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It’s Time to get behind our Football Ferns!

29 June 2023


In just three weeks the Football Ferns will take to the pitch for the biggest sporting event to be held in Aotearoa – the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. To celebrate their return, Sport NZ, in collaboration with NZ Football, have launched a new commercial which highlights the talent and popularity of the team. 

The 60-second commercial follows the overseas supporters of eight Football Ferns on a journey to watch them play for their international club teams – from London to Finland, Glasgow to Melbourne, and LA to Leicester. 

The eight Football Ferns featured in the video are: Ali Riley (Angel City FC, USA), CJ Bott (Leicester City, England), Claudia Bunge (Melbourne Victory, Australia), Jacqui Hand (Åland United, Finland), Michaela Foster (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand), Olivia Chance (Celtic, Scotland), Ria Percival (Tottenham Hotspur, England) and Victoria Esson (Rangers, Scotland).  

Part of the It’s Time campaign, the video aims to grow the visibility and support of the Football Ferns ahead of what is the largest women’s sporting event in the world. It draws on the insight that when not representing New Zealand, the Football Ferns play for some of the most iconic clubs in the world.  

The It’s Time campaign was launched last September following research commissioned by Sport NZ, which showed awareness of female athletes is significantly lower than comparable male athletes, particularly in team sports.  It also showed that the more visible female athletes are, the more New Zealanders are likely to know them by name, follow their journeys and become fans. This in turn builds their profile and commercial value. 

Sport NZ Chief Executive, Raelene Castle, says following the Women’s Cricket and Rugby World Cups, the FIFA Women’s World Cup is yet another opportunity to raise the recognition and profile of our female athletes. 

“It’s so important that we build on the momentum of the world class events we have already held in New Zealand, as we look forward to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the biggest sporting event to hit New Zealand’s shores. 

“The new advertisement is a fantastic way to highlight the talent and profile of our players and we challenge all New Zealanders to get behind the Football Ferns as they head into the tournament, whether it be buying a ticket and attending a game, watching on TV, engaging on social media or reading and watching media coverage.” 

James Wear, General Manager of Brand and Partnerships at New Zealand Football, sees this campaign as a perfect opportunity to further tell the stories how successful the Ford Football Ferns are internationally: 

“Women’s football has been exploding around the world and it is brilliant to see our Ford Football Ferns playing significant roles as part of that.

“This campaign showcases the historic and iconic clubs the Ferns play for, as well as all the various parts of the world football can take you to, before the team all return home to play on football’s biggest stage – the FIFA Women’s World Cup.” 

The commercial  will run across TV, digital and cinema throughout the tournament and has been made possible thanks to co-funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as part of our collective work to raise the value and visibility of women’s sport. 

The It’s Time campaign is a key milestone in Sport NZ’s work to support the Government’s Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation. 

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