For the AFL’s half, they’ve launched AFLW and AFLX. At the second, AFLX is a once-of-year novelty, however keep in mind, this is the start, not the top. For all of the scepticism that surrounds it, do not be stunned if AFLX quickly grows right into a six to eight week event, performed over two months of the yr – maybe in October and November, or alternatively, February and March as a lead in to the brand new AFL season.
It appears our largest and oldest sports activities are launching a takeover bid of the whole sports activities calendar.
If the Big Bash season lengthens and AFLX and AFLW proceed to develop, that is a whole lot of additional sport for followers to eat.
Sports followers throughout the nation might be rubbing their arms collectively on the considered it, however the actuality is that it just may push us to a breaking level. Just what number of video games do these huge sports activities organisations anticipate us to attend? How many golf equipment and groups do they need us to be members of? Then there’s the merchandise, the meals, drinks and journey bills.
We solely have so much money and time to offer. By the time we work, play and spend time with our household and buddies, there’s solely so much area left within the week to attend and watch stay sport, regardless of how engaging it might be.
From a enterprise perspective, there’s additionally solely so many companies within the Australian market which have the cash, assets and inclination to sponsor sports activities groups and occasions.
So, maybe one thing’s obtained to provide.
In the final 25 years Melbourne alone has seen the introduction of a number of new elite sports activities groups, competitions and occasions. Since 1996 we have seen the introduction of Melbourne’s F1 Grand Prix, the Melbourne Storm, the Melbourne Rebels, two A-League Clubs, netball golf equipment, a brand new AFLW competitors and two Big Bash League groups to accompany an already busy sporting panorama, which incorporates 9 AFL groups.
And, all of the whereas these groups, occasions and competitions maintain going again to the identical four million Melburnians and 24 million Australians to ask for extra, extra, extra.
We do an excellent job of attending to as many sporting occasions as potential. AFL crowds are, on common, the fourth highest of any sporting competitors on the earth. Big Bash crowds are fifth. The Storm’s membership and common crowds are one of many highest within the NRL, Melbourne’s Boxing Day Test crowd by no means fails to impress and we flip as much as marquee occasions such because the Spring Carnival, the Grand Prix and Australian Open in our lots of of hundreds.
But, like something in life, the extra you ask of the identical individuals, the nearer you progress to breaking level, the place one thing has obtained to provide.
And, if a breaking level comes, who will the large losers be? Will it’s a case of Cricket Australia and the AFL rising a few of their merchandise whereas cannibalising their different video games? Or will it’s that different competitions, such because the A-League, are swallowed up or misplaced within the dominant narratives of different, greater sports activities organisations?
But then once more, maybe organisations just like the AFL sense a tipping level might be coming sooner somewhat than later and have developed a recreation, AFLX, that may be marketed and bought abroad to a recent batch of shoppers, companies and sponsors.
Of course there’s an opportunity that each sporting organisation in Australia will merely proceed so as to add additional competitions, additional video games and additional groups and we will help all of them, which means all of them coexist collectively and stay fortunately ever after.
But I doubt it. My guess is that one thing, at some stage, has to provide. And it might be quickly.
Sam Duncan is a lecturer in sports activities media and a Fairfax Media columnist.
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