Andy Lee - ADFL
Entertainment |

Introducing the Australian Dice Football League

By Jeremy Nicholas May 7, 2020

We’re bringing footy back! Well, sort of. To roll into the new way of doing things, we’re proud to present the new Australian Dice Football League, featuring players from every AFL club and hosted by comedian Andy Lee.

‏‏‎ ‎

Introducing the Australian Dice Football League

‏‏‎ ‎
That’s right: grab your scarves and warm up a meat pie, because we’re bringing competitive play between footballers back to your screen in self-isolation. And with this game, you’ve got the home ground advantage.

It’s a stay-at-home substitute for the winter season, mirroring the fixtures that would have taken place between rounds 8-11 of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

ADFL matches will start rolling out from Friday 8pm, available at the AFL Dice Footy website and through the AFL Official App as well as Telstra social channels.

The first round of the Telstra Australian Dice Football League will see a 2019 Semi-Final rematch roll-off between GWS’ Stephen Coniglio against Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy.

And to top it off, presenter Andy Lee will bring in special guests to give predictions on all the action and round up the games.

The game follows the familiar format of a footy match:

  • Two opponents roll two dice each quarter;
  • The first roll determines the goals (6 points per goal), and the second roll the behinds (one point per behind).

For example, when Patrick Dangerfield rolls a four and a two, that would be four goals and two behinds, a total of twenty-six points for Geelong Cats for the quarter.

With footy on hold we wanted to find a fun and entertaining way to engage football fans in order to give them something to watch, and hopefully do while everyone is at home helping to flatten the curve.

We hope that it not only introduces a new pastime to families’ routines at home, but it also gives football fans the chance to see their favourite players in a more relaxed and personal environment whilst showing how proud Telstra is to be involved with the AFL and sport in Australia.

We hope the ADFL will be embraced by fans who have enjoyed the partnership between Telstra and the AFL since 2002, helping deliver digital experiences to fans through afl.com.au, the official AFL apps,  player and team performance through the Telstra Tracker, as well as streaming every game live through the Telstra Live Pass.

Round One Fixtures

Here’s who will face off to determine the inaugural Telstra Australian Dice Football League champ:

  • North Melbourne’s Ben Brown vs Hawthorn’s James Sicily
  • St Kilda’s Seb Ross vs Carlton’s Eddie Betts
  • Brisbane’s Lachie Neale vs Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt
  • Geelong’s Joel Selwood vs Essendon’s Dyson Heppell
  • Western Bulldogs’s Easton Wood vs Gold Coast’s Lachie Weller
  • West Coast’s Josh Kennedy vs Sydney’s Josh Kennedy
  • Adelaide’s Fischer McAsey vs Fremantle’s David Mundy
  • Melbourne’s Christian Petracca vs Port Adelaide’s Ollie Connor Rozee
  • GWS’ Stephen Coniglio vs Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy
Entertainment | Telstra News |

Sport for good as codes kick off bushfire relief rounds

By Genelle Sharples February 28, 2020

This fire season taught us that the spirit of community is stronger than ever in Australia. Nothing brings a community together like sport, which is why we’re buoyed by the upcoming rounds set to be played for bushfire charity relief in the NRL, AFL and Netball. Here’s how to get amongst the action and back local communities at the same time.

NRL

2019 NRL Round 20 - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers, Bankwest Stadium, 2019-08-03. Digital image by Nathan Hopkins © NRL Photos
Digital image by Nathan Hopkins © NRL Photos

Ahead of the official season kick-off in two weeks, the Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers are set to clash in the name of bushfire relief.

It’s the EISS Super Sapphire Trial Tribute round, also known as the “Best of the West”, set to be played at the Bega Recreation Ground on February 29. The trial game was moved from Penrith to Bega to support the local community in the wake of the fires. The NRL is also providing free tickets to Sapphire Coast residents who have registered at a bushfire recovery centre since October.

Getting out to the ground throughout the weekend festivities is a treat for anyone who can, with a wide-ranging weekend of sport and entertainment. The three-day festival of footy will feature a number of games, as well as a free performance from Aussie ARIA winner, Amy Shark.

We’ve rolled out networking and broadcast gear for the game, so fans can have great connectivity on the day. Fans not able to get out to the game can watch the match through the NRL Live Pass, data-free for Telstra Mobile customers.

