With just over a week to go before the inaugural AFL women’s competition kicks off on February 3, the league has gone back to the future with a new advertising campaign.
The ad, featuring Olympian Cathy Freeman, Melbourne Cup winning Jockey Michelle Payne, 11-year-old surfing sensation Sabre Norris, and athlete Turia Pitt, reprises 1994’s “I’d like to see that” campaign, which starred boxer Evander Holyfield, tennis legend John McEnroe, and Olympic champion Carl Lewis.
Freeman is one of a number of women delivering the popular refrain, saying: “more women, making Australian sporting history? Yeah, I’d like to see that.”
SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin deadpans “Women kicking balls? I’d like to see that.”
Melbourne Demons captain Nathan Jones is holding his 2-year-old daughter, Bobbi Grace, when he says he’d like to see “our daughters wearing our numbers one day”.
It’s already proved to be a hit, with more than 250,000 people viewing it on Facebook in just 24 hours.
Here it is:
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the campaign for the inaugural AFLW season was symbolic of the revolution now upon the game.
“It is a very strong and powerful statement of what is at stake for our new league and for women’s sport,” he said.
The eight-week competition begins on Friday week with Collingwood and Carlton squaring off. The reason runs until March 25, just before the men’s competition begins.
There are eight teams in the opening season: Adelaide Crows, Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Fremantle, GWS Giants in Sydney, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, with five more teams due to join the competition in 2018.
When an exhibition match was held in September last year, it was a TV ratings hit, with more than 1 million people watching.
And here’s the original AFL ad from 1994:
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