By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Optus and Football Federation Australia have today announced a new partnership that will see Optus managing FFA’s online, mobile internet and app content as its Official Digital Partner.

“These interconnected FFA websites, driven by Optus, will become the main portal for all Australian football fans,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.

According to the terms of the new deal, which Optus won after a “competitive” tendering process, the telco will “create, operate, manage, market and commercialise FFA’s websites, mobile websites and mobile phone applications.”

This will involve managing content such as video, match highlights, news, statistics and analysis, and interactive elements such as fan forums. The digital channels are designed to connect followers to their favourite teams, including the Qantas Socceroos, Hyundai A‐League and the 10 Hyundai A‐League clubs, and the Westfield Matildas.

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“Optus will provide us with new, powerful digital tools to interact with the 1.7 million‐strong football community, market our fabulous game and expand our audiences,” said Buckley. “This partnership is another part of the exciting growth story for Australian football.

“Since signing up as official telecommunications partner in 2008, Optus has done a fantastic job in helping us grow engagement and participation in the game. I’m delighted to have Optus as a committed partner in the next stage of our journey, as we broaden our reach beyond traditional media channels,” he said.

Digital media director for Optus, Austin R. Bryan, said Optus was committed to delivering content across a range of platforms.

“We know football fans have a huge appetite for compelling digital content. This was demonstrated during the 2010 FIFA World Cup when Australians watched more than 400,000 live streams, despite matches being played in the middle of the night,” said Bryan.

“As the official digital partner of FFA, Optus will deliver a one‐stop digital shop for all things football. We will leverage our digital and mobile capabilities to bring more comprehensive and timely content to Australian football fans across a range of devices,” he said.

The launch of the new platform is due to tie in with the launch of the Hyundai A‐League Season 7, in October 2011.