SportsTech – a growing startup landscape in Victoria
An affinity for sport is well entrenched in the Australian psyche.
As times change and the way that Australians engage with sport evolves, this underlying passion has remained. At the centre of this evolution has been the development of sports technology, or SportsTech.
Just as cutting edge technology is applied to sectors such as finance and health, tech savvy startups have been exploring how their solutions can be best utilised in sport – whether that be for elite sports people or ‘weekend warriors’.
Globally, SportsTech is still very much considered to be an emerging sector, with an estimated market value of $29.8 billion as of 2018. This is projected to grow in size to just under $100 billion by 2027. The market opportunities associated with the level of projected growth are significant, and the Victorian startup ecosystem is not one to be left behind.
The Australian Sport and Technologies Network (ASTN) estimate that 65 percent of all Australian SportsTech startups are based in Victoria. This includes a diverse range of rapidly growing local companies that are targeting everything from the elite sport analytics market – Champion Data, a Melbourne based SportsTech company has exclusively partnered with the AFL to provide key insights across player statistics, data and analytics. To wearable and performance enhancing products – Ida Sport, a Melbourne based startup developing a football boot that is anatomically designed for female athletes.
In particular, the development of wearable fitness technologies has proven to be a market strength for Victorian companies – with 44 percent of identified SportsTech startups being classified as such. As a result, everyday fitness journeys can be monitored at an elite level, with personal devices and applications having the capability to provide regular feedback that works to enhance personal performance.
Technology has even provided a platform for new sports and sporting heroes. An American teenager, Kyle Giersdorf, was recently crowned the Fortnite World Cup Winner in July. For his efforts, he received more prize money ($4.3m USD) than tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep did for winning Wimbledon.
In