In an Australian sporting first, loyal fans of the Hyundai A-League were rewarded this year with the opportunity to vote on elements of the 2015 Hyundai A-League Grand Final experience.
The campaign, which was open for two weeks, allowed fans to vote on the national anthem singer, the walk-out track for each team, a song to be performed by ARIA award winning artists Peking Duk in their pre-game set, and a special food item available for purchase - a souvlaki designed by celebrity chef George Calombaris.
Not Surprisingly Peking Duk’s 2014 smash hit, and number two on the 2015 Triple J Hottest 100, ‘High’, was chosen by fans to be included in the set, when the Australian duo hit the pitch to perform for the 30,000 strong crowd at AAMI Park on Sunday.
X-Factor alumni Kya (formally Christina Parie) will perform the national anthem after edging out fellow Australian pop artists Bonnie Anderson and Owen Campbell for the exciting gig.
Both the Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC will get pumped to take the pitch for the final time this season with the help of dance track ‘Jungle’ by X Ambassadors, after the track won a landslide 68% of votes over tracks from Hermitude and Grace Potter.
With elements of the pre-game entertainment selected it was only right that fans could chose a specialty food item. An exciting partnership with Australian MasterChef co-judge and football tragic George Calombaris means fans will be able to purchase one of George’s famous Jimmy Grants’ lamb souvlakis on Sunday - a far cry from the standard stadium fare of pies and chips.
The lamb souvalaki from Jimmy Grants beat out the chicken souva from Hellenic Repiblic and the Gazi special, softshell crab.
The involvement of the fans does not stop at the entertainment and food; in a first for the sport, Hyundai and the FFA are also giving fans one of the votes on the panel of experts that select the prestigious Joe Marston Medallist, which celebrates the player of the match in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.
Fan voting for the Joe Marston medal winner can be done via Twitter live during the match using the hashtags #playersurname e.g. Broich and #HyundaiGFvote. The fans vote will then contribute towards the overall panel to determine the winner.
Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop said the FFA was delighted with the response from fans and thrilled the FFA was able to continue its mantra of “putting the fans first”, through this exciting Finals Series activation.
“The FFA has some of the most loyal fans in Australia, so it’s exciting that Hyundai, our naming rights partner, was able to give our fans this unique opportunity to help shape their Grand Final experience. Not surpirsingly the fans have embraced this opportunity wholeheartedly,” Gallop said.
Charlie Kim, Hyundai Motor Company Australia CEO, echoed Gallop’s statements: “Hyundai has been the proud sponsor fo the Hyundai A-League since its inception and we were thrilled to be able to offer fans this unique opportunity, and it was great to see that fans throughout Australia and New Zealand get behind it.
“The participation of the fans demonstrate another example of how passionate the Hyundai A-League’s fans are, and I am sure the crowd on Sunday will do the same again.”