Unlocking the growth of women's sport through the ‘Winning Playbook’

Record-breaking attendance and global viewership of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ have seen leading figures in Australian sport and business come together today to establish a 'Winning Playbook' – the roadmap to guide the continued growth and development of women's sport. 

Hosted by the NSW Government and Football Australia, The Winning Playbook looked at key trends driving innovation in women's sport, set against the backdrop of the remarkably successful FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. 

Speakers included FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, a trailblazer for women's football who has overseen unprecedented growth in the sport, Jill Ellis, President, San Diego Wave and two-time World Cup champion coach, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and James Johnson, Football Australia CEO who masterminded Australia’s successful bid for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. 

The event was an initiative of the NSW Football Legacy Program which is overseeing the investment of $10 million by the NSW Government in football as a legacy of NSW hosting matches at the tournament. 


NSW Minister for Women Jodie Harrison said: 

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has not only showcased the beautiful game, it has turbo-charged women’s sport. 

“There is so much to learn from this pivotal moment to allow us to unlock the potential for women’s and girl’s sport. 

“The NSW Government recognises the importance of World Cups on home soil to increasing the visibility, engagement and support for women's sport.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has delivered on this promise, and today is about coming up with a game plan to keep future generations of girls loving and playing sport.” 

NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said: 

“The rise of women's football has been remarkable, with exponential growth in participation, record breaking attendances and increased investment. 

“With more than 1.7 million tickets sold, Australian football fans are revelling in the highs, lows and excitement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. 

“While the tournament has established a new benchmark for FIFA Women’s World Cups, the NSW Government is also committed to ensuring it leaves a positive legacy for women and girls through sport and that’s what The Winning Playbook is aiming to achieve today.” 

Matildas fans excited as they await kick off - Tiffany Williams

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said: 

“Accelerating the growth and development of women’s football on and off the pitch is a top priority for FIFA. Since 2018, FIFA has invested significant time and resources into reforming competitions, enhancing the game’s commercial value, modernising women’s development programmes, and enhancing the professionalisation of the sport. 

“Through this record-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup, it has been thrilling to witness our strategies and investments, as well as those of our co- host countries and participating member associations, take women’s football to a whole new level. The new standards and benchmarks we have set at this truly special tournament will be felt for generations to come.” 

President, San Diego Wave and two-time World Cup champion coach, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Jill Ellis said: 

"Success in sport, as in any field, requires passion, dedication, and a shared vision. This World Cup has demonstrated that women's football has the power to unite, inspire, and pave the way for a brighter future for the sport. We must keep this momentum going, make sure our efforts do not end with the final whistle. This is just the beginning." 

Football Australian CEO James Johnson said: 

"The FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 has been a turning point for women's football in Australia. The energy and engagement we've seen around this event has been truly transformative. However, our journey does not end here. Through collaborative efforts with stakeholders at all levels of the game, we are committed to harnessing this energy to provide sustainable growth, inclusivity, and opportunity for women's sport in Australia. The Winning Playbook will ensure we stay focused and united in achieving these goals."