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Fan Experience

KOJO lands fan experience contract for Queensland’s showpiece venues

Main image: The Gabba

Images: Stadiums Queensland

KOJO, which specialises in sports presentation and in-stadium activations, has been appointed by Stadiums Queensland as its production services provider.

The exclusive multi-year deal, secured after what KOJO described as a competitive tender process, will see the studio deliver fan-first experiences at Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba in Brisbane, along with Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.

This brings KOJO’s portfolio of Australian sporting venues to six across four states, including the recent announcement of Blundstone Arena in Tasmania and long-term contracts with Optus Stadium and Adelaide Oval.

KOJO set up an office in Brisbane in 2019 and has built a local team focused on sports marketing and live sports events, brand activations and post-production. The new contract will accelerate KOJO’s plans to grow its footprint in Queensland by expanding its team in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and North Queensland to support the state’s vision of ‘great venues – amazing experiences.’

Stephen Lord, KOJO’s CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Stadiums Queensland at these iconic venues, which are sought after destinations for live sport.

“We are excited to bring our integrated approach combining strategy, creative, production and technology to the stadiums and their key hirers. Our proven FanX strategic approach and deep experience as in-stadium specialists will allow us to create unique world-first fan first experiences to deliver on Stadiums Queensland’s vision of ‘amazing experiences’.”

Suncorp Stadium

KOJO’s partnership with Stadiums Queensland will see the production team draw on its 25 years of fan-first sports experience to engage fans at national and global sporting events, as well as state-based competitions. 

KOJO will work for home teams, including NRL’s Cowboys, Broncos and Dolphins; the NRL Magic Round and State of Origin; A-League’s Brisbane Roar; Super Rugby’s Queensland Reds; AFL’s Brisbane Lions; and cricket’s Brisbane Heat and Queensland state teams.

The contract has also been awarded as Brisbane, and Queensland, prepares for the staging of the 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved Brisbane as the home of the 2032 Games in July 2021, culminating a process that stepped away from the traditional contests for the hosting rights.

The Australian and Queensland Governments last month unveiled a A$7bn (£3.78bn/€4.3bn/$4.68bn) funding agreement to overhaul the state’s sporting infrastructure ahead of the 2032 Games, focusing on redevelopment of The Gabba and construction of the new Brisbane Live arena.

The announcement will see the Queensland Government fund the A$2.7bn redevelopment of The Gabba stadium, while the Federal Government will provide A$2.5bn for the Brisbane Arena development otherwise known as Brisbane Live. In addition, 16 new or upgraded venues will receive close to A$1.87bn in co-funding on a 50/50 basis between the two governments.

The Gabba, formally known as Brisbane Cricket Ground, has a current capacity of 42,000 and is primarily used for cricket but also hosts AFL Aussie rules football and other sports. The Gabba will be fully demolished and rebuilt to a 50,000 capacity and will anchor major urban renewal including delivering more housing, including social and affordable housing.

The A$2.7bn redevelopment will see the stadium fully demolished and rebuilt, with improved disability access and better transport connection. Given the complexity of building on a constrained site, officials have determined that completely rebuilding The Gabba is cheaper than trying to bring it to a truly accessible, modern standard. 

The current stadium is nearing the end of its life and the redevelopment intends to support the long-term professional sport, community and entertainment needs of the city before and after 2032. For Brisbane 2032, it is intended to host Olympic and Paralympic athletics and ceremonies.

Design firm Populous has provided concept designs, but a competitive tender process with the market is expected to commence in the second half of 2023 at which point a final design process for The Gabba will get underway. Construction is likely to take four years from 2026 and be ready for use by 2030.