Mia Fileman 0:05
Life's too short for crap marketing. The Got Marketing? Podcast is for marketers, business owners and entrepreneurs who want marketing that's fun, accessible and meaningful. Join me, Mia Fileman, for inspired chats with my favorite marketing insiders about marketing that works, campaigns that inspire, and the fads, fakery and false prophets to avoid.
Hello, friend, welcome to Got Marketing? This year, we have the FIFA Women's World Cup starting on July 20, and it is hosted by both Australia and New Zealand. This is, I think, one of the first times that two nations are co hosting this global sporting tournament. Today we're going to discuss what goes into marketing a global sports tournament.
Kim Anderson 0:56
It's one of the most interesting things I've ever done from a marketing point of view, because it very much felt like an election campaign. You're really trying to politically influence the voters. You're running against other countries. So there's a lot of sort of International Relations evolved. It's one of the most satisfying things I've ever done.
Mia Fileman 1:17
That was Kim Anderson, the Head of Marketing for FIFA Women's World Cup. Welcome to the show, Kim.
Kim Anderson 1:23
Hello, Mia. Great to see you again.
Mia Fileman 1:25
Yes, we met in person once in Sydney and have sort of just kept in touch via the interwebs, since then.
Kim Anderson 1:33
Yeah. It's been great to follow your show. So I'm excited to be here today.
Mia Fileman 1:37
Thank you. When I met you in person, you had just come back from New York, you are such a jet setter. You've got like 20 years of experience. And you've worked in New York, London, Auckland, Sydney, and you had just come back from New York and you were starting your own business. This is going back a few years. And now you have this very, very exciting role with FIFA. But can you tell us a little bit about your career history leading up to this current role? Because it's, it's quite the story.
Kim Anderson 2:08
Yeah, look, my career's probably taken a non traditional route, I would say, I started out my career in sports marketing. So it's kind of come full circle to be back where I am today. In this role, I started out working at the Sydney Olympics actually was my first big job. So it's sort of ironic actually, that the final for the Women's World Cup later this year, we'll be back at Stadium Australia and Sydney Olympic Park in the same sort of arena. But yeah, I guess I did sports marketing, which was also always a passion for me, I guess. For about six or seven years working across a number of different sports and different stadiums, and then different types of marketing commercial roles. I sort of got to the stage where I thought, I'm a curious person, and I liked doing lots of different things. So I ended up working for TEDx Sydney for a while as the Director of Marketing, I worked for a charitable organization, Sony Foundation, I also worked for a tech startup. I did a number of different things that sort of gave me a really good grasp of marketing from a number of different industries, but also a number of different angles. And then the sort of thirst to kind of live somewhere else is what took me to New York so ended up relocating over there in 2015. And spent four amazing years there before I came back to Sydney and sort of ended up where I am today.
Mia Fileman 3:29
Fabulous. That is so exciting. We can all live vicariously through you. So we're going to talk about the campaign for the FIFA Women's World Cup. But before we get to that, I want to hear about your entrepreneurial experience, because a lot of the people that listen to Got Marketing?, about 50% in house marketing managers and about 50% of female entrepreneurs. So I'd love to hear what it was like starting your own business after having quite a few corporate roles.
Kim Anderson 3:57
Yeah, absolutely. I think I've always had a bit of a desire to run my own business. My dad was an entrepreneur himself. And so I learned a lot of what I know about business from him. I guess when I came back, I'd spent four years in New York and London working for this global design and innovation consultancy, and a lot of our clients were amazing businesses, including startups. So, I guess I really saw firsthand, you know, that exciting side of things and what it's really takes to kind of build something for yourself.
