The AGL Loy Yang NGFNL launches the BENORTHGIPPY campaign
It shouldn’t be a secret that people are at the heart of community sport and that’s the basis of the AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League’s new marketing campaign for season 2021.
The ‘Be North Gippy’ campaign aims to re-engage community members as players, volunteers, supporters and everything in between by highlighting and celebrating club and league pride and participation.
It also serves as a timely reminder of how much there is to love about grassroots sport in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.
“After 12 months of no football and netball, like most leagues around Victoria… the challenge is getting people back,” NGFNL board member Grant Johnstone said.
“Your good players will come back, your hardcore volunteers are coming back, they’re all coming back naturally anyway. It’s I guess about what I call the bottom half of the twos. It’s the people that have enjoyed or been distracted by other things over 2020. [People] that are pretty valuable to a club, whether they be players or volunteers.”
Johnstone joined the NGFNL board ahead of what would have been the 2020 season and quickly identified the league’s major strength – solidarity.
With an extensive and successful background in marketing and the media industry, Johnstone said Be North Gippy was about creating a brand position for the league and that tapping into and highlighting the league’s most valuable asset was a no-brainer.
“People in the North Gippsland Football Netball League from what I’ve seen are incredibly proud of their club. They’re staunchly loyal to their club but they see the league as being a pretty cool entity and a pretty unified entity and people like being a part of it,” he said.
“We’re not trying to recreate the wheel, all of this already exists. The clubs are already really unified, they are already really keen and inviting when it comes to new people, we just need to tell people about it.”
A series of advertisements have been produced based on interviews with an assortment of members of NGFNL clubs talking openly about why they love their club.
Subjects range from players and coaches to volunteers and supporters, of all ages and backgrounds.
The first ad went to air on Good Friday and features members of the Yarram, Traralgon-Tyers United and Glengarry football netball clubs, including Magpies stalwart Dave Dawson, who jubilantly declared his involvement as “the best thing on earth”.
In addition to the traditional media spots enthusiastically provided and supported by the league’s media partners Prime7 and ACE Radio (TRFM and Gippsland’s Gold), Johnstone has established a brand committee to look at ways to further promote the message through social media and the existing audiences of clubs.
Johnstone estimated that 7000 people were either actively or passively involved with the league and its member clubs, confirming there was no shortage of ambassadors for the league to mobilise.
“It is a pretty simple concept and quite often the best ones are,” he said.
“Be North Gippy is an affirmation. It’s an invitation to Be North Gippy with us. We are, we’re proud of it, we like being a part of it and we reckon you’ll like it too.”
Hello everyone and welcome to round 2 in the NGFNL.
As I start to write this report a lot has happen in a few weeks as clubs prepared for round one and opened their respective venues to the public. The majority of other clubs will get that opportunity this weekend. In essence it was great to back playing and watching the games we love unfold.
Let’s a take a minute to reflect when round one for the NGFNL was opened at Yarram on Good Friday. Firstly, I want to thank Anthony and his many volunteers for making a significant effort to not only welcome the Yallourn Yallourn Nth Football Netball Club into our league but equally presenting a venue in tip top shape for us all to enjoy including addressing a COVID safe plan which made the day pleasant for all in attendance. Regardless of who won what game played on Good Friday in my eyes Football, Netball and the NGFNL Brand were the real winners and I again thank everyone for their contribution and involvement.
The welcome to country and flag ceremony together with the quality of games and umpiring on the day were without doubt some of the many highlights for me. Well done everyone.
The Woodside Football Netball Club also started the year well when hosting the Glengarry FNC. The Cats also opened the season by banking a few premiership points. They too should be congratulated for their welcome to country ceremony conducted during Thursday nights training session. There is no doubt this club thinks very deeply about their history, heritage and affiliation with all indigenous aspects of their club and surrounding community. I am sure this is one small reason why Woodside ranks highly around all issues of inclusiveness and making members, players and guests welcome at their venue. Well done to all at Woodside you have again raised the bar in this aspect of our league.
