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Backing community leadership with the AFL


Posted on September 26, 2019

4 min read

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.

Tags: AFL, AFLW,

Alexa has the AFL Skills to thrill for Grand Final week

Tech and Innovation Entertainment

Posted on September 26, 2019

2 min read

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


Posted on September 22, 2019

3 min read

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 5G coverage at 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.

Last year 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 5G advancement, and responding 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

Tags: AFL, Data, sport,

Who are the most watched teams of 2019’s AFL season?


Posted on September 16, 2019

3 min read

We can’t get enough sport, and looking at the figures for this year’s AFL Live Pass shows that we’re not the only ones! We’ve passed a huge milestone for Live Pass, and one team in particular caught the punters’ attention this year. 

Collingwood’s performance was closely watched by our Live Pass users this year, making them the most streamed team in the 2019 home-and-away season. Collingwood supporters logged an amazing 57.4 million minutes streamed in the AFL official app and Telstra Live Pass

Meanwhile, West Coast Eagles came in second place, with the defending premiers streamed for 51.9 million minutes. Followed closely behind at the buzzer was Carlton with 51.8 million minutes streamed. 

AFL 2019 First Elimination Final - West Coast v Essendon
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Andrew Gaff of the Eagles takes a mark during the 2019 AFL First Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)

These three teams contributed to the 403 million minutes of AFL streamed over the 2019 season, up almost 10% on last year. Victoria alone accounted for 41% of all active devices streaming AFL games last year! 

The biggest weekend was the stellar round 22, which marked the biggest weekend on Live Pass to date. The match that caught the most attention that round was Richmond’s defeat of West Coast. 

Photographers Choice - AFL 2019 Rd 22
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 18: Ivan Soldo of the Tigers and Tom Hickey of the Eagles compete for the ball during the round 22 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 18, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

Since last year, our Live Pass subscription numbers have rocketed up by 29%, with total subscriber numbers passing the three million mark for the first time ever. And Live Pass users are consuming more than just AFL content, too. 

Over 793 million minutes were streamed across all sports in 2019. Not surprising, however, when you consider the vast range of sport on offer through Live Pass. Our customers are able to consume NRL, AFL, Netball Australia and FFA games direct to their phones and tablets. We’re on track to bring nearly 850 games to our mobile customers in 2019, all streamed live, fast and completely data-free. 

We also continue to celebrate the addition of Kayo to the live sport space, which brings an additional 50 sports to the party, including Cricket, Football, Rugby Union, Motorsports, Basketball, Tennis and much more live or on-demand. Telstra Plus Gold Members can enjoy three months free access on us, while Silver Members are eligible for one month free. 

We’ll announce the most streamed team for the NRL at this season’s Dally M Awards night, so stay tuned. 

We’re excited to bring more of the best sport to our Live Pass users through the rest of the season, and into 2020. Game on! 

AFL’s top performers revealed by Telstra Tracker


Posted on September 13, 2019

4 min read

The numbers on the scoreboard aren’t the only ones that matter in the AFL. Thanks to Telstra Tracker, we now have an array of data on the AFL’s distance kings, speedsters and the top distance teams overall from the 2019 home and away season.

We’re so excited to have technology like Telstra Tracker working for the biggest footy codes in the country. The ability to give fans an insight into the work-rate of a modern AFL footballer, for example, really puts in perspective what it takes to compete at the highest level – it gives a quantifiable look at what amazing athletes they really are.

Did you know that if you combine the running efforts of all players across the regular AFL season in 2019, the players would have travelled a combined total of 111,628 kilometres? That’s over a third of the way to the Moon! So of those total kilometres travelled, who’s the fastest?

AFL 2019 Round 03 - GWS v Richmond
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 06: Oleg Markov of the Tigers looks to kick during the round three AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Richmond Tigers at GIANTS Stadium on April 6, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Richmond Tiger Oleg Markov recorded the highest speed by any player in 2019 – a blistering 37.4km/h against Collingwood in Round 2. 40km/h might seem slow for those of us who get behind the wheel, but on foot it’s an incredible clip. Normal walking speed is just 5km/h on average, and a decent running speed for a normal person is around 24km/h – Markov was one and a half times faster at full sprint.

Humans are by no means the fastest creatures in the animal kingdom because of our physiology. We’re held back by the size and composition of muscles in our legs as well as how little our feet contact the ground to move us forward, but that won’t stop the Richmond Tiger. According to science, Markov’s efforts to run 37.4km/h in Round 2 take him close to the physical limit of human performance – world record sprinters top out at around 44km/h over a 100-metre distance. Not bad, Oleg!

West Coast’s Andrew Gaff can lay claim to covering the most ground in any single game, a whopping 17.6km against Adelaide in Round 10. North Melbourne’s Ben Brown was the player with the highest average distance covered per game across the entire season, moving 15.6km per game.

AFL 2019 First Elimination Final - West Coast v Essendon
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Andrew Gaff of the Eagles takes a mark during the 2019 AFL First Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)

Doctors recommend that we do around 10,000 steps a day, which equates to around 8km. Most of us struggle to get this under their belt, so running at competition speed for over 17km for a sustained 100+ minutes is truly impressive.

As a team, the Sydney Swans covered the most distance in a single game – 306.3km against Melbourne in Round 4, well above the league average for the season of 281.9km.

AFL 2019 Round 23 - Sydney v St Kilda
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 24: Swans players sing their team song after winning the round 23 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the St Kilda Saints at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

How to stream AFL

Get free access to stream every match of the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season live, fast and data-free in the AFL Live Official App.

Plus get:

  • On-demand full match replays from 2012 onwards
  • AFL TV for exclusive panel shows, highlight packages and more
  • Special coverage of the 2019 Charles Brownlow Medal and more
  • Premium stats – including live stats as the coaches see it
  • Real-time player and team insights on the Telstra Tracker
  • Worth $99.99

*Data accuracy may be impacted by factors including loss of match day connection to GPS, GPS positional inaccuracy, hard knocks to the player device and difference in live data rates at venues.