Australian Professional Leagues taps new leads for commercial and digital

After recently departing from Football Australia, the APL now has new hires to lead its commercial activities and its strategy and digital

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has appointed Ant Hearne as chief commercial officer and Michael Tange as director of strategy and digital. The appointments follow the decision to unbundle the four professional leagues from Football Australia late last year.

Hearne said Football represents the biggest growth opportunity in Australian sport, with twice as many participants as any other game in the country.

“It’s now time to deliver commercial outcomes that will fuel the sustainable growth of the game. Our teams are playing exciting, fast-paced, uncompromising football in front of the most passionate fans and it’s the APL’s mission is to take that direct-to-consumer in order to unlock the power of the fan and ultimately grow the whole game. It’s going to be an exciting ride,” he said.

Tange will lead strategy, digital development and media rights for APL and has spent 15 years working in global roles with sports, data and technology companies. He joins from Nielsen Sports in New York, where he spent a decade working on commercial strategy, broadcast, digital and fan development with leading properties such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA TOUR and Major League Soccer.

The APL now owns four leagues and has an ambitious plan to grow the game at every level. “The new, expanded executive team have been tasked with unleashing the APL’s commercial and entrepreneurial capabilities, and we now have a structure that will enable them to deliver the right outcomes for all of Australian football,” APL chair, Paul Lederer, said

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