So coming back from you know, New York, where you feel like you're in the center of the universe. And you know, what's the famous saying, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Something like that. I felt like the time I guess was right to finally throw my hat in the ring and try and build something myself. So when I came back to Sydney in early 2019, I started my own consulting business and sort of expected that most of my clients would be in that designing innovation space, because that's where I've been working most recently. But I hadn't been home for more than a few weeks, and I got a call from my now colleague, Jane Fernandez, who became one of my first clients, and she was working on the bidding campaign to host the Women's World Cup. So I guess Jane and I had been in contact and sort of been quite friendly since my days working at CPMC, many, many, many years ago. And I guess she was looking for someone that could spearhead the marketing side of and communications side of that campaign. So, I weirdly came full circle back into sort of that sporting arena. And that started off what was supposed to be a three month gig running that bidding campaign, quickly became sort of an 18 Month campaign and has led to sort of where I am today. So that I think was an exciting time. And I guess really kick started my business in a lot of different ways, as an entrepreneur.
Mia Fileman 5:55
Yeah. So you still have your business, you're just because you're involved from the bidding stage, you've now taken on a much, much bigger role, the actual tournament, but it is your plan to go back to your consultancy. After all of this is said and done?
Kim Anderson 6:11
Yeah, absolutely. I really loved the variety that you get from running your own business. So for me, I still did have some of those design and innovation clients. But having the variety I think works really well for me in terms of I find some of my best and most creative ideas come when I'm working on the alternate turn a client that's in a completely different area. So whilst this has been an amazing project, to sort of commit to full time for a couple of years, I absolutely see myself going back into that consulting side.
Mia Fileman 6:41
It's great when it's got an end date, don't you think? It's coming to an end.
Speaker 2 6:46
Yes, a project, rather than, yeah, a never ending sort of commitment. Yeah, exactly.
Mia Fileman 6:52
So I'm fascinated what was involved in bidding to become a host country.
Kim Anderson 6:57
Yeah, look, it's one of the most interesting things I've ever done from a marketing point of view, because it very much felt like not just a fan engagement, marketing exercise, but also an election campaign. So particularly as we got much closer to sort of the final stages, so you're really trying to politically influence the voters, you're running against other countries. So there's a lot of sort of International Relations involved, and at the end of the day, I guess, as we got much closer, which was, you know, hampered by COVID, and a whole bunch of different elements, it did really feel like, yeah, an election campaign.
So I would say that it's one of the most satisfying things I've ever done. Because you don't often get that sense of winning in marketing, whilst you might sell a lot of products or sell a lot of tickets. In this instance, for the Women's World Cup. There really was that moment where we were in the room, and we got announced as sort of the winners, I can only think that it must be similar to what, you know, a politician feels when they win the prime ministership, or whatever it might be.
So it was an exciting time, it was an incredibly stressful project. Towards the end, I have to say, there wasn't a lot of sleep over the last week kind of leading into the announcement, but hugely satisfying. And something where I felt like the whole country was sort of rallying behind us, both across Australia and New Zealand.
Mia Fileman 8:19
I'm so happy likened it to a political campaign, because I do that all the time, to help mostly my female entrepreneur audience understand what a campaign is, because it's such a subjective term, don't you think? Like, when you log into Facebook Ads Manager, they say, Do you want to run a campaign? And people are like, okay, so it's a it's an ad campaign. There are ad campaigns. But that's not the only type of campaigns there are. So I have used this political analogy throughout our marketing to get people to understand what a marketing campaign is, because it is so similar to an election campaign. So I love that you just said that then.
So what's the specifically did you do for a marketing perspective for the bid? I've seen, videos, that are sort of like tourism esque videos. What did that look like? What was the kit that you pulled together?
