The West Australian Football League had been around since 1885, but the proud brand was starting to show its age. With the 2023 season about to launch, we were tasked with turning around a new creative media strategy to launch the WAFL into the modern era, without turning its back on existing fans.
The challenge was clear: Younger punters weren’t showing up to the WAFL in huge numbers anymore because it had simply fallen off many peoples’ radars – it wasn’t the most elite brand of footy on offer, they don’t know its stars, it was seen as a heritage brand better known by their grandparents than their friends.
Our challenge was to make the WAFL a more relevant and desirable destination for young and old alike… but mostly young.
We presented catching up with your mates (as well as the footy itself) as two reasons to come to the WAFL, or two ‘wins’. Hearing from your favourite local band and catching a great game of footy? That’s a ‘win/win’. No matter whether your team wins or loses on the day, then, every WAFL game would be pitched as a Win Win.
The Win Win platform was both a strategic and creative launching point for the WAFL’s revitalised brand. It stretched across all 10 teams in the league, with bespoke colour, imagery, and brand associations for each club. In this way, the Win Win became a destination marketing toolkit for every community’s local club, the event activations at every game, and a broader communications platform for the entire league.
Everything, from fixtures collateral to media releases to advertising to on-field signage was branded in the new Win Win style. The bold colour palette was adapted to every club’s primary, secondary and tertiary colours, featuring up-and-coming star players and real local footy fans. Every image could be mixed and matched between the ‘win’ of the game and the ‘win’ of the game-day experience.
We developed a full interactive brand toolkit for clubs to create their own team collateral and messaging within the Win Win style, enabling unprecedented grass-roots consistency across the league for the first time. By the time the season was officially launched in front of the Yagan Square tower, emblazoned with WA’s newest/oldest footy league, it had already become a new fan favourite.
Letting every team win
The WAFL needed to represent 10 different teams for one very stretched marketing budget. It wasn’t enough to simply create a visual identity and style guide for the WAFL - we needed to create a design system that every team could adapt, apply and own on a grassroots level.
So we created designs that could be adapted to every teams’ primary and secondary colour palette, featuring actual supporters from every region and community, and the teams’ star players. These templates could be created from Canva, Keynote, or InDesign templates by in-house club teams, and run from their own social media accounts (both promoted, sponsored and organic).
The media buy took this personalisation to another level, as every club was geo-targeted with outdoor and digital media buys that featured the right club colours and messages in the right community, around some of the most iconic entertainment precincts in each suburb. This helped tie the WAFL Win Win proposition to the idea of enjoying a day or night out in the community around the game itself, and made a day at the WAFL more of an event that would appeal to a younger demographic and young families alike.
From the coffee strips of Fremantle to the restaurants, cinemas and nightlife of Leederville, each community received a bespoke media buy with individual creative executions of the Win Win campaign.
If the goal was to get people into the WAFL again, we certainly kicked a couple from 50. Game attendance is the highest it’s been in recent years with a 53% increase in round 1 attendance and a 75% gate revenue 2 months post-launch. We also reached more people than ever before with a 191% increase in Facebook engagement and a 66% increase in website visitation. Whatever team you go for, that’s a good result.