Short List
Product / ServiceA-LEAGUES
CategoryA01. Music Video
EntrantR/GA Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation R/GA Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement OMD Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production R/GA Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production 2 BRING Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production 3 ENTROPICO Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Post Production R/GA Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Post Production 2 BRING Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Post Production 3 ENTROPICO Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Additional Company A LEAGUES Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Danny Townsend A-Leagues Managing Director, CEO
Ant Hearne A-Leagues Chief Commercial Officer
Rob Nolan A-Leagues Director, Marketing & Data
Damaris Treasure A-Leagues Director Of Strategic Communications
David Davutovic A-Leagues Football Consultant
Angela Colless A-Leagues Head of Fan Engagement
Nathan Sammut A-Leagues Senior Marketing Manager
Seamus Higgins R/GA Chief Creative Officer
Victoria Curro R/GA Managing Director
Ben Miles R/GA Exec Creative Director, Brand, Design & Consulting
Claire Waring R/GA Executive Creative Director
Jon Holloway R/GA Executive Strategy Director
Ben Newman R/GA Associate Creative Director
Justin Phang R/GA Creative Director
Henry Cook R/GA Design Director
Jane Duru R/GA Verbal Design Director
Louis Johanson R/GA Senior Designer
George Robertson R/GA Group Director, Client Services
Lauren Butterfield R/GA Group Account Director
Kyle Belcher R/GA Head of Content
Chris Smyth R/GA Executive Director
Josh Agnew R/GA Account Director
Callum James R/GA Senior Social Strategist
Scott McKinnonn R/GA Senior Strategist
Matt Vandenberg R/GA Social Media Manager
Adam Ireland BRING General Manager
James Griffiths BRING Executive Creative Director
Chris Russell BRING Brand Partnership Director
Gabriel Gasparinatos Entropico Director
Erin Moy Entropico Executive Producer
Jemma Cole Entropico Producer


Football is the most played grassroots code in Australia, but the least watched at professional level. Whilst nearly 6 million Australians are fans of or watch the beautiful game in some capacity, only a quarter of that figure follow the A-Leagues. Since 2014, A-Leagues attendance and viewership have declined year-on-year, not helped by poor broadcast quality, consistent comparison to elite European football, and a lack of a distinct identity in the Australian sporting landscape. Recent advertising efforts have failed, employing similar tropes, imagery and messaging in the same mediums where more established and well-known sporting competitors operate. Adhering to the conventions of the category had rendered the A-Leagues both unheard and indistinct. Our task was to find a way to overcome these barriers and move the game forward so that Australian professional football was no longer seen as uninspiring and unequal in the eyes of fans and the next generation.

Describe the creative idea

“Real Nice” is a one-of-a-kind music collaboration between three of Australia’s hottest young artists - DJ/Producer YoungFranco, Aria Award R&B winner TKay Maidza and Rapper Nerve. Launched as a music track and video in it’s own right, it’s a piece of culture rather than another sporting ad, sitting at the heart of A-League’s new creative platform “Here Come the Future”. The music video tells the stories of Marco Tillio and Jada Whyman. A-Leagues players who have overcome physical, mental and racial obstacles to become rising stars of the game. A platform for football focused creative collaboration, the film features some of Australia’s best up-and-coming artists, illustrators and animators. The lyrics, music and film unite football and culture, connecting with a new generation of fans by inspiring them to play their own way, on and off the pitch.

Describe the strategy

Sport and entertainment access in Australia is unrivalled, creating fierce competition for our free time. Traditionally, the A-Leagues had tried to ‘out-shout’ sporting competitors with advertising - using similar sporting tropes, imagery and messaging in the same media where more established and well-known competitors would easily outspend us. By following the logical, proven formula of competitors we'd fail. We identified that Football and youth culture are uniquely entwined - in music, fashion, gaming, and beyond - in a way few other sports are. By leveraging this connection and appearing authentically in culture, we’d seize a headstart on attracting Australia’s next generation; future watchers, buyers and participants who’d power the game for years to come. Our campaign wasn’t powered by media, but by culture - seeded through touchpoints most relevant to Australia’s young taste-makers and trend-setters, attracting their fandom, and helping redefine the A-League’s identity as one reflective of Australia’s next-generation.

Describe the execution

A platform for football focused creative collaboration, the video was directed by Aria nominated Gabriel Gasparinatos. It tells the story of two of the A-League’s most exciting emerging players: Jada Whyman: talented First Nations Goalkeeper whose dream is to inspire indigenous youth. Marco Tilio: a dynamic striker, who, in spite of being one of the shortest players in the league, has become one of its best. The film features some of Australia’s best up-and-coming artists, illustrators and animators - Serwah Attafuah, digital artist, Tom Stone, animator, Sam Whiteside, lighting artist, and Masterbucks, a gamer. A springboard for participation on digital platforms - choreographed tik tok routines by influencers like, The Xhan and Kusini Yengi, sparked creation while cultural gems and much-loved commentator Simon Hill fuelled social conversation. These collaborators represent A-League’s more diverse and creative future, celebrating our purpose; inspire everyone to play their own way on and off pitch.

Describe the outcome

The aim of our campaign was to take a sporting competition that had become stagnant and overlooked in the minds of most Australians, and have it break into the cultural narrative once again. The campaign started off strong with ‘Real Nice (H.C.T.F.)’ organically becoming a TikTok Top 10 trending sound in our launch week, for a combined 13.2m earned media views to date. Our music video received over 167k views on YouTube, but through our broadcast partnership with Channel 10, and the narrative around the music video's meaning, would go on to be shown to millions more through earned and partner media. The track also received regular daily spins on all major commercial radio stations with over 17m earned radio impressions to date, and even managed to become the number 1 most played song on the largest independent radio station ‘Triple J’ for the key summer listening month of December.