After a turbulent time, thanks to a small but passionate group of people, professional football in New Zealand rose from the ashes with the birth of the Wellington Phoenix in 2007.
Professional football in New Zealand was rescued when a high-profile Wellington property developer and Century City Football secured a three-year sub-licence to run a team in 2007 in the A-League – Australasia’s premier professional football competition. After the Football Kingz (2005/06) and the New Zealand Knights (2006/07) imploded, it looked certain that New Zealand would no longer be represented in the A-League. But a small group of people passionate about football kept hopes alive, working tirelessly to convince the Football Federation Australia that a professional club could survive across the ditch.
After being awarded a license to play in the A-League in 2007, Wellington’s first professional football team took to Westpac Stadium that year in a credible 2-2 draw with A-League powerhouse the Melbourne Victory. Since then, the Phoenix have welcomed more than one million spectators through the gates to watch a Wellington Phoenix A-League football game. They have broken records for attendance at a football match in New Zealand on two occasions with sell—out crowds for the LA Galaxy and David Beckham in 2007, and again against the Newcastle Jets in 2010.
The Phoenix have appeared in the A-League finals four times, making the elimination final in 2009-2010 following a stirring semi-final victory against the Jets. This same season saw the Phoenix become the first New Zealand side to reach the playoffs of an Australian football competition.
Today, Wellington Phoenix is an important and integral part of New Zealand’s sporting landscape, enjoying passionate support from all over New Zealand and the world. With a strong suite of corporate sponsors, a passionate supporter base and the support of the Wellington community, Wellington Phoenix’s future looks bright.
Coached by Turkish-born Midfielder, Ufuk Talay, the former coach of the A-League Grand Finalists, Syndey FC, the Phoenix are in good stead for the upcoming A-League competition starting in November 2021. The first game of the season for the Phoenix is set to be played in Australia on November 21 against MacArthur FC at Campbelltown stadium.
Over the next two years, OPPO are proud to sponsor the Wellington Phoenix and help the team get match fit with the latest range of OPPO devices. At OPPO, supporting and celebrating success matters, and it’s never been easier with the OPPO device ecosystem. As New Zealand’s only professional football club, and with football being the highest participation sport in New Zealand, OPPO are excited to bring innovative and creative initiatives to football fans and players across the country.