News Corp Australia is getting behind the Matildas in the lead up to the World Cup semi-final with a series of editorial initiatives to celebrate their success.
Today all of the state-based mastheads feature a souvenir double-page team poster of Australia’s national soccer stars and The Daily Telegraph is renamed “The Daily Tillygraph” as the Matildas arrive in Sydney ahead of the semi-final on Wednesday. Tuesday they will feature a collectable Hayley Raso hero poster. On Wednesday the mastheads will publish a Mary Fowler hero poster and a special glossy Sam Kerr face mask and Go Matildas poster will be inserted in every edition.
Over the weekend, The Courier-Mail was renamed “The Kerr-ier Mail” as support for the Matildas reached fever pitch in Brisbane. Rebadging the 177-year-old masthead reflected the city’s unbridled backing of the team as they took on France in the quarter-final showdown at Brisbane Stadium on Saturday night. Souvenir editions of the Saturday state-based mastheads included high-impact wraps of Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail, The Advertiser and The Daily Telegraph dedicated to the Matildas, along with the final piece of a giant four-part Sam Kerr poster.
This comes as digital coverage of the elite sport event is delivering big audiences across the company’s mastheads. News Corp Australia’s national sports editor Matthew Kitchin said: “The Women’s World Cup has brought the finest athletes on the planet to our backyard and, as the home of sports journalism in Australia, News Corp Australia is right behind this major event.
“Since the start of the World Cup we have published more than 550 stories and seen more than 21.7 million page views of our coverage of the event across all of the company’s mastheads.
“From Sam Kerr to Mary Fowler and the rest of the team, we are proudly covering every moment of the Matildas’ World Cup campaign.”
News.com.au editor-in-chief Lisa Muxworthy said: “The news.com.au audience is highly engaged with coverage of the Matildas and the World Cup. Australians have been more interested in this content than interest rates, the Logies, Barbie and Oppenheimer, and reality TV show coverage. Traffic to the section is almost 40 times more than peak capacity of the Sydney Football Stadium and 25 times more than Stadium Australia.”
Managing director, News Sport Network, Michael Wilkins said the company had committed to giving women’s sport a regular presence across all platforms, making it more visible and to address the under-representation of some of Australia’s greatest athletes.
“Our coverage has been growing and growing over the past couple of years,” Wilkins said. “Australia’s engagement with the Matildas and the World Cup is the watershed moment for women’s sport, it’s not going backward.”