Kim Anderson 9:11
Yeah, absolutely. It was a super fascinating one. I mean, there were kind of two phases to be honest of the campaign. Firstly, when I very much began, and was probably that early three month commitment, was Australia was just bidding by ourselves. The FIFA president then announced that they were going to expand the competition to from 24 to 32 teams, which operationally is a much larger lift for any country to do on their own. So we then got into discussions with the New Zealand government around partnering and that's where it became really interesting for me from a marketing and communications point of view, because we kind of have to start again, strategically. When I first come in, you know, the campaign limitless was already sort of said it was more around delivering on the campaign. So yeah, at that stage, I had to sit down and conceive of a completely new brand platform, which became as one, so this idea of the two countries coming together. And very much this tournament of firsts are you I think described it in your intro, but this is the first time that a Women's World Cup will have been hosted in the Asia Pacific, it's the first time that a women's will cup will be co hosted by two nations. There's a number of firsts that come with its tournament, not just the size and scale of it. And so for that, it really demanded a lot of different elements.
So everything from writing a really compelling bidding book, which goes to the voters. So it's like a little bible of about 200 pages that tells them everything about the tournament, not just marketing information, but how will you know how many tickets will sell, which stadiums we'll use, all of that sort of stuff, which is a sort of, I guess, an offline marketing tool, we then had a lot of content marketing. So given we were one of the only ones that had our own social channels dedicated towards this bidding effort, so a lot of video content using players using people from the community, politicians, ambassadors, it was a huge content marketing effort.
As we got closer to the tournament, and we were essentially locked down, our executives could no longer you know, travel to meet with voters overseas and do that sort of very personal, International Relations stuff, So that content marketing and digital marketing became even more important. So we were doing personalized videos to the photos, talking about what mattered to them. There was a final bid presentation to the FIFA Council itself. So again, a really beautiful, almost cinematic piece of content that we did together, which talked about the destinations themselves, but also, what we were doing.
There was a huge grassroots campaign. So we worked really closely with football, Australia's local grassroots clubs, and also New Zealand footballs, local grassroots clubs and made sure that they all felt engaged. So there was sort of digital toolkits, you know, fan engagement days, lots of different sorts of activities. We had our own websites, we did a lot of media events. So there was, you know, there was launches for the campaign, we did a huge campaign video with Sam Kerr, who's, you know, one of the main players globally, I think she's in the sort of top three players globally and, and plays for the Australian team. And we used a lot of those players to do the marketing for us on their own channels.
So whether it was the players themselves or other influences, that was a really big part of it, because we really needed to give this sense of presence globally, that everyone wanted this almost putting pressure on FIFA to vote for us. So yeah, it was a it was a hugely exciting project and, and quite complex with a very small team kind of delivering on it.
Mia Fileman 12:53
Because of two countries, and even though you are the Marketing Manager for both, I can imagine have executives in each country with their own set of priorities and their own kind of wish list that you then have to try to meet in the middle and become this sort of like, "Yeah, but Australia wants this, but New Zealand wants that." Oh, cool.
Kim Anderson 13:16
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's definitely been an interesting project. I mean, from the bidding through the through to what we're doing now, there's a lot of different stakeholders in the ecosystem that you're trying to satisfy. And as always everyone has lots of opinions on marketing. So it's been a really joyful process, though, I think, you know, this is probably, potentially the only time that we will ever host a tournament of this scale, it really is the biggest thing to come since the Sydney Olympic Games, and certainly the biggest event that New Zealand has ever seen. So I think, yeah, there's a lot of pride that comes with Yeah, what we've been able to achieve just in even securing the rights and now being able to deliver on that as well as super exciting.
Mia Fileman 14:00
Pride and pressure. You know, it's fascinating to me, no one ever says to a plumber, or an engineer, or an architect, hey, I think you could do it better. Like I think you could do something different, like, actually the way that you're currently fixing that leak is probably not right. No one does that. But marketing. Oh, it's game on. Comments from the peanut gallery left, right and center. It's like, okay. I've only been doing this 20 years, so.
Kim Anderson 14:32
yeah, look, I think it comes with the territory, right. What we do is so public that everyone feels like they have an opinion to share and, and really want to be a part of it. Yeah, it's about bottling that enthusiasm, I guess in the in the right way and making sure that it doesn't become a distraction from you know, a really well thought out strategy of what you want to achieve.
