We. Need. To. Talk. About. Sam. Kerr.
Sam Kerr is a bonafide megastar, following on from trailblazers like Megan Rapinoe and Marta who participated in her SIXTH world cup!
But, Sam’s going further than any woman has before.
Few names burn as bright. The Aussie has captured the hearts of fans worldwide. She’s transcended gender boundaries. She’s become an icon in male, female, and non-binary football circles, all over the planet.
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Sam Kerr. She faced uncertainty around the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Injuries have reared their pesky heads and caused her to miss the opening group games. As a result, Australia narrowly avoided being eliminated. She is yet to score a goal in the world cup too, and given I am an England fan I hope she doesn’t on Wednesday, but enough of that.
But despite her not yet reaching her full potential at her home World Cup, this remains insignificant in the shadow of her profound broader impact. Sam Kerr is inspiring generations of young people who watch, and follow. She’s shaping the game’s future.
Absolute. Proper. Trailblazer.
She’s a tour de force on her own, but combined with her team play, she’s part of something unstoppable. Then there’s her power as a Gay Icon, and presence in the world of high-fashion. She provides a platform for athletes to express their identities freely. Oh, and she’s won everything domestically, in England with Chelsea, and achieved glory in Australian and US leagues. All things told, the global recognition and respect is easy to understand.
In our Hyundai TVC produced for the FWWC we feature a crucial game between England and Australia. Our protagonist has the last defining kick of the game. She’s Australian. Could we have inadvertently written the future?
Sam Kerr may score the winning goal against England, and go on to lift the world cup for Australia, this would be a true moment of reckoning and a turning point for Australian women’s football. But maybe the turning point has already happened for the womens game in Australia?
With Sam as captain The Matildas are now firmly established as one of the most recognisable sides in Australia. Major commercial deals have seen the team surpass its male counterparts for sponsorship revenue. The World Cup is projected to draw in a jaw-dropping 1.4 million ticket sales, smashing records left and right, pumping an estimated AUS$169 million into the economy. Sam’s fame plays a big part here.
Then there’s the Nike Flip advert that showcases her famous backflip celebration. As she flips, the world flips, and the game of football literally flips, too. It’s not just Nike that champions her, Electronic Arts recognised it when they made her the FIFA22 cover star. And her hometown of Perth recognised when they gave her the keys to the city. Whatever the result when the final whistle blows, the impact of Sam Kerr on football and in culture, will be felt far beyond the field.
So, what’s my point?
We need to pay attention not only to the rise of women’s football, but also to the stars within it. They are the ones who bring the narratives to life with emotional storytelling angles, becoming approachable role models for an entire nation. So when we think, who is the most exciting football star in the world right now, maybe our first thought should be a woman, namely: