How Coordinate helped bring the GWS Giants to Canberra.

The Greater Western Sydney Giants have made it to their first AFL Grand Final. To celebrate, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane to when the journey for the GWS Giants was just beginning.

In 2010, Coordinate was approached by GWS Giants board member and proud Canberran, Peter Taylor, to develop a membership campaign to launch the team before they were even a brand. Titled “ACT 4 GWS” – the campaign was aimed at winning 5000 pre-membership sales.

“The AFL said that if we could get 5000 people to put $50 in and raise half a million dollars that they would bring a team to Canberra. I approached Coordinate Founder Jamie Wilson, who had a very small team back then, to see if he would do the marketing and presentation side of things and that’s when he came up with the idea to call the campaign: ACT 4 GWS,” Peter says.

“The ACT 4 GWS campaign was a huge success. We got the 5,000 signatures at $50 a head and half a million dollars in corporate sponsorship.”

In 2011, when the AFL officially accounted the GWS Giants as team and they had secured their position in Canberra – Coordinate ran a competition to design the Canberra jersey so people felt connected to the club.

Dubbed “Make your Mark” – it was a campaign which encouraged Canberra to design a symbol that they thought should represent the ACT on the GIANTS 2012 ACT home guernsey and submit it online to win. The winning jersey is what the Giants still play in to this very day. Here it is signed by the Giants godfather, Kevin Sheedy.

Fast forward to 2019, as the Giants prepare for their first AFL Grand Final, Canberra will be stitched into the back of the Giants jerseys and the city has painted the town orange in a show of support.

GWS Giants board member Peter Taylor, who has had a long involvement with AFL, believes the GWS Giants have reinvigorated the love of footy in the community.

“The whole idea of doing this was a catalyst to grow the game and I think you just need to look at the improvement in participation levels within AFL in Canberra, in my opinion, it’s off the back of the Giants.

“You need that figurehead, that kids can watch and touch and feel and I believe that’s what has turned the game around in Canberra,” Peter says.