Mia Fileman 14:53
See, this is why you're still employable. And I'm not because you can play the diplomat and I can't. I'm just like, get back in your box, Susan. All right? I don't, I don't need to hear your subjective thoughts on the logo, you are not the customer. Whereas what you just said then, and it's like, why people are still willing to give you a job.
Kim Anderson 15:13
It's definitely a delicate dance. But um, yeah, I think at this stage, you know, right now, I feel like we are just over 100 days to go. So we just celebrated our kind of last major milestone before the tournament starts. And I think at this stage, we've at least got, you know, a bit of a track record so people can kind of see how we deliver. So there's a little bit more confidence in what we're doing. But certainly, there's been a lot of voices along the way. So yeah, but I think that also shows the enthusiasm and kind of the prestige of this event that people really want it to be a success.
Mia Fileman 15:46
Yeah. And as you were talking through all the different things that you were pulling together for the bidding campaign, I was listening to that going "owned media, earned media, paid media, borrowed media", oh, earned media owned, you really created a truly integrated multi channel campaign, even down to user generated content using the players and influencer marketing. And then it just shows that that's the best strategy. This, you know, if you're trying to do more with less, which, you know, Australia and New Zealand, we are small countries in on the global scale, using that mix of paid earned and owned and borrowed channels is going to give you the best bang for buck really, right.
Kim Anderson 16:31
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's kind of staggering to me now how much we did with such a small team. And so little resource compared with now I obviously have a much bigger budget, a huge team, you know, global resources that I can pull on, to make this event a success. But the bidding campaign itself, you know, felt like it was run on the smell of an oily rag at times, particularly towards the end where it was really just myself, and the woman leading the bid who were really doing all this content and scripting. And, you know, there was a lot that went into it. But I certainly agree, I think each of those channels were so critical to our success, we really didn't leave any stone unturned in terms of trying to win that bid and make sure that we could host this event.
Mia Fileman 17:17
Well done. You won. And when you thought you were done, and you were like great, now I'm gonna sleep for a month. You're like, oh, shiver me timbers. I now need to plan this, I now need to actually market this, because it's happening now. Okay, so tell me about your role now leading up to 100 days to go, what is it? What does a typical day look like for you?
Kim Anderson 17:41
I mean, no day is the same. And I would say at this stage, we are, you know, it's really been a marathon to get to this point. But I'd say at this stage of proceedings, we're sprinting. So no day is a dull day, absolutely not. At this final stage, we are more optimizing our plans to be honest. So as I said, we've just got through our final huge milestone, we've still got a few initiatives that we'll be launching soon. So our schools program, some of our sort of fan engagement tactics, we'll have a couple more, kind of, major earned media moments as well as our trophy tours. So there's quite a few things that are still coming. But it does feel like we're very much in delivery mode at this stage.
So for me, my days are pretty much full with, you know, supporting my team and making sure that they've got everything that they need to deliver. I do a lot of reporting. To make sure that everyone's abreast, we've got an amazing set of partners, not just from FIFA globally, but across the sort of football network, we've got our host city and government partners. So there's a lot of people to kind of keep informed and involved on the journey and make sure that everyone's kind of leveraging their own channels and their own marketing efforts, into the right direction, I guess.
Then there's some exciting things that we're working on at the moment. So we one of the elements that we've used quite distinctly in our brand strategy is trying to integrate, I guess, culture more with sports. So music has been a really big part of what we've done. So we introduced a sonic identity at the time of our brand launch back in October 2021, which was a first for me, and a really fun experience kind of working with Kelly Leons as an artist to do that. At the moment, we are looking and working with a couple of artists on an official song for the tournament, which will get launched likely in June and sort of performed for the first time at the opening match of the tournament. So I've been privileged enough to be part of that process, which has been, yeah, really creative. Obviously, you develop a brief that's kind of aligned to your brand values and what you want to achieve for the tournament, but there's also a lot of trust that goes into letting those artists do what they do best. So that's been a hugely exciting part of it and something I'm really looking forward to.
