Helping an AFL powerhouse become an audience centric organisation


The West Coast Eagles AFL team is Australia’s most successful professional sports team financially and in 2017 had a fan base of approximately 489,000 fans. However, being based in Perth in Western Australia, there’s a geographic limitation on how much you can grow as every other state already has multiple teams. So, how do you grow as a business when the audience growth potential is limited?


West Coast couldn’t sell any more physical game attending memberships as they were at capacity. So most of the business growth potential was from growing the digital audience and finding ways to generate more revenue from sponsors and advertisers on the clubs assets and platforms.

The current internal teams (membership, content, commercial & community) were doing a great job maintain the success of the club, working in silos. However, to unlock new growth the club needed to shift the mindset to become an audience centric organisation connecting all the internal teams around the shared goal of increasing the value of the audience.

To drive this ambition the audience centric transformation strategy was created. Here were the key components:

Audience Strategy
Firstly a core set of fan segmentation was developed to help guide the club in delivering more relevant content and experiences. They were arranged by footy savviness including Strategic Supercoaches, Facepaint Fans, Passive Fans, Upcoming Stars and Prospects. From there a strategy was developed to either attract more of the audience or increase engagement with them to increase the value of the audience.  

Data Strategy
Data was going to be crucial in driving and measuring the vision of increasing the value of the audience. It was also a key piece in unifying the internal teams around the shared goal as all teams needed to be pulling data into one single audience view. There were 3 key pillars of the strategy:

  1. Increase Audience Size
    By becoming more proactive in targeting prospect audience segments to grow the size of the audience. A big part was incorporating the community team who reach 180,000 school kids every year

  2. Improve Richness of Data
    Enrich the database by being more strategic about data collection, maximising all the touchpoints and collect behavioural data at the right moments
  3. Enhance Audience Engagement
    Increase viewership of content on the club channels (website, app, social channels)

Operating Strategy - Eagles Media

The biggest opportunity for revenue growth was from improving the quality of the content for the audience segments. If we could create larger more consistent viewership of club content, then it would be more attractive and valuable to sponsors and advertisers.

The commercial sales team had been doing a great job trying to maximise the assets they had and the content production team were creating some great content but in pieces. So, there was a lack of connection and efficiency between the 2 teams.  

It was time to shift to a more professional media operating model which is why Eagles Media was launched. New shows like “The Rundown” panel show and “The Locker Room” elevated the viewership experience, attracted new sponsors like AGL and Telstra and generated new revenue. Creative production services were also launched to generate more revenue from sponsors.

Mobile Strategy
Increasing the amount of app downloads was going to create better more personalised experiences for fans but also create a massive data collection opportunity. So at every opportunity possible the app was promoted to encourage fans to take their experience to the next level. The move to the new stadium in 2018 was a great opportunity to drive downloads. A new section in the app called GameDay was created with exclusive content to attract fans to a better fan experience. More details here


For seasons 2020, 2021 and 2022, the West Coast Eagles held the highest membership numbers in the AFL, which also meant the largest sports membership base in Australia. They reached 102,897.  

App Downloads
After Eagles Media was launched in 2018:

  • App downloads more than doubled during the season
  • App engagement massively improved by 4.6 times compared to the previous year