Historic activation hosts rematch of first ever Aussie and NZ women’s football teams

PUMA has staged an historic activation that’s almost 50 years in the making to coincide with excitement surrounding the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The sportswear brand hosted an epic rematch between the first Australian and New Zealand women’s teams, who faced off in the Asian Cup in 1975.

A specially created and eye-catching field on Cockatoo Island in Sydney hosted the emotional and energetic match, created as part of a broader campaign by PUMA, sharing the stories of the trailblazers.

“From tear-jerking storytelling videos that have gone viral, to taking over Tik Tok, giant billboards and street posters, PUMA’s campaign is giving these women – the OGs – the one thing that they had been missing, recognition,” the brand said in a statement.

Both teams flew into Sydney for four days and reunited for the first time in decades. The rematch, played with ‘walking rules’ for safety, was a surprise.


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Pat O’Connor, who captained the Aussie side in 1975 and is now 82, and said: “I nearly got sent off for running, and for me at my age that’s a miracle.

“Our team has waited 48 years for the recognition and support that the PUMA team has given us. And to be able to take to the field once again after all this time was such a special moment for us.”

Joining them to spectate were 23 young women from Australia and NZ representing the next generation of footballers, each participating in PUMA’s Accelerator program.

The future stars also took part in an immersive three-day event that included talks from current Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt, comedian and actor Celeste Barber, the inspiring Jazz Thornton, running with Gen Gregson and Nedd Brockmann, and sailing with Jessica Watson.

PUMA Oceania general manager Pancho Gutstein said he was thrilled with the response to the campaign.

“We said that these trailblazing women deserved recognition, and it has been great to see such an incredible reaction to their story from the public, across social media and making headlines in both countries.

“Their determination laid the foundation for the sport’s growth, and even now they continue to inspire us to push boundaries and redefine the limits of what is possible. Our campaign stands as a tribute to their legacy, and we are honoured to carry the torch they ignited.”

The campaign was created by PUMA alongside creative agency Bursty. The pitch was designed by Indigenous artist Brittany Paulson.


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