Mia Fileman 20:02
How exciting, so much fun. I love, I'm such a big fan of Sonic branding. I just feel like with so many audio and video platforms, podcasts, you know, the beginning of videos. The Australian Open did such a great job with their sonic branding. I thought with Australian Open 2022 each of their social media videos just started with like literally a three second little AO, kind of Sonic sound. And then I think someone just audibly said, AO. It's hard to describe, you have to go and listen to it. But I thought it was great. It was like every video started with that. So then I'm like, oh, cool, okay, this is great, we're gonna see a shot of the day, or we're gonna get a bit of a behind the scenes interview with one of the players and it was it really just framed their social media channels. So love that. That's so exciting.
Kim Anderson 20:56
Yeah! It's a really exciting project. And I think, you know, beyond the official song that the sonic identity itself, you know, something we use across broadcasts, it'll get integrated into our fan festivals, which are kind of our big entertainment destinations in each host city during the tournament. And yeah, across the digital, I mean, we have an amazing sort of platform called FIFA plus. So that combined with our social channels, it's been really fun to kind of integrate music and audio into lots of different touch points and make sure that there is sort of that recognition the brand the whole way through.
Mia Fileman 21:29
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Just briefly on sponsors. So you have global sponsors, but then I would imagine you would also have local sponsors for the host nations. So who are who are they? Who are your who are the people, you need to keep happy?
Kim Anderson 22:33
Yeah, you say that need to keep happy. But I think, for me working with the partners has been super joyful, because I think, you know, they often have bigger marketing resources than I do. So I work really closely with them, Addidas is one, so they've done some amazing content marketing for us. They did a huge ball launch in Sydney, over Bondi Beach with this giant official match ball back in January. We work with Coke quite a lot. They're a really long term sponsor of the tournament. Locally, there's brands like CommBank, who are really active with women's sport and has also been a long term supporter of the Matilda's.
So they're quite varied in terms of the types of brands that that get involved. And we've got more announcements to come, which is super exciting. So yeah, we're looking forward to how they they will activate in huge ways, and they often bring that real sense of scale to the tournament. So whether it's in the fan festival itself, or how they activate around the cities, as well as the content marketing that they'll be able to do.
Mia Fileman 23:34
It's such a good point about the fact that they have even deeper pockets than you do. I mean, Addidas can throw so much behind this.
Kim Anderson 23:42
Yeah, and look, I think this has been a really interesting tournament for FIFA again. A tournament of firsts. It's the first time that FIFA has actually separated out the commercial rights for the women's tournaments. So before, they're always bundled up with the Men's World Cup, which, of course is the largest event in the world, the Women's World Cup is the third largest event in the world. So it's, it's not far behind. But you know, it's always had those rights wrapped up with the men.
So now we're seeing brands that are also completely dedicated to just the women's side of the business. So Xero is a really good example. They have committed to a number of sort of football properties around the world and the Women's World Cup was one of them. And so it's been really exciting to see how deeply they integrate that across their business and across their marketing efforts, because they're just solely focused on making sure that that really makes sense for them.
Mia Fileman 24:34
Xero is nailing their marketing strategy at the moment. Have you seen the latest campaign with Lee Lin Chin where it's like, "pay it, don't delay it" and they've put up these giant objects in like regional towns and they were all cut in half like half an avocado and only one single Ugg boot, not the pair to talk about how Customers are not paying their their bills and small businesses is hurting. And I absolutely loved that campaign was fantastic.
Kim Anderson 25:09
Yeah, they're really clever. And they talk a lot about beautiful business and a beautiful game. So in a football sense, they're very much about having good numbers off the pitch, will help drive better numbers on the pitch. So they're truly kind of digging into their roots, particularly with small business owners. And you know, that link to small clubs and what that means and making sure that they're supporting in the way that they best know how so yeah, they're an incredible partner. And they're kind of driven by a very gender equal board as well, which I really liked. So they're kind of living the same sort of values as we try and live.
