A nude calendar of end-of-century indifference…what Australia’s women’s soccer has, Korea doesn’t.
Twenty-four years ago, members of the Australian women’s national soccer team were brave.
They didn’t want to miss out on the attention the sport was getting ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
They released a calendar with naked photos of themselves on the market. Warren Fisher, the president of the Australian Women’s Soccer Association (AWSA), was very supportive of the project.
The national team needed attention and money.
In 1995, the team got its nickname from the Korean folk song “Waltzing Matilda,” like Arirang. The name “The Matildas” was chosen through a contest to raise the team’s profile.
Four years later, in 1999, sponsorship was still low and media coverage was minimal. The athletes, who were playing for the national team without being paid, wanted to do something.
The nude calendar project, a fundraiser of sorts, sparked a heated debate over the “sexualization” of female athletes.
Former Australian Football Association director Heather Reid, 67, who was on the AWSA board at the time, didn’t like the idea. Twenty-four years later, she’s still uncomfortable with the idea of commoditizing players’ sexuality.
But she now acknowledges that it was an inflection point that quickly raised the public profile of the women’s national team from rock bottom.
In a written interview with Yonhap News Agency on Sept. 19, Reid said, “Contrary to my concerns, the calendar made a huge impact. The name Matildas was known to the world,” he said, “and everyone was talking about her.”
The administrator has served Australian women’s soccer for more than 40 years. She was inducted into the Football Association of Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2007 for her service and has served on the association’s executive, including as deputy chief executive from 2018-2021.
Having seen the evolution of women’s soccer in Australia, Reid still has mixed feelings about the calendar.
The truth is, it didn’t bring in the kind of revenue the players wanted. She hopes Korean players don’t go to such extreme measures.
However, Reed said the calendar showed the importance of awareness.
“After 24 years, everyone knows the Australian women’s team. “The strength of the brand continues to grow,” he says, “partly because of the calendar, but also because the players have since gained more public exposure through mainstream media and social media.
Australian women’s soccer has been on a roll ever since. The team hadn’t made it out of the group stage until the 2003 World Cup in the United States, but since the 2007 tournament in China, they’ve reached the quarterfinals three times in a row.
It’s worth noting that the Women’s National Team has built a “name for itself” beyond its performance.
In Australia, rugby or Australian rules football is more popular than soccer. However, in a 2019 survey by market research firm True North Research, it was the women’s soccer team that was voted the most beloved national team. 안전놀이터
The women’s soccer team, which has never been ranked globally, has become the “national team.
“There’s a lot of attention that comes from players like Sam Kerr (Chelsea) and Ellie Carpenter (Olympique Lyonnais) going abroad,” says Reid. There’s also the publicity that comes with bidding for the World Cup.