For the eighth consecutive year, AFL clubs recorded a record level of total membership, with 574,091 members, an increase of eight per cent on the previous record of 532,697 in 2007. One in every 37 Australians was a member of an AFL club in 2008.
Eleven of the 16 AFL clubs posted a year-on-year increase in membership, highlighted by an increase of 45.8 per cent for North Melbourne, 33.4 per cent for Hawthorn and 28 per cent for Essendon. Geelong, Collingwood and Carlton all secured membership growth of more than 10 per cent.
Twelve of the 16 AFL clubs – Adelaide, West Coast Eagles, Fremantle, Collingwood, Essendon, Hawthorn, Carlton, Geelong Cats, Port Adelaide, North Melbourne, Richmond and St Kilda – had a membership base of more than 30,000.
AFL Membership grew in 2008, reaching a total figure of 49,150. The breakdown of membership included 29,966 full members, 16,924 silver members and 2260 absentee members. Some 41,882
were club support members, representing 8.5 per cent of the total club membership nationally.
Membership Shared Services
The AFL continues to provide membership administrative support and guidance to clubs through the AFL Membership shared service program. In 2008, four clubs (Melbourne, North Melbourne, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs) utilised the service with positive outcomes.
In 2009, three additional clubs (Collingwood, Geelong Cats and Hawthorn) will also join the membership shared service program, with about 250,000 members being supported by this initiative.