The rescue of Australia’s hopes at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in a thrashing of Canada has been the crowning highlight of a seamless event, and the public is engaged. The conclusion of an entertaining Ashes series failed to impede the success, its metropolitan viewership of 754,000 drastically outshone by the Matildas’ 4 to 0 win over Canada.
It feels like this could be a turning point for women’s sport on the global stage.
Everyone’s tuning in for the Matildas
On Monday 31 July 2023, 1.55 million Australians watched Hayley Raso and company dispatch the higher ranked team across the major cities, with almost a million sticking around to watch the post-game analysis.
After the first Matilda’s game, Football Australia CEO James Johnson, said, “this tournament is creating history and we are delighted as Host Nation. We are seeing a surge in support for women’s football, not just in ticket sales, but also in broadcast viewership, fan festival participation and merchandise sales.”
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So long to the Socceroos
Australia’s mens’ soccer team, the Socceroos, has hardly held comparable relevance within the sport to the Matildas, ranked by FIFA as the 27th best team at the time of writing compared with 10th. Yet with the greater prominence of the long-established men’s event, the Socceroos have previously seemed to garner more attention in Australia.
This group-stage game against Canada topped the viewership efforts of the mens’ 2022 campaign in Qatar, when a comparable match against Denmark only drew in 618,000 people, though to be fair it was much later at night.
“This heightened interest in our national iconic brands is also reflected in record CommBank Matilda’s merchandise sales online and in retail stores. These numbers reflect the growing strength and appeal of the women’s game, particularly the CommBank Matildas, and it’s a testament to the incredible athletes who are providing us with such thrilling football,” says Johnson.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Matildas next game in the Round of 16 sets a new record for Australia at the World Cup.
Read more about the Matildas and the Socceroos by checking out Football Australia’s marketing efforts in its TikTok partnership here.