AFL

AFL 2019 Round 16 - Fremantle v West Coast
Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Of course, if you prefer your footy to be AFL-flavoured, there’s a charity round for you also.

The AFL is set to host an unprecedented State of Origin round to raise funds for disaster relief, alongside a $2.5 million donation made by the league.

The match played between Victoria and the All Stars will take part in the charity State of Origin at Marvel Stadium on Friday February 28.

Tickets are currently on sale, and Telstra mobile customers can watch the match live, fast and data-free through the AFL Live Pass.

Netball

Netball fans can also get in on the action thanks to its own bushfire charity match. The match will showcase the best Aussie Netball has to offer on March 1 when the Australian team will take on the All-Stars.

Super Netball’s pre-season is also working hard to raise money for bushfire recovery also, with funds set to go to the Red Cross bushfire appeal and other recovery projects.

Netball fans can get all the action from Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena live and data-free to their mobile using our Netball Live Pass.

We continue to support the communities and first-responders who are affected by the unprecedented bushfire season.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the bushfires, assistance can be sought from our Bushfire Assistance hub.

This year’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award was Stephen Coniglio of the GWS Giants
Entertainment |

Backing community leadership with the AFL

By Genelle Sharples September 26, 2019

This year’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award was Stephen Coniglio of the GWS Giants

We’re a team that’s built on strong values. Values that shape how we engage with our community, backed by our vision to build a connected future so everyone can thrive. One recent initiative to bring our vision and values to life was to align with the Jim Stynes Foundation and its Community Leadership Award.

Jim Stynes’ legacy is one that continues to shape the charitable direction of the AFL and its players. The iconic player used his on-field prowess to help shape the lives of disadvantaged youth. After his passing in 2012, the Jim Stynes Foundation was established to continue his work. Public in nature, the Jim Stynes Foundation distributes 100% of its funds to worthy causes and charities in the local community.

As part of their great work, every year the Foundation presents the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award. The award is presented annually at the Brownlow Medal ceremony to recognise AFL and AFLW players who embody the community spirit of the award’s namesake, Jim Stynes. Players who demonstrate a commitment to their community and helping others to make a difference are nominated for the award. Each year the winner receives $40,000 to donate to the charity or community organisation of their choice, and runners-up each receive $10,000 to do the same.

We’re proud to expand our partnership with the AFL to support the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award and our AFL sporting heroes can continue to do their powerful work in the local community.

The winner

This year’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award was Stephen Coniglio of the GWS Giants. Stephen Coniglio has been recognised for his role across a range of programs that engage the multicultural communities of Western Sydney.

Stephen has worked closely with the NSW Government to develop the Coniglio-Farrugia Community Program and holds ambassadorial roles with the Fairfield Falcons Football Club, All Nations Cup, Bachar Houli programs and the Lighthouse Community Support program, to promote AFL and social cohesion in Western Sydney over years eights.

Stephen’s involvement in the NSW Government community program has opened up opportunities for more than 3,000 multicultural students from 20 schools to experience Australian culture and the healthy and active lifestyle from key AFL and AFLW mentors.

Stephen works tirelessly to use his profile to promote inclusivity and his generosity also extends to giving back to the community on this 25th birthday last December, where he personally visited 25 junior GIANTS members at their own homes with thank-you gifts.

“This is an incredible honour for me and to be recognised by the wider AFL family as someone that demonstrates the values of Jim Stynes is truly humbling,” he said.

“I’m very passionate about the multicultural communities that make up Western Sydney and helping the next generation realise the opportunities they have in front of them.

“I’d like to acknowledge the other finalists for the fantastic work they do and I look forward to continuing to build strong connections across Western Sydney and helping those around me realise that anything’s possible.”

Runners-up for this year’s award include:

  • Jessica Hosking, for her work with her own charity 2Boots, as well as work with Interplast, Cleft Pals Victoria and Red Dust Health Living;
  • Jamaine Jones, for his work with the Barwon Child Youth & Family’s Foster Care campaign, and
  • Travis Boak, for his work as an ambassador for the Childhood Cancer Association.

These incredible athletes will receive a $10,000 grant to distribute to the charity of their choice.

This year’s judging panel included Sam Ludbey-Stynes; Luke Darcy (Network Seven & Triple M); Neil Mitchell (3AW); Kim Williams (AFL Commissioner); Andrew Dillon (General Counsel/General Manager Game Development); Sarah Fair (AFL GM, People); Jude Donnelly (AFL, Head of Government Relations & Corporate Social Responsibility); Jennie Loughnan (AFL Ground Operations Manager), and Brent Hadley (AFL PA Representative).

