Leo Burnett & Johnnie Walker champion strides made in AFLW with 'In Her Boots'

26 September 2023

Creative Agency: Leo Burnett

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Five pairs of handcrafted footy boots made from the boots of past icons of the game.

AFLW sponsor Johnnie Walker has worked with Leo Burnett Australia to celebrate the progress made in women’s sport through the creation of five pairs of handcrafted footy boots made from the boots of past icons of the game.

The boots are being gifted to current players, inspiring them to Keep Walking Boldly, representing the resilience, courage and bravery of the women who have walked before them. The campaign tells the stories of progress that got the game where it is today.

The boots, designed by artisan shoemaker Matea Gluščević from Naarm/Melbourne, will be gifted by Nicole Livingstone, AFL General Manager of Women’s Football, to rising stars: GWS Giants player and Olympic Gold Medallist Chloe Dalton, Hawthorn’s Emily Bates, Brisbane Lions’ Ally Anderson, and Collingwood’s Ashleigh Brazill at a media event at RSEA park in Melbourne.

The four women represent the next generation of female AFLW players, and it is hoped that they one day pass the boots on as the game progresses.

Jodi McLeod, Johnnie Walker marketing manager, said Keep Walking has been a rallying cry for progress for more than two decades now.

"Johnnie Walker is committed to continuing its support of the trailblazers who push for progress every day by partnering with those who took bold strides and those who will continue striding to push Australia forward," she said.

"These boots are a homage to the 150 years that it took for a women’s footy competition to be established and a celebration of the eighth AFLW season.”

Rosie Stone & Stacey Karayannis, associate creative directors at Leo Burnett, said when people look at the pages of sporting history, they seem only to acknowledge the giants of the game – the top scorers, the record-breakers, the superstars.

"What’s rarely recognised, though, is the incredible strength and decades of determination it takes to get women’s sport onto the field in the first place," said Stone and Karayannis.

"With the AFLW still in its professional infancy and with so much progress to be made, we wanted to celebrate the wins we’ve had along the way and shine a light on the women who walked the game to where it is today.”

The campaign is supported by a film directed by Good Oil’s’ Renée Mao, which documents stories of the women’s game.

It features sporting icons like Debbie Lee and Erin Phillips, talking about their experience growing up playing a game that was never ‘meant for them.’

It was shot on location in Sydney and Melbourne and uses never-before-seen archival footage, tracing the history of women’s football in Australia.

The integrated campaign, a reinvigoration of Johnnie Walker’s ‘Keep Walking’ philosophy, will run nationally across digital, social, OOH and influencer, with PR led by Leo Burnett’s Publicis Groupe stablemate Herd MSL.

To see the boots and learn more about the people and stories that made them, visit www.walkboldly.com.au.



Diageo | Johnnie Walker

Jodi McLeod Marketing Manager

Emma Ryan Brand Manager

Rebekah Allison Brand Marketing & PR


Leo Burnett | Johnnie Walker In Her Boots

Account Management

James Walker-Smith General Manager

Andrew Thistlethwaite Group Business Director

Cameron Dobbelsteyn Business Director

Rosie Dingle Senior Business Manager



Dhiv Pillai Senior Strategy Director



Andy Fergusson National Executive Creative Director

Tim Woolford Group Creative Director

Tommy Cehak Group Creative Director

Stacey Karayannis Associate Creative Director

Rosie Stone Associate Creative Director


Production / Studio

Justine Dooner Executive Producer

Laura Midalia Senior Integrated Producer

Julie Gunner Finished Artist

Demi Mackrill, Jon Cucinotta Retoucher

Joe Giuffrida, Ed Coyle Editors (web assets)


PR – Herd MSL

Jennifer Brown Chief Client Officer

Janete Sampaio Senior Account Director

Savannah Fielder Account Director


Good Oil - Production Company

Renée Mao Director

Sam Long Executive Producer

Chana McLallen Head of Production

Ellie Craven Producer

Jani Hakli DOP


The Editors Post House

Grace O’Connell Editor

Isabella Key Post Producer

Matt Edwards VXF Operator

Massive Music Music & Sound



Milos Mlynarik OOH Photography

Nick Bowers Boot Photography & Motion, Photoplay

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