist, Pinkey insists that one of the most important aspects of the AFL’s content strategy is the inclusion of real (traditional) news content. His philosophy is “tell it, warts and all”. Unless the fans trust the AFL to give them the right information, they’ll go elsewhere.
Edwina Lawry: One of the key strategies of the AFL’s digital content is to “package and link aggressively”. For every piece of content published on the website, there is a package of related articles, videos, stats for the reader to consume as well. And a key point is that these packages are ALL curated by people, not automated. Even though there are many companies that offer those kinds of curation services, they’re based on algorithms. By using real people (obviously resources and the size of the organisation determine this), you can give real contextualisation of what a story means in relation to another story.
Edwina Lawry: Pinkey raised an interesting point about the challenges he continues to face in his role – from within the AFL and outside the organisation as well. For example, the head of marketing requested that a marketing tagline be included in every headline on www.afl.com.au. The individual clubs also take issue with the position of AFL Media and even the CEO of the AFL still addresses the traditional media organisations before he addresses AFL Media.