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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Queensland makes spectacular mark with AFL first in China

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Queensland makes spectacular mark with AFL first in China

    The Queensland Government’s new partnership with the Australian Football League kicks off this Sunday with the first ever AFL game in China between the Brisbane Lions and Melbourne.

    Premier Anna Bligh said the $100,000 deal with the AFL will further boost Queensland’s exposure into the Chinese market leveraging off the success of the Queensland Government’s involvement in the Australian Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.

    On Sunday October 17 the Brisbane Lions will play Melbourne for the Kaspersky Cup, AFL Shanghai Showdown at the Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai.

    "This partnership provides Queensland with a great opportunity to market our state through the live broadcast of the match by the Chinese Language Great Sports Channel, International Channel Shanghai (ICS) and through a range of ongoing media, business and promotional activities,” Ms Bligh said.

    “China is one of Queensland’s most important tourism markets with 158,000 Chinese visiting Queensland and spending $333 million in the year to June.

    “We want to see that market grow and this partnership is just another way we can entice people in China to visit us.

    “The Brisbane Lions are wonderful ambassadors for Queensland and I’m confident this deal will be the catalyst for a whole new wave of Chinese tourists who choose to visit Queensland because they’ve seen one of these games and want to experience all Queensland has to offer and maybe even catch a Lions home game at the Gabba,” she said.

    The partnership, to extend until the end of the AFL Finals series in 2011, will also deliver a range of specific initiatives within the State to help maintain Queensland’s position in China as a great place to do business in Australia.

    Some of these initiatives are likely to include:

    · Access to players as ambassadors at key business events;

    · Access to players as ambassadors to connect with leaders of Queensland and Australian industry and with key inbound trade delegations;

    · Access to AFL events and the AFL profile nationally as a platform to promote Queensland and its business opportunities to local and international buyers and investors;

    · Utilise the AFL players to promote Queensland as a great business and investment destination to business representatives from the southern States; and

    · Ongoing exposure of Queensland as a holiday destination to the massive China market through regular broadcasts of Lions matches into this market.

    There will be a strong Queensland presence at the Kaspersky Cup with a large delegation of travelling Brisbane Lions players, officials and supporters visiting the Queensland pavilion at the game and mixing with Business and community leaders from Shanghai.

    Brisbane Lions chief executive Michael Bowers said the Brisbane Lions have been developing business, education, community and tourism links with the Chinese Community both here in Queensland and in mainland China.

    “We think this is a really exciting opportunity and want to thank the Queensland Government led by Premier Anna Bligh for all their support,” he said. “It is clear that by using sport as a vehicle, we can utilise new and innovative ways to do business.”

    The Premier said the Government wanted to capitalize on the growing interest in China of the AFL through a new broadcast agreement which will show one AFL match per week live into China via ICS and Australia Network in 2011.

    The AFL has also tapped into hugely popular social networking sites in China and set up a Chinese language website which has attracted over 100,000 visitors in the past three months.

    "I am pleased to also announce today that following the AFL's significant breakthrough of gaining broadcast access into China in season 2011, we have agreed that there will be a minimum of three China Broadcast games featuring a Queensland team with opportunities to also provide content about our State,” Ms Bligh said.

    AFL General Manager National and International Development David Matthews said the match was a wonderful opportunity to showcase not only Australian football but to place in the minds of spectators and viewers positive images of Brisbane and Queensland.

    "Sport is indeed a wonderful vehicle to capture the attention of a market keen to understand more about our country and culture and we want to work with the Queensland Government to provide unique opportunities through traditional media and the more direct form of contact through social networking,’ he said.

    “Australian football is more than 150 years old but this is our first ever AFL match in China. We are extremely excited to be able to bring Australia’s indigenous game and all its unique skills to Shanghai as we continue to develop the code internationally,” he said

    AFL Public Affairs Manager Nick Johnston will be in Shanghai from October 14 and can be contacted on +61 (0) 419538936 or Media seeking accreditation or interviews with AFL should contact him.

    Ryan Larkin will be travelling with Melbourne and can be contacted on +61 (0) 400072744. Any media inquires for Brisbane Lions should be directed to Sam Lord on +862133189999 or

    Vision will be available to all TV networks ex HSV 7 from Thursday October 14 to Monday October 18. Getty Images will also have a representative in Shanghai.

    Media should note that Shanghai is three hours behind Melbourne/Sydney and two hours behind Brisbane.