2017 VAFA Media & Communications Report

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Nick Armistead – @NickArmistead

VAFA Media experienced another year of growth across all digital media platforms in 2017 as we aim to continually develop & increase engagement for an ever-increasing VAFA community.


As the hub of VAFA Media and the number one source of content and information, VAFA.com.au underwent necessary changes prior to the season’s commencement in a bid to ensure an improved user experience via a modern and simplistic design. We repositioned key elements such as section links to add prominence, increased advertising positions without impacting user experience, introduced a cleaner layout for articles on the home page and updated colour themes (high contrast) in line with 2017 design trends. A key change was the focus of video content on the home page to coincide with VAFA Media’s new video media strategy aimed at producing more content and making it readily available for supporters. Despite losing more than 900K page views due to the change of Live Scores provider redirecting users away from the website, VAFA.com.au still increased its page view count by more than 500K to 3.6m at 16.6%. Upgrades were made to ensure optimal performance during peak times and, as such, the website experienced one ‘crash’ for a period of 30 minutes in April, down from six in 2016.


VAFA TV is the main source of engagement among players and supporters, and changes were implemented to ensure the quality and interest of all productions continued to improve this year. After being named Best TV Show at the 2016 AFL Victoria Media Awards, VAFA Tragics underwent a format change in its third year of production with the focus moving from weekly match analysis to discussion of issues facing the VAFA and our clubs. The revised opinion-based format allowed the panellists to discuss the relevant talking points from within our Association; including, the first-ever abandoned match and subsequent splitting of points between Beaumaris and Old Melburnians, the unsubstantiated rumours surrounding St Kevin’s OB with captain Anthony Lynch and prescribed penalties. Both men’s and women’s players joined the panel as guests for the first time, while highlights included the production of two shows from the VAFA Awards Nights and the exclusive announcement of Club XVIII Section 1 & 2 Best & Fairest winners.

The use of Facebook video is of the utmost importance to VAFA Media’s ability to promote our competition across the social space and thus we released 113 direct-to-Facebook videos throughout 2017 for record totals of 467.1K views at an average of over 4.1K per clip. VAFA Tragics clips, HQ News, SPT Plays of the Week, promotional videos (125 Years an Ammo) and match highlights each contributed to the improved growth of our strongest social media asset.

VAFA Ireland Tour

Facebook video was at peak engagement on the VAFA’s Tour of Ireland and London whereby 10 separate videos garnered 5.4K views, including 8K and 6.2K for two HQ News episodes involving interviewees (coach, player umpire etc) and Gaelic women’s players, respectively. The Ireland Tour was an exceptional chance for VAFA Media to promote one of our Association’s greatest opportunities for players and content produced included interviews with world class personnel such as Sarah Rowe (Women’s Gaelic) and Fergal McGill (GAA), match footage and reports, photography and, most importantly, behind-the-scenes footage of the incredible experience each player, coach and support staff received on the tour.

VAFA Women’s

As the VAFA community grows due to the influx of women’s players, so too does our commitment to providing quality content across all forms of media. A first in community football, @vafawomens Instagram page was established as a standalone female promotional tool and it quickly grew to more 1000 followers throughout the season. Eight extra pages of full colour were added to the Amateur Footballer record to include women’s team lists, photos and content, and VAFA photography increased each weekend to incorporate one women’s match.

VAFA Media Days

Following the success of the inaugural VAFA Media Days in 2016, we held the second instalment across two days in March with more than 85 male and female players taking part. Content created from the two days included player interviews, promotional videos, photography and the popular Lip Sync Battles between sections.


VAFA Media is made up of a large contingent of dedicated volunteers, each of whom I would like to personally thank for their involvement throughout the 2017 season. Special thanks to Ken Petruco and the team at 96.5 Inner FM, Glenn Scarborough (North-West FM), Andrew Leonard and Brenton Mann (VAFA Tragics), Mitch op’t Hoog (Amateur Footballer Coordinator), our dedicated Amateur Footballer Scribes and all players and club personnel who contributed to the success of VAFA Media this year.

By the numbers (as of December 1)

Facebook 8758 likes 34% increase
Twitter 5963 followers 9.2% increase
Instagram (@vafahq) 2482 followers 77% increase
Instagram (@vafawomens) 1054 followers NEW
YouTube 136,196 views 18.7% increase
412,478 mins viewed 15.9% increase
Facebook Video 467.1K total views 50.4% increase
4.13K average views 1.3% increase
LinkedIn 489 followers 14.5% increase
VAFA.com.au 3.6m page views 16.6% increase
400K users 15.6% increase
VAFA Newsletter 28,814 recipients 8.1% increase