Mia Fileman 25:48
Yeah, I think it's so important that they're split out the rights because, first of all, it gives opportunity to slightly smaller brands to be able to be involved with the Women's World Cup, whereas if you wanted to be involved, just with the Women's World Cup, you couldn't because you had to buy into the biggest sporting tournament in the world, which I would imagine would be quite expensive. But also it separates out the people who just want the men or who just want the women. I mean, I'm sure that there were, and I did a bit of research in preparing for this episode, where there were sponsors who activated really well for the Men's World Cup, but then we're like, oh, yeah, we've got the rights to the Women's World Cup, whatever. It's like, no, we want we want the brands that are invested in women's sport.
Kim Anderson 26:34
Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. And I think the women's side of the business is the fastest growing one. And we're seeing that all around the world with not just crowd figures, but you know, attention across broadcast platforms as well. I mean, the last Women's World Cup attracted 1.12 billion viewers, I don't think Aussies and Kiwis realize just how big this event is, and the number of eyeballs that have been across us from, you know, over 200 countries. So it is a huge opportunity for brands to be leading the way. And I think we've seen that momentum in the women's sports space kind of holistically. So yeah, it's an exciting area to be in. And certainly I find it much less traditional than the men's side, I think there's sort of this cultural movement around women's sport that's super exciting, and allows you to be a bit bolder, a bit more playful with the type of marketing that you can do. Because the audience is a bit digital, a bit younger, a bit more fun themselves. So it's been really fun to kind of play in that space and not be too fixed, I guess in how we approach it.
Mia Fileman 27:39
That is such good news about women's sport that's just made my day hearing that, you know, it's faster growing, 1.12 billion people tuning in, that's just music to my ears.
So the tagline for the tournament this year is Beyond Greatness. Why was that the winner? How did that come to be? What does that mean to you?
Kim Anderson 28:01
I think to give some context, the 2019 Women's World Cup was held in France and wasn't really breakout success. I mean, that is the reason that we're sort of so well resourced today and putting so much into this tournament. But if you look at where the brand came from, which was obviously developed way before the tournament was hosted, it was dare to shine, which is still a sentiment that kind of tells me you're still striving to get somewhere. So after the tournament had obviously cemented itself on on the page, we saw that unequivocal success really make FIFA relook at their whole women's football strategy and what they were trying to achieve. And so alongside that, we thought that the brand itself for the next tournament deserved to have a much more amazing platform. And so that's where Beyond Greatness came from.
So I talked about it as well. Greatness might be the middle around your neck beyond greatness is a child that believes I could too. So it's really looking at a wider social impact than just, you know, the excellence that we see on the pitch because that's already been proven through the 2019 tournament. We're just kind of exploding from there. It's really the sort of wider impact that the tournament has on the world on the fans on women's empowerment and our place in society as well.
Mia Fileman 29:22
Yeah, I mean, well, to make it to FIFA, to make it into the team that is going to play at the World Cup. You're already great. Now it's about legacy. And now it's about you know, it's something beyond just of course, you're great. You've made it to the Australian team in the World Cup. What happens after that? I think it's it's absolutely bang on, so good.
Kim Anderson 29:44
Yeah, I think it's been a really fun brand to play with. And I think we had a great time kind of developing the visual identity for it as well. One of the things that I've enjoyed most is just learning so much about Maori culture and how embedded that is within Kiwi society and trying to take those lessons and apply them in an Australian context as well. So our brand has this really beautiful indigenous kind of artistry woven throughout it. And we've really tried to put those two cultures front and center in a way that I definitely don't think has been done well in Australia before. And so, yeah, I guess we're constantly looking for those ways to go beyond greatness. And to really push the boundaries of what we're doing.
