The largest women’s sporting event exceeded expectations when the Matildas’ opening match was arguably the greatest sporting moment that had been seen on Australian and perhaps New Zealand soil, with elation and football frenzy enclosing the stadium more than two hours from kick-off.
However, it was the day before that it was made official that more Matildas jerseys had been acquired in preparation to the tournament than that of the Socceroos merchandise during the entirety of the men’s World Cup at the end of last year.
The major sponsor of the CommBank Matildas, Nike, promote Sam Kerr independently in a contract worth as much as $1 million, who is an integral part for the marketing potential for the women’s team which is now superior to that of the men’s because of her star power by being the global face of Nike’s Mercurial boots, along with superstar players Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe.
Vice President and General Manager of Nike Ashley Reade said in a statement:
“l think she is one of the biggest athletes in the world already, she would be right up there without question, as one of the most marketable athletes in the world,” he said.
“We want to look back on the 2020s as the decade of women’s sport which starts with this global football moment and extends to 2032 in Brisbane, we think women’s football has the biggest upside because it’s a truly global game and we would say is still under-penetrated.”
Kerr has deals with Mastercard and EA Sports, is the first woman to be on the cover of its premier sports video game and features in the latest Disney+ series, along with her contract at Chelsea which is reportedly valued more than $600,000 a season.
The jerseys for Australia’s women’s national football team are fabricated from recycled polyester featuring a marbled pattern drawing upon the golden wattle for their home strip, when it involves the jerseys kids are outselling the adults kits.
The sales of football boots, balls and jerseys is a lucrative business with $75 billion in total revenue last year.
Nike had been exploring the possible upside and downside of the Matildas performance, with the guaranteed three games in the group stage and the likely hood of knockout stages to follow.
“We’ve done a lot of work on a top down, bottom up with teams, looking at the Lionesses who won the Euros recently, how many kits did people buy, how long did that last? What if it doesn’t go so well or what if it goes really well? We’ve done a lot of work to triangulate, what is the right number?” Reade explained further.
The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Wide World of Sports named Kerr the most inspiring female in Australian Sport.
Reade added it is Kerr’s down-to-earth personality that makes her so noteworthy and marketable.
“Her abilities are unquestioned but the way she approaches life just makes her one of those out-of-the-box athletes, we always thought was something special,” he said.
“I just love her humility, she is so humble and so connected to her friends and family, she doesn’t take herself too seriously and she is just a beautiful spirit to be around.”
The Matildas will play their second game of the group stage against Nigeria at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane with kick-off at 8pm.