The Matildas effect*

The Matildas effect*

The “Matildas effect*” will be felt for generations, and it’s been incredible to witness.

I remember over two decades ago in my time in AFL - Australian Football League, a bunch of really good thinkers came together in the consumer business space to think-tank “how can we engage more female supporters.”

These were the genesis conversations around #aflw.

My brother Damien de Bohun was instrumental in the growth of Milo Cricket with Cricket Australia, and #nab #Auskick has been a phenomenon in both engaging young participants in AFL - Australian Football League. Let’s face it – the strategy of these programs is more about securing the fans of the future than identifying the next superstar – and they have been hugely successful.

Get them engrossed in the game, a few will go on to play at the top level sure, but the rest will turn up on a gameday, spend their money on tickets, a pie and drink, wear the jumper and force their parents to subscribe to Kayo Sports, as well as the myriad of other streaming platforms.

Women, particularly mothers, are the key purchasing decision makers. For years brands have been trying to speak to women through men’s sport. But all that has fundamentally changed.

Just like covid fast-tracked our use (and acceptability) of video conferencing and remote working, the FIFA Women’s World Cup #fifawwc, and more specifically the #matildas incredible journey, has forever shifted the conversation. Women’s sports talks to consumers in ways that men’s sport cant.

IMAGE: courtesy Peter Filopoulos & Seven Network

The “Matildas effect*” will be felt for generations, and it’s been incredible to witness.

Good luck tonight girls – no matter what the result – you have changed the world as we know it!

Our little girls now have heroes that look like them, feel like them, and play like them, and their mums are watching too…

*The Matilda Effect is a bias against acknowledging the achievements of women scientists whose work is attributed to their male colleagues. This article serves as a play on words on that bias – that only male sport deserves to be considered the biggest game and able to attract the biggest sponsorship dollars. Parity in pay for men and women will come with a games ability to draw a TV audience and at stadium crowd. The proof that this is possible is being presented right before us.