Mia Fileman 0:00
Yeah. So is that reflected in those striking posters that you unveiled? I think a few months ago now for the tournament?
Kim Anderson 0:09
Yeah, absolutely. So we kind of took the artistry from the brand and worked not just with those artists, but also with some amazing illustrators. And each of our host cities to kind of look at what was unique in each of those cities. What did we want to kind of play up? And so there's this beautiful poster series that kind of, there's one for each host city. And there's also a central tournament poster that's entitled "Strength in Unity", which is one of our key brand values.
So it really brings to life, the brand in a fun way. So you'll see them as kind of street posters and big murals around the cities, the closer we get to the tournament. But again, another really nice way of kind of embedding culture and art with a sporting tournament in a way that I don't think has been done super well for.
Mia Fileman 0:54
Yeah, fabulous. And what kind of oversight or approval does the FIFA headquarters, I believe it's in Zurich, have over these creative decisions?
Kim Anderson 1:05
Yeah look, it kind of depends on what we're working on. But I think they've been very involved. In terms of, they've got a great brand and creative team over there, that work really closely with my brand team. So depending on what the initiative is, it's usually a collaborative process. The strategic work, I think, has been something that we've kept the FIFA executive across the whole way, as we talked about before, I think it's something that everyone really wants to be a part of, in terms of the marketing. But I wouldn't, we are sort of, part of were contracted by FIFA. So it's, it's a different sort of model to what we've probably experienced in a sporting event of this nature in Australia and New Zealand before. So typically, if you're granted the hosting rights, like for the Sydney Olympic games, to the local country actually develops a local entity. So for the Olympics, it was [inaudible]. This time, FIFA has decided to keep all of that intelligence in house. So each of us work directly for FIFA. So it really is a case of one sort of global team working across different time zones.
Mia Fileman 2:11
I think that's almost better, right? Because you're not an external agency that isn't embedded into the values of the organization. You worked for FIFA. So you're just you just live in Australia and travel to New Zealand all the time, I imagine.
Kim Anderson 2:28
Yeah, look, this job has taken me to Zurich, to Qatar to New Zealand many times. I'm constantly on a plane. But I love that global sense. And it's probably something that did attract me after living in New York and London as well. So
Mia Fileman 2:42
Now you're just rubbing it in, Kim. I've been nowhere I've been to Bali, which is a two and a half hour flight from Darwin. And yeah, that sounds horrible. And I feel very sorry for you.
Kim Anderson 2:55
That's it, I am looking forward to going nowhere after the tournament and just having some good time at home. So but no, it's I mean, it's one of the joys is working with such an international workforce, because you do get a whole bunch of different perspectives. And you know, football is the World Game. So you can imagine all the different types of cultures and nationalities I get to work with. It's a really fun process.
Mia Fileman 3:16
So good. All right. So with your marketing of the tournament, have there been any channels or tactics that have surprised you anything that someone planning a major event might be able to keep in their back pocket?
Kim Anderson 3:30
Yeah, look, I think despite the size and scale of this, I think the same strategies and tactics hold true. So you know that making sure that you still do have a really integrated mix of channels across what you're doing. Digital is obviously super important. Being such an international tournament, it's the quickest and fastest way to go through, get to anyone, I think our own channels are probably more influential than probably what I might have considered.
So FIFA has invested a lot in their owned content in the last year. So they launched a product called FIFA plus about a year ago now. And it's really almost like a Netflix play. So there's lots of originals content, you know, they've got huge production teams that are going around the world, creating documentaries, creating different types of content series. And so that's been really exciting and something that wasn't there, when I first began. I think for channels like music and making sure that our partnership with Universal Music is sort of front and center. I think being able to kind of leverage those channels is hugely important. And probably from a, I think the broadcast network. So you know, we have post broadcasters all around the world. So the kind of influence they can have in terms of covering our events, our publicity moments, you know, the sorts of earned media we can get out of them is absolutely massive.
