What happens next?
Smith is keen to point out that, just because the FIFA Women’s World Cup has concluded for this year, does not mean their work in women’s football is done, quite the contrary. For Smith, she wants to make sure “that investment [in the Women’s World Cup] had miles and legs and sustainability and a legacy.”
It’s that legacy that brands can have a hand in shaping, believes Smith. Because, she feels, in order for women’s football to grow, the whole ecosystem needs to be involved: “You need the governing bodies, you need the federations, you need the clubs. But you also need media and brands to play their role.”
Brands can help amplify the game, to fund the game and to further the careers of players across the board. Part of that is about pulling out the stories that have yet to be told. Smith explains, “Football, especially in the women’s game, [is] so easy to link any brand to the sport because the storytelling is so rich and it’s so deep.”
As to the brands that should be getting involved, Smith looks to the worlds of beauty and fashion as the next potential partners. She believes there’s “a massive opportunity there that they’re massively missing.” The ethos of the beauty industry aligns with what sport can offer young girls and women in the form of boosting self-esteem and confidence.
Ultimately for Smith, brands can have a hand to play in disrupting and dismantling the stereotypes that are so entrenched around the women’s game. For COPA90, and Smith, their work is never done: “It’s always thinking one step ahead of, OK and now what?”