Seven Consulting & The CommBank Matildas

A message from Seven Consulting’s Founder Declan Boylan

When the idea first sparked in my mind to have my company, Seven Consulting, sponsor the Matildas, little did I know that it would lead to a wonderful six-year journey, culminating earlier this year in the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Back in 2017, I read about the Matildas’ victories in beating the USA, Brazil and Japan in the USA. I learned these talented athletes earned $35,000-$45,000 annually at the time, and that the team had zero dedicated sponsorships.

Determined to explore the team further, my two sons and I trooped off to see Matildas v Brazil in Penrith. A full house provided a great atmosphere, and I vividly remember my initial mistake, hastily dismissing a goal as a “miskick” just before halftime. Ten seconds later, I was corrected by the replay. A centimetre perfect instinctive volley from Lisa De Vanna from 20m was the corrected assessment. And Sam Kerr scored as well in a 2-1 win, followed by a similar 3-2 win over Brazil again a few days later in Newcastle. I was won over by the skills, effort and connection between the team and the fans.

With my passion ignited, I took the idea of becoming the Matildas’ first dedicated sponsor to our Seven Consulting staff. Despite the potential impact on profit share, an overwhelming 91% of staff voted in favour of the sponsorship.

What followed was six years of highlights including, meeting the parents of most the players around games, having a few drinks and occasional round of golf with them, as well as hearing of the sacrifices made and joy achieved in each of the families. In those days the crowds were decent at home but the travelling support away from home was in the dozens and 90% family members.

We recognise some of the support work done by the team managers, doctors, pioneers, family members and historians of the game in our video series unsung heroes.

Click here to watch Unsung Heroes

We were also lucky to have a number of Matildas work with us as interns or in other positions. Tameka Yallop, Elise Kellond-Knight, Lydia Williams and Kyah Simon all gained work experience and/or training at Seven Consulting. Tameka Yallop and Elise Kellond-Knight are still working with us today and are now fully trained PMO Consultants.

One significant milestone achieved during these six years was the collaborative effort between Football Australia and the player unions, which resulted in the establishment of a pay parity agreement for both the Matildas and the Socceroos. Notably, this initiative was led by one of our interns, Elise Kellond-Knight.

Another lifetime memory will forever be the amazing scenes when Australia and New Zealand won the 2023 FIFA World Cup hosting rights. I stayed up late that Thursday night and proudly wore my Matildas shirt to work the following morning.

When the Women’s World Cup kicked off and the Matildas had their first warm-up match, it was a 50,000-person sellout stadium in a proud Aussie Rules town – that was the first sign that our world was changing for the better.

The CommBank Matildas then doubled that crowd in Sydney a week later, and then topped the crowds against Denmark and England. Viewing figures on television for sport have been smashed, toppling the Men’s AFL Grand Final, NRL Grand Final, State of Origin.

If it feels like the end, it’s because it is the end of seeing women’s sport as second class citizens in Australia. If it feels like the start, it’s because it is the start of a new generation of girls and boys that inspired by our heroes, the Matildas will become the Matildas and Socceroos and Pararoos of the future. I am certain that in 12 years, we will have another golden generation inspired by this team. But before that, it’s Olympic qualifiers, and then another chance of a medal in the Olympics in Paris next year. The journey continues, indeed it never stops.

The Matildas are now truly Australia’s team, and the equal pay deal now looks to be favouring the Socceroos!

I am able to reflect how far the team has come in the short time we have sponsored and known them. Thanks to running into Phil Kellond-Knight, Elise Kellond-Knight’s Dad in Brisbane, he sent me this shot of the supporters and the two of us at the first Matildas Semi Final I was at. It was the 2018 AFC Asian Cup Semi Final in Jordan and we went through against Thailand on penalties in an absolute nailbiter. With tickets from the FA, I had travelled on personal expense and had the most wonderful time meeting family and friends of the players like the Kerr’s, Foord’s Lorgazo’s, Van Egmond’s and Kellond-Knight’s, and many more and helped to understand their culture and the sacrifices made to support a world class and underfunded team. Times have changed and will continue to change for the better. There now is maybe 2000 people in the stadium and 10,000’s more watching on televisions and online for every 1 Australian supporter there that day in Amman. Things will never be the same again for women’s sport in Australia.

We move on from six wonderful years being the first sponsor for the Matildas to supporting the Seven Consulting Opals, consistently ranked as one of the best handful of women’s basketball sides in the world and are looking forward to many more wonderful moments with them and enjoying the Matildas still from a little bit further away.

Thanks to all the support of our clients and staff that allowed Seven Consulting in turn to support our team. But thanks most of all, to those fabulous, never say die, hard working, talented, down to earth and Australia-inspiring Matildas.

Declan Boylan

Seven Consulting Founder

Seven Consulting Internship

We actively contributed to players’ professional growth, offering internships to stars like Lydia Williams, Elise Kellond-Knight, and Tamika Yallop, promoting success on and off the field, with both Tamika Yallop and Elise Kellond-Knight continuing to work with Seven Consulting, helping support our clients to this day. Together, we symbolise teamwork, determination, and national pride, aligning seamlessly with the CommBank Matildas’ values.

Seven Consulting Icon

Intern – Tameka Yallop

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Intern – Elise Kellond-Knight

Highlights from our Matildas Sponsorship Journey

Did you know?

Facts about the Commonwealth Bank Matildas

  • The CommBank Matildas are now ranked 11th in the world and were finalists in the Asian Cup.
  • The CommBank Matildas just won the Tournament of Nations in the USA, beating Japan, Brazil and the World No. 1, USA.
  • Sam Kerr has just been announced as the Women’s Health Australian Sports Woman of the Year and Female Player of the Year in National Women’s Soccer League (USA).
  • Star Matildas, Tameka Yallop and Elise Kellond-Knight have joined Seven Consulting as paid interns.
  • The FIFA World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 set a new World Cup attendance record. Almost two million fans attended the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand – up by more than 600,000 on the previous record.
  • The Matilda’s were the first Australian team to make a World Cup semi-final, finishing in 4th place overall.