But beyond that, you know, the simple stuff around fan engagement, grassroots engagement still remains true, you know, our schools program, our initiatives on the ground still remain hugely effective in driving attendance and engagement with the tournament.
Mia Fileman 5:11
Hmm. So interesting what you said about building FIFA plus, is that a paid subscription? Or is it a free streaming?
Kim Anderson 5:20
it's a free streaming service. So it's sort of part website, part original sort of content. So there's sort of a leanback content sort of focus to it as well, as you know, still the destination, you would got to hear about all of the different marketing initiatives or buy tickets, etc. But it's been a really distinct content play, because FIFA also has a lot of archive footage of you know, World Cups years gone by. So there's been a process of slowly building up that archive and allowing that to be available for people to watch.
So there is a thirsty audience out there who wants to live and breathe football all day. So we're trying to become the number one destination for that.
Mia Fileman 6:02
Yeah. And then you invest in building that owned platform and like, flooding it with great content and making it a really great brand experience. And now it exists and is ready to use for marketing this event. So you're like building up that channel? Ready to go. And now, that's one channel you don't need to pay for, like it's done. So I think that's really clever.
Kim Anderson 6:24
Yeah, it is. And look, it'll be something that I guess lives beyond this tournament as well. So, you know, every World Cup is every four years, whether it's men's or women's. And so yeah, it creates that sort of legacy environment, I guess for for people to consume content and know where they need to go to find out more
Mia Fileman 6:45
Fabulous. Well, I'm conscious of your time, because like, you probably need to be in 100 different places at once. So just a final question for you. Has there been any challenges? or issues that have come up in planning this year's tournament that have been like, tricky things? And how have you solved them?
Kim Anderson 7:01
Yeah, look, I think we've had, you know, lots of little internal bumps along the way, but probably one of the more public issues that I think surrounds every women's sport is around equality in pay. And so very happy to say that for this year's tournament, FIFA sort of tripled the amount of prize money and funding that's available for the tournament. So it's increased by 300% to $150 million, which is amazing, and a commitment to sort of look to close the gap between the men's and the women's tournaments by the 2027 Women's World Cup, which is massive. I mean, there's huge prize money at stake for the men. So to be able to kind of uplift that for the women as well really shows a commitment of where we want to get to. And I think this tournament is a huge stepping stone towards that.
So it's been an interesting one, it's it's a topic I thought would crop up throughout the tournament, and I knew we would be on a journey to get somewhere. But FIFA has really kind of put themselves out there to say this is important to us, too. And probably, I mean, I don't think anyone expected that it would be equal pay by 2027. So that commitment and towards that journey is really great.
Mia Fileman 8:10
There will of course, there's going to be PC warriors, and it should be equal pay now. It's like, it was a 300% increase, okay, like, change takes time. A lot of people watch the men's and the women's, but a lot of people watch the men's and more people watch the men's at this stage. And so like by 2027 is quite the progress. But there's always going to be people that are like, Why isn't it now why wasn't it yesterday? Why wasn't it three years ago? And we just have to take that in stride. Right?
Kim Anderson 8:39
Yeah, absolutely. I think, it's exciting. It's sort of, you know, it's reflective of the steps faith has taken from a commercial model sense, right, you know, splitting out the women's properties, and having broadcasters and partners kind of invest in that side of the business, I think shows them the potential of where it can go from a revenue point of view, but also a commitment from their side to kind of invest early and help accelerate that growth.
Mia Fileman 9:06
Yeah. I could honestly talk to you about this all day, Kim, thank you so so much. It has been fascinating and super helpful to go behind the scenes of the FIFA Women's World Cup. Thank you so much for generously sharing your time and your ideas with us. It's been such a pleasure.
Kim Anderson 9:22
Thanks, Mia. Always a pleasure to talk to you. And yeah, book seeing you again soon.
Mia Fileman 9:28
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