In the two-team, football-centric city of Adelaide, competition to dominate off season media coverage is just as hot as during the season proper.
The Port Adelaide Football Club or 'the 🍐' to die-hard fans, has made giant off field strides in recent seasons, establishing major charity, sponsor and multicultural partnerships. Closer to home, the Power has lead the push to field its own women's football team in 2016 and beyond, all the while building a membership base and match day experience that is the envy of the league.
It's no coincidence then, that Port Adelaide has implemented a strong, strategic social presence to drive all of the above.
Here's how Port Adelaide used social to tie community, culture and club together during the 2015/16 Summer.
Leaving the off-the-cuff snaps for Snapchat, Port Adelaide's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts are now camera phone-free zones.
Fans now get the complete behind the scenes experience from start to finish from a dedicated professional photographer. This deliberate move instantly boosts the impact of images posted across their remaining social accounts.
Game day creative
By the end of 2016, sponsored social creative will become common place in the AFL. It started to creep into social content for several A-league teams over Summer and true to form, Port Adelaide are the first AFL team to implement match day sponsored social content ahead of the 2016 season.
The graphical approach has been refined on recent years to become a simple, sharable content bite.
We eagerly await the links made between sponsor Sidewood Wines and star midfielder Ollie Wines.
Strong, simple, sharable imagery
Whether or not this is a nod to the black and white of the Port Adelaide Magpies, the only filter used is a striking black and white. Often used reflectively for post-match content, the black and white treatment adds another dimension to the normally mundane.
Know the enemy
External club and league content is now being used as a tool to keep fans updated and informed. This massive shift from keeping content strictly in-house became a huge source of engagement during last year's trade period and will continue to thrive in the build up to game day.
Staying relevant in the off season: NBA All-Star Dunk Contest
With some quick thinking from the social team, this social post had fans thinking their boys could give Zach Lavine a run for his money.
A Valentine to Port Adelaide fans
Continuing to stay relevant, the opportunity was ceased to thank the Port Adelaide faithful for their support and to promote membership for 2016.
In the midst of an Australian v New Zealand test match, this gem was posted for cricket and football fans alike to appreciate.
Powerful video storytelling
Chad Wingard is star of the competition. The opportunity to gain an insight into Chad's background is the ultimate for Port Adelaide fans and something that neutral fans can appreciate. The way the video ties Chad's personality, beliefs and culture with the club's community values perfectly captures what Port Adelaide is all about. One of the most polished pieces of content produced by an AFL club to date.
Chinese New Year
I touched on Port Adelaide's multicultural partnership with Southern China earlier and while many sports organisations took the opportunity to create content around Chinese New Year, Port's efforts were executed with more credibility and authenticity than most.
On the fans' level
Port fans of old still use the slang term 'Carn the Pear' when referring to their beloved club. This post is nod to the 'Carn the Pear' social campaign that has been building momentum since 2013.
The serious side of social
The off-season wasn't without its controversy and the club showed these matters could be handled with maturity on social media.
New trade alert
They don't call the trade period the silly season for nothing. When Drake look-a-like Jimmy Toumpas was traded to the club, the social team pounced on the opportunity to take off Hotline Bling which was blowing up at the time. Incorporating the 🍐 of course.
Feel-good storytelling part 1
In one of the most heart-warming social moments of 2015, Port Adelaide made the choice to follow-up on a young fan who stole the spotlight during Channel 7's halftime Auskick segment.
How does your teams's social game compare to Port Adelaide? While some clubs choose to use resourcing as a reason not to invest in social, others choose to see its value and make social marketing a priority.
As a fan, would further investment in social content help you feel more connected to your team? Share your thoughts below.