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Australia’s National Football teams well positioned for fan engagement following Tokyo 2020
Having analysed the audiences that engaged with Australian football throughout Tokyo 2020, Football Australia has today advised of its confidence that Australia’s national football teams are well-positioned to continue receiving high levels of fan engagement.
Football Australia Chief Executive, James Johnson advised “this week we have completed a deep-dive into the audiences that engaged with Australian football throughout Tokyo 2020. Some of the outcomes provide us with genuine confidence and optimism that we are on the right path with our national team products, particularly as we have several major competitions for both our men’s and women’s teams on the horizon.”
Australian football was represented in the Australian Olympic Team at Tokyo 2020 by both the Matildas and Olyroos, with both squads drawing enormous television audiences, as well as achieving compelling social engagement and media interest throughout their respective campaigns.
Cumulatively the Matildas and Olyroos were viewed by just over 9.7 million Australians throughout Australia’s nine football matches at Tokyo 2020, highlighting the significant platform that the Olympic Games provides to the sport, as well as football’s capacity to attract huge audiences when elite fixtures are contested in primetime.
Johnson highlighted “an average of 1.87 million viewers – the largest average audience for a women’s team sports broadcast in Australian history – supported the Matildas when they took on Sweden in the Semi-Final of the Women’s Football Tournament, while the number of Aussies rallying behind the Olyroos against eventual Silver Medallists Spain peaked at 1.97 million viewers on 25th July.
“From a fan engagement perspective these are compelling figures and provide a great platform for us to build on over the coming years as we progress towards the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ with the Socceroos, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023™ with the Matildas, and of course the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which is just three years away.”
Throughout Tokyo 2020, the official Matildas and Olyroos websites attracted nearly 650,000 unique users, while impressions on social media content curated by Football Australia edged 90 million.
These fantastic figures were fuelled by the exceptional performances of both squads, with the Matildas securing their best-ever result at an Olympics or Women’s World Cup with a fourth-placed finish at Tokyo 2020, and the Olyroos producing two inspired performances throughout their Group C campaign.
“While the Olyroos didn’t progress from Group C – a pool labelled by fans and pundits prior to the tournament as the ‘Group of Death’ – they did manage to shock the world with a stunning 2-0 victory of Argentina a day prior to Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony, and push Spain all the way in a narrow 1-0 defeat on matchday two,” Johnson added.
“The Olyroos hadn’t qualified for the Olympic Games since Beijing 2008, and the win over two-time Men’s Football Gold Medallists Argentina was just Australia’s fifth since Barcelona 1992 when the tournament transitioned to a tightly contested, 16-nation aged-based competition.
“Individually and collectively, the Matildas produced a number of enthralling displays while in Japan. Sam Kerr became Australia’s all-time women’s national team top goal scorer courtesy of her six goals in the tournament, while Kyah Simon became the first Indigenous Australian to play 100 matches for the Matildas. Tokyo 2020 also marked 21-year-old defender Ellie Carpenter’s 50th senior appearance for Australia at what was her second Olympic Games, as the Matildas fell just short of claiming bronze.”
Alongside hosts Japan, Brazil, and New Zealand, Australia was one of only four nations represented at Tokyo 2020 in both the men’s and women’s football tournaments. Marco Tilio also became the Olyroos’ youngest ever goal scorer at the Olympics, firing a stunning strike to extend Australia’s lead of Argentina at 19 years and 333 days old.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19 globally, there is still plenty of international football for Australian football fans to look forward to throughout 2021. The Socceroos will feature in Round Three of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying throughout September, October, and November, while the Matildas will continue their progression towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, to be held on home soil, with a series of friendly matches to be announced in due course.
Each of these matches will be broadcast via Football Australia’s new broadcast partner, 10 ViacomCBS. In June, Football Australia and 10 ViacomCBS announced a landmark media rights agreement which will see all of Australia’s National Football Teams and FFA Cup matches broadcast across Network 10 and Paramount+, which was officially launched on Wednesday.
Image top: Tokyo 2020 Group Stages Matildas and Olyroos; Image above Tokyo 2020 Matildas and Olyroos social and broadcast statistics. Courtesy Football Australia.
9th August 2021 - Scaled down closing ceremony marks end of 2020 Tokyo Olympics
11th June 2021 - Football NSW and NOVA Employment extend long-standing partnership
14th May 2021 - Future Matildas set up camp at West HQ’s ONE55 Health & Fitness
5th March 2021 - Football Australia celebrates Female Football Week 2021
22nd February 2021 - Football Australia Director Heather Reid voted off NSO’s board
8th January 2021 - Football Australia looks to open domestic transfer market
31st December 2020 - A-League completes separation from Football Australia
26th November 2020 - FFA announces new Football Australia branding
23rd November 2020 - FFA announces commitment to new era for Indigenous football
10th October 2020 - FFA announce new Walking Football Ambassadors
23rd August 2020 - FFA advises of record digital fan engagement for 2019/20 A-League
8th August 2020 - FFA name head of Australia’s 2023 Women’s World Cup office
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