AFL Umpires: Brand and Reputation

Rob Gill


The Australian Football League (AFL) acknowledges a potentially serious branding problem in relation to umpires. It is struggling to meet the operational demands of providing enough umpires to officiate in non-professional competitions administrated by the AFL.


It is believed AFL umpires have a poor reputation among the general public. This may provide a barrier to take up and present a significant source of motivational conflict for aspiring umpires. In particular this situation presents a challenge for marketing campaigns trying to recruit new umpires. The long term impact is significant, since without umpires at the grass roots level the future sustainability of AFL is brought into question.


This paper aims to determine the umpires’ reputation and how this may impact on the AFL’s ability to effectively market the need for and recruit umpires in non-professional leagues. This information can provide guidance for strategies used to improve umpire reputation, recruitment and retention.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Rob Gill

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Journal of Sociological Research ISSN 1948-5468


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