Telstra will invest $8.5 million in the future of Australian small businesses by handing over major advertising space at Australia’s biggest football stadiums and launching a service to help them plan for, and benefit from, the rapidly growing digital economy.

Telstra will offer small businesses free Telstra Business Go Digital Consults throughout 2021 as part of the multi-million-dollar plug. Small businesses that register their interest will have the chance to win a takeover of Telstra’s premium advertising at AFL and NRL games across the country during Telstra Small Business Week from May 3 to 6, 2021.

To enter, eligible Telstra small business customers simply need to book a free Telstra Business Go Digital Consult via and share a brief description on why they deserve a ‘big plug’. Entries are open until March 23, 2021.

Winning SMBs will each be plugged in one of 17 stadiums across the country, with placements previously only accessible to big business with significant marketing budgets.

With Telstra’s advertising investment valued at approximately $1 million in ad space alone, it will be priceless exposure for 67 of the successful businesses.

Telstra consumer and small business group executive Michael Ackland saidthe initiative comes after an increasing customer desire for online interactions with businesses.

“Australia’s small to medium businesses deserve both a Dally M and a Brownlow medal for how they have kept themselves and our economy running during an incredibly challenging period. They’ve earned an opportunity to have their name up in lights,” Ackland said.

“We’ve seen a massive acceleration in the number of customers shopping online over the past year. To harness this opportunity, now is the time for more small businesses to go online and interact with customers in new, digital ways, as well as embrace more efficient ways of selling, marketing and invoicing.

“We know this is a big change for many small businesses, so we are offering free Telstra Business Go Digital Consults to help businesses embrace the digital economy.”

The new Telstra Business Go Digital Consult will be offered to all SMB customers for free throughout 2021 – a value of approximately $7.5 million.

The new service (RRP $149) helps businesses through a consultation by a Telstra Small Business Expert of their digital touchpoints – from online marketing and cyber security to e-commerce and employee engagement – to identify gaps, vulnerabilities, and opportunities. They then help equip the business with a tailored report and roadmap to go digital.

The Go Digital Consult also unlocks a host of exclusive offers with Telstra’s extensive partner network including Small Business Australia, Samsung, Cisco, Spotzer, Facebook and Microsoft.