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Dianne Everett from Commbank and Jackie-Lee Joe from Football Australia took to the RESET stage to talk about the brand partnership behind the Commbank Tillies. They spoke about how when the Tillies were first launched in 1921, their initial start was short lived when just a year later, English FA decided that “women were quite unsuitable for football and ought not to be encouraged.” The two local marketing legends then went on to explain how The Tillies have grown into the much-loved Aussie icons they are today.  

So much more than a brand 

The Tillies have all the raw ingredients required for making an iconic brand. They stand for something so much bigger than themselves.

Jackie said, “Passion, fight, indomitable will. The spirit of the Matildas was there from the get-go. They are just so much more than a brand. They are a bunch of extraordinary women who are deeply connected by shared ambition and a goal which is to make their mark. 

They embody that ‘never say die’ attitude that is absolutely who they are and it's prevalent in everything that they do… This is a brand that is known and had to fight for airtime, pay time and play time. And so, they are indelibly linked with the social movement of gender equity, of diversity of female empowerment. It was time to tell that bigger story.”

This spirit and these values are what formed the core foundation of the Commbank Tillies’ brand and messaging to their target audience of 14-24 year olds. 

Deep Community Connection

Jackie and Di set out to make the Tillies a brand that communities all over Australia could connect with. Two of the Matildas, Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams were First Nations women, proudly representing their nations.

Jackie said, “For the first time ever, we were able to acknowledge that and to raise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags up alongside the FIFA and the Australian flags. We also went to dual signage across all stadiums, all broadcasts, all materials, and all social media in acknowledgement of that.”

Not only that but they created ‘Mini mates’- the young girls who got to walk the Tillies onto the pitch at each of their matches. In total, there were 1400 mini mates during the course of the FIFA Women’s World Cup but it’s safe to say the campaign inspired countless young girls and women around the country.

Partnering for Growth

The partnership between these brands has driven some serious growth. Not only did the Tillies get viewership of almost 2 billion people around the world. As a result of the partnership, Commonwealth Bank is now ranked in the top 3% of iconic brands globally. 

“Win-win is such an overused term, but this is exactly what we think our Commbank Football Australia partnership has been. A 100% win-win kind of outcome. Not just for commercial growth, not just for brand growth but for societal growth at large.”

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