We’re proud to support the AFL and its players as they seek to make a difference in their local community and honour Jim Stynes’ legacy.

Entertainment | Tech and Innovation |

Alexa has the AFL Skills to thrill for Grand Final week

By Luke Hopewell September 26, 2019

It’s the biggest match of the year, and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make the AFL finals experience better than ever for our sport-loving customers, and now we’ve got something we think you’ll really like: we’ve worked with Amazon and the AFL so you can listen to the game live using only your voice.

Together with the AFL and Amazon we’ve developed the new AFL Alexa Skill. During the regular season you can now ask Alexa to find out when your favourite team is playing next and to listen to the game live on your Alexa-enabled device.

You can also play the latest Footy Feed, with video if you’re an Echo Show or Echo spot user. And Alexa now also knows loads of footy facts to help resolve those Grand Final week barbeque, like who won the 1983 Grand Final or how many goals your favourite player has kicked during the very match you’re watching.  

Simply say, ‘Alexa, ask AFL to listen live’, or ‘Alexa, launch AFL’.

The AFL Alexa skill is also joined by our AFL on Google Home experience, with features like live stats, results, a Footy Quiz that will put your knowledge to the test, and heaps more. We’re always working on expanding the range of questions you can ask your voice assistant, no matter which platform you prefer.

And if you’re a Telstra customer, you can watch your favourite matches live, fast and data-free from your smartphone thanks to Live Pass. The Telstra Live Pass subscription unlocks almost $329 in value for eligible customers. Non-Telstra customers though can still get in on the action too, with a number of subscriptions ranging from weekly, monthly, or annual passes starting at just $4.99.

We’re always working on new ways to delight our sports fans, and this one comes just in time for finals!

5G | Entertainment | Network | Tech and Innovation |

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final

By Nikos Katinakis September 22, 2019

This Saturday Richmond and Greater Western Sydney will play in the AFL Grand Final.

These two teams will bring a bumper crowd and we’re giving fans an early present by turning on our new 5Gcoverageat the MCG – it’s 5G at the G.

Customers on Telstra 5G can expect an enhanced network experience, with faster downloads, better browsing and connectivity. 

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final

The Tiger Army will be in full force as will Giants fans too, and the added network capacity that 5G offers is hugely beneficial at big events like this.  

A crowd of up to 100,000 people is expected to pack the MCG.

Lastyear we saw a massive 3.8 terabytes of data sent over our mobile network from the MCG alone, up 22% from the previous year. That’s equivalent to 1200 hours of video content or 27 billion SMS messages.

We’ve been on a mission to connect the MCG to the networks of the future since 2015 when we partnered with the Melbourne Cricket Club, who run the venue, to bolster capacity with an innovative 3G/4G coverage solution.

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final
From left: Stuart Fox, MCC, Emilio Romeo, Ericsson and Nikos Katinakis, Telstra

The arrival of 5G at the ‘G marks yet another milestone in our relationship with the historic venue.

That system has performed incredibly well over the last four years, and now, in partnership with Ericsson, we are once against enhancing our coverage at the ground, both with the latest 4G technology as well as introducing 5G coverage for the first time. 

We’re excited to continue our partnership with Ericsson here in Australia. Every time we meet with our friends from Ericsson, we’re always talking about what’s next in our connectivity journey.

I toured the MCG installation with Ericsson’s Australian CEO, Emilio Romeo on the weekend. Emilio told me that this collaboration with Telstra and MCC is another example of industry working together to drive 5Gadvancement, andresponding to growing demand for increased data and enhanced experiences. And I agree, this ensures Australia remains at the forefront of telecommunications technology.

The executive team at the MCC, led by CEO Stuart Fox, has also told us that they’re pleased to be the first stadium in Australia to provide patrons with access to 5G. 5G at the ‘G puts the MCC into an elite category to cater to international broadcasters, media and fans.

While 5G is ready for the opening bounce, we’re not done perfecting the best connectivity experience at the ground. Our engineers in concert with Ericsson will continue to evaluate the deployment and design, making improvements each week to optimise 4G and 5G coverage at the home of footy.

Play on!

5G arrives at the MCG, just in time for the AFL Grand Final