Australian Rules Football is old. Really old. The game was being played at club level for twenty-eight years before German engineer Carl Benz patented his three-wheeled-vehicle as the world’s first gas-powered ‘car’, thirty-eight years before Marconi invented radio (God bless him), and seven whole decades before we saw sliced bread. This longevity hasn’t quelled the divisiveness though, for half of the country the game is ridiculous, disorganised, ‘aerial ping pong’, for the other half, it’s religion.

This week sees the start of the 2021 AFL Season, a destined-to-be bloodthirsty, twenty-two-round plus finals contest to win the hallowed Premiership Cup on the last Saturday in September. It also saw a string of Season Launch events from each of the 18 teams including the second oldest club, my beloved Geelong Cats (founded 1859). The ‘Catters’ missed out last year after heartbreakingly choking in the second half of the Grand Final and losing to Richmond. The therapy worked though and now there is hope – a new year, live spectators returning, some fresh faces in the blue and white, and an air of optimism. Head Coach, Chris Scott spoke of the Team’s Values for both on and off the field. Values that would pave the way for success this season. Values that parallel the attributes crucial to winning in the world of content creation.

  • Precision – the relentless pursuit of flawless execution. For footy, this translates to points on the scoreboard – for radio, it’s the seamless play of a contest, the colourful but efficient telling of a story, or the perfect delivery of a line to enhance a moment.
  • Conviction – a hunger to be better than the opposition. We can’t obsess with what the competition is doing every minute, concentrating on our own skills and execution will see bigger and faster payoffs but we should always be aware of what they are up to. Great shows look for new techniques and ideas they can steal, and are always searching for their opponent’s Achilles Heel to identify weaknesses, opportunities, and vulnerabilities.
  • Respect – for each other and for the game. Whether the game is football or audio creation this holds true. We are only as strong as the sum of our parts – weak and strong come together to create a team or show. Respect should flow in multiple directions – a healthy respect for each other, humble respect for the audience’s other options, and deep respect for the medium. We are privileged and should honour that every day.
  • Unity – 100% support for each other. This adds a layer to the Respect Value – consciously lifting teammates up never tearing them down. Sharing a common vision or goal and knowing every person’s talent and value relies on every other person’s talent and value to create a unified entity of a team, or a show, or a brand.
  • And finally, Adventure – having fun. It’s the most important ingredient! The audience can smell disharmony and they know when it feels like work for you. Enjoying the moment is paramount to bringing the day to life. The paths that led us all to media may be different but it’s the passion for it that keeps the adventure alive – it’s not a job – certainly for the most successful ones anyway.

Get the values right and the rest is easy. Great shows are a team sport. So go kick some goals!