New A-League identity: A step in the right direction?

The A-League has been making quite a push in recent years to encourage more inclusion and unity between both the men’s and women’s games. Currently, only the men’s league is known as the A-League, but a new A-League franchise has been revealed now, and it’s due to operate under the banner of ‘A-Leagues’. Putting this into a plural might seem insignificant, but it is a major push towards equality and unity for soccer in Australia.

A-League rebranding – what are the changes

It’s not just the name change of these leagues either. The governing bodies have decided to adjust all social media channels and narrow them down to the same channel. Combining these is another step towards unity, and on top of this, there are reports that a new digital platform will be established to allow fans to watch all men's, women's, and even junior matches.

Integration is clearly the primary objective here, and a new A-League logo has already received the nod of approval to top everything off. However, while these moves are promising, many fans wonder whether this will benefit the game of soccer in any great way. We’ve provided our opinions on this below.

New A-League identity

Will this benefit soccer in Australia?

The bottom line or the major question on people’s lips is whether such A-League rebranding will have a lasting impact. We believe that the answer is yes, and we believe this to be the case for the following reasons:

A step towards equality

It’s no great secret that women’s competition has struggled to receive the same recognition as men’s competition. This isn’t just true for soccer, and it isn’t just true in Australia – this has been the case all over the world. But launching this new A-League franchise is an enormous step towards removing these barriers, and hopefully, it will show that the governing bodies view both male and female soccer in Australia as equals. Once the governing bodies take a stand and display this, we would think that the opinion of fans in Australia will follow suit.

Of course, this would be awesome moving forward, as it means that female events could receive the same fan attendance, the same endorsement deals, and the prestige of women’s soccer will inevitably rise as a result. Even by changing to a new A-League logo, this is a subconscious way of showing that the leagues are of equal importance.

Perceived unity

When fans speak about soccer in Australia, it goes without saying that most of them will talk about the men’s A-League rather than the women’s league. That’s just the way things have been, despite the fact that the international Socceroos have enjoyed considerable success! However, changes to the logo, the league's name, and the implementation of a one-stop-shop, digital platform, shows that unity has already arrived through the A-League rebranding efforts.

We feel that this is a great way of aligning the interests of fans too, further removing the bridge or the gaps between male and female soccer, as well as junior competition. In short, there is no possibility, in our opinion, that unifying the leagues in this way could hurt soccer in any way.

Stimulated interest

This is perhaps the most important benefit of them all. Interest in junior and women’s soccer has not been on a par with the men’s game for quite some time, at least not at the domestic level. Therefore, the female athletes have constantly been fighting a bit of a losing battle, up until the A-League rebranding that we are currently witnessing. We have no doubt that the female soccer players all over Australia are breathing a huge sigh of relief, as finally, they have been given the tools for fans to now get interested in their games – at least on a larger scale than before.

Once fans are able to watch a few games, hopefully, they will see that the women’s game can be just as entertaining as the men’s. Like anything, this could lead to a bit of a chain reaction, and we expect that thousands of more fans will become interested in both women’s and junior matches!