OMD and Coles put fans at the forefront for the 2021 AFL Finals series
OMD Australia
22 September 2021

OMD and Coles, in partnership with the AFL, Network Seven and Campaignware, have set out to transform the footy fan experience for the 2021 finals series. At a time when Australia’s two largest states are in lockdown, elevating the AFL experience at home has never been more important for the millions of people unable to attend matches.

Activated by OMD Create’s sport partnerships division, two fan-first initiatives have been launched.

The first initiative, the ‘Coles AFL Fan Awards’, was launched in partnership with the AFL on their official website. The initiative gave fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite moments from the 2021 season. Across many coveted awards in the AFL competition, these are the only awards decided exclusively by the fan vote. Six categories were rolled out over the finals series, with the winners of each award to be announced in a showcase event streamed this Thursday 23rd September at 8pm. The event will be hosted by Riley Beveridge and Coles’s ambassador Eddie Betts, across the AFL’s social channels. Twenty voters will also be notified in the coming days as winners of an AFL Silver Club Membership, a $300 AFL Gift Card and a $500 Coles Gift Card.

The second, in partnership with Network Seven and Campaignware, is the ‘Finals Fan Vote’. For the very first time in the history of the AFL finals, fans were able to vote for their Most Valuable Player (MVP) from each match in real-time. The first 100 voters for each game received a Coles Online discount code and all voters have gone into the draw to win a $5,000 Coles Gift Card, with the winner being announced on the day of the Grand Final.

Nicole Bence, Seven West Media Network Digital Sales Director, said: “This collaboration for Coles to deliver the Finals Fan Vote means that footy fans can vote in real-time for their MVP through QR codes. We’re very excited to bring this new cross-screen innovation product to Seven’s AFL audience. Tapping into the second-screening behaviour of consumers demonstrates how our linear screens and digital platforms work better together and all play a unique role in converting fan passion into action.”

AFL Executive General Manager of Customer and Commercial, Kylie Rogers said that by using digital connection at the forefront, they have been able to engage with more AFL fans than ever, “Initiatives such as the ‘Coles AFL Fan Awards’ and ‘Finals Fan Vote’ have brought together our many AFL fans despite the challenges this year has given us all. To have our audience engaged during each match in real-time has been really exciting and we were pleased to work with Coles, OMD and the Seven Network.”

Coles Head of Sponsorships and Events, Carmel Horvath, said: “We’re thrilled to be putting the fans at the forefront of the finals this year by giving them a chance to vote for their favourite players and moments of this incredible season. At Coles, we are passionate about helping Australians live healthier and happier lives. We know millions of our customers get so much joy from watching AFL and now they can have their say on the moments they love the most.”

Aaron Miller, National Director of OMD’s sport partnerships division, added, “With most fans still at home, we saw an opportunity for Coles to connect with them during the AFL finals. Working with Seven and the AFL, we identified these two unique voting mechanics that work together to add value to the footy viewing experience and provide fans with a continuous reason to engage throughout the AFL finals. It’s been fantastic to see this come to life during the finals series.”

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