Media Release, 23 December 2020

Telstra bring 5G to AFL with plans to make Marvel Stadium among the most advanced stadiums in the world

Wednesday 23 December 2020: Telstra has today renewed its existing sponsorship arrangements with the AFL as well as extending it to include an enhanced focus on making Marvel Stadium one of the most connected sporting grounds in the world and a testing bed for Telstra 5G innovation.

The revised deal, which deepens the Telstra and AFL partnership that commenced in 2017 and runs through until 2024, expands the visual sponsorship elements such as on-field Telstra 5G signage, and continues the development of the AFL’s digital assets such as AFL.com, club websites and the AFL Official LIVE App. The updated sponsorship also deepens Telstra’s connections to AFL Clubs and extends the agreement with the AFL Players Association that engages all listed players as ambassadors for use in social marketing campaigns and other initiatives.

The big winner in the new agreement is the AFL-owned Marvel Stadium, which will see some of its network and technology infrastructure upgraded using a joint technology fund, including installing 5G connectivity, with the ambition of making it one of the world’s most advanced stadium and entertainment precincts.

Telstra technology and connectivity will be deployed over the next few years including fixed and 4G/5G networks upgrades, AI, mixed reality and edge computing. From booking a seat to parking to engaging with the match, attendees will be soon be able to experience a new stadium experience before, during, and after they attend the game.

“Since 2002, we have been proud of our partnership with the AFL which has always been about using technology to help Aussies watch and enjoy the game at home or on the go. Our priority has always been to deliver the best sporting entertainment experience to our customers,” said Andrew Penn, CEO of Telstra. “We have been deeply committed to keeping up our support for the AFL and it’s pleasing to see Foxtel and Kayo, our long-standing strategic partners, support AFL and extend their rights deal for another three years. We’re working through the details over the next few weeks and will have more to say before the AFL season starts.

“AFL is remarkable in that it has retained its original format since the start, but what has rapidly evolved, is the way that fans are able to engage with the game, have access to previously-unavailable player insights, and connect with their favourite players online. Our leadership in 5G means we are able to continue to bring leading edge technology to the way fans experience the game and make Marvel Stadium one of the world’s smartest sporting venues in the world. This investment will help Aussie sporting fans experience their favourite games like never before.

“It’s also pleasing today to see Foxtel and Kayo, our long-standing strategic partners, support AFL and extend their rights deal for another three years.”

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan

“Telstra has been long-term partner of the AFL who are focused on bringing the best experience to footy fans both online and now in-venue at Marvel Stadium,” Mr McLachlan said.

“We have made a commitment to make Marvel Stadium one of the best sports and entertainment destinations in the world and our partnership with Telstra only enhances our ability to deliver this by providing fans a digitally-connected and technologically innovative fan-friendly experience.

“We have the best game in the world, and we continue to attract the best partners in world sports.

“Telstra, along with our other broadcast partners have stood with us in the most challenging times and we are excited by the experience we can provide our supporters across all devices – we will continue to innovate and lead.”

Media contact:

Steve Carey, General Manager Media
M: +61 413 988 640
E: media@team.telstra.com
Media reference number: 133/2020