In other games Gormandale hosted Sale City, with the visitors proving too strong when the final siren sounded. Heyfield were challenged by their rival neighbors Cowwarr early but despite the promising efforts of the Saints the home team secured the points to start the season well.
In what was a highly skillful and anticipated game between two clubs whom I expected to be finals contenders in 2021 the game between Rosedale and TTU lived up to all expectations. In difficult windy conditions and the odd shower of rain drifting through the venue, the skill of all players was evident for all to see. At the end of the day the TTU boys secured victory by a handful of points but this result could have gone either way and I think everyone should hold your heads up high. Well done everyone.
Of course, that now brings me to round 2 and already some cracking games look like they will entertain the punters and crowds this week. Yallourn Yallourn Nth will host their first NGFNL game against a quality club in Churchill who are our reigning premiers from 2019. The Cougars have a long history of meeting every challenge with gusto and achieving success when others doubt their credentials. I am sure the YYNFNC will take nothing for granted and prepare for a tough day at the office and I trust my expectations of cracking game is delivered for all and sundry to witness. Good luck to all.
Sale City versus Rosedale should be another game I will be watching with interest. Both clubs have a very strong and combative history and I would expect nothing else when 2.15 pm arrives today. Just to add a little bit of spice Brad McKay newly appointed coach of Rosedale will be looking to taste sweet success over a club which he has many fond memories and friendships. Nonetheless despite Brad’s history with the SALE City club I am sure his Rosedale blues will be very eager to open their account and take home the 4 points which is on offer at this game. Good luck to everyone.
TTU will host Heyfield and again this should be a ripping game. In my eyes although it is very early in the season this game may give us all a little bit of a baseline on how both these clubs will set up season 2021. One of these clubs will end the day with a win loss ratio of 2 and zip which will have them well placed to forge ahead with the season expectations fully intact. The other will find themselves in the middle of the pack licking their wounds of losing a round 2 game and thinking about redemption in round 3. Some might think these comments are an early call by the President but I remind you all this is a 16 game season not the traditional 18 we have been known for in the NGFNL. Therefore, every win has extra value in achieving your 2021 expectations and in my eyes the team who happens to lose this game will face significant additional pressure to perform in round 3 and should another loss be delivered then that will set tongues a wagging about finals expectations!!
In other league news many of you would have noticed the marketing campaign which has hit the airwaves and prime TV around what it means to be north gippy. This is an exciting initiative which I think is another first for the NGFNL. We plan to rollout a series of these advertisements with the current campaign focused around what players and club stalwarts have missed about their club and community sport after a year of COVID lockdown. Hopefully, in the near future you will hear form our club volunteers what they love about the NGFNL and volunteering together with what inclusion and diversity messaging means within our league and finally what the excitement of a finals series means to our members and supporters. Face book and our league website will also give you an opportunity to view this marketing concept so please go ahead and check it out.
COVID update. I congratulate everyone who is actively working on this topic within clubs and at our venues on game day. This topic has been a source of frustration to us all but we can all help ease the pain but a few simple actions. Most clubs have been handing out QSR details at the gate so that we can scan into the venue and I can only encourage you all to ensure that you electronically sign into our venues using this information. Should you not be familiar with this process or action please ask as you find heaps of NGFNL people willing to help even if they are not form your club.
In my eyes we all have a responsibility when entering venues, we must be mindful where possible of social distancing, if you feel unwell please stay at home and our clubs have been commendable in placing hand sanitizer in multiple locations and I encourage you all to use sanitizers regularly throughout the day. The work and imposts placed on clubs to sanitize after games, equipment and benches and tables is a taxing issue and you can help by attending to your personal responsibilities in this space. Please help us all ensure our games continue and our clubs remain safe venues for all and sundry.
Finally, it was great to see the Rosedale FNC running the “net set go” program for their future netball stars. I am sure this initiative gives these children some aspiration to play the game of netball and I have no doubt they watch our senior players with the aspiration of being on that court at some point in the future. Great work Rosedale and to any other club which is also running with this initiative.
Well that’s enough waffle from me for one week.
Keep well and keep safe. Play hard but play fair and I will speak to you all again real soon.
David J Kyle