Unite Round was a small success – but here’s how it can become a ‘pinnacle event’ in Australian football


The inaugural A-League Unite Round captivated football enthusiasts with its dazzling display of brilliance: six intense games, one vibrant city, and an astonishing 28 goals that painted the town in excitement. The official word from the APL highlighted the event’s success, with 47,425 fans flocking through the gates across its 12 games. As the league gears up for the next season, here are some strategic changes that could enhance the Unite Round experience for fans and teams alike.

1. Centralise the action in one stadium

Consolidating the Unite Round games in a single stadium over three days would create a focal point for fans, intensifying the atmosphere and fostering a sense of unity among supporters.

This centralized location would amplify the spectacle, making it a must-attend event for soccer enthusiasts.

2. Feature headline fixtures daily

To sustain the excitement throughout the event, designate a headline fixture for each day.

This would ensure a consistent level of anticipation and provide fans with the opportunity to plan their attendance around marquee matchups. For instance, a Friday clash between Adelaide and Melbourne Victory, followed by a Saturday showdown between Sydney and Western Sydney Wanderers, and concluding with a Sunday spectacle featuring Brisbane Roar against a formidable opponent.

This is the handball incident that sealed @BrisbaneRoar‘s first win under Ben Cahn.

Ice cold from the penalty spot from Jay O’Shea, too! ????#ALM #BRIvNEW pic.twitter.com/TQdLSeqZUJ

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) January 14, 2024

3. Affordable ticketing

To encourage widespread attendance, consider offering affordable ticket options.

By making tickets more accessible, the A-League can attract a diverse audience and fill the stadium with passionate supporters. Affordable pricing would also create a family-friendly atmosphere, fostering the growth of the sport among younger generations.

4. Boost advertising efforts

Amplify promotional efforts leading up to the Unite Round.

Increased advertising across various platforms – social media, traditional media, and local communities – will generate more buzz, attracting not only devoted soccer fans but also those curious to experience the excitement of the A-Leagues.

(Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

5. Incentives for out-of-state fans

To draw supporters from beyond the hosting city, provide additional incentives for out-of-state fans to travel.

This could include discounted travel packages, exclusive merchandise, or even meet-and-greet opportunities with players. Creating a welcoming environment for travelling fans will contribute to the nationwide unity that the Unite Round aims to foster.

This Nestory Irankunda photo ????

Celebrating scoring in a seven-goal thriller in the pouring rain with a Burundi flag – the country of his parents origin – in his arms ????????????

???? Watch his goal: https://t.co/VcG1oxTVHx pic.twitter.com/IhUcifgWOX

— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) January 13, 2024

6. Members enjoy free access

Reward loyalty by allowing club members free access to Unite Round games.

This gesture acknowledges the dedicated fan base and strengthens the bond between supporters and their teams. Members attending the event for free would likely result in increased attendance and a more passionate atmosphere.

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In conclusion, the A-League Unite Round has the potential to become a pinnacle event in Australian soccer. By centralising the action, highlighting marquee fixtures, offering affordable tickets, boosting advertising, incentivising travel, and providing free access to members, the league can elevate the overall experience for fans and solidify the Unite Round as a standout moment in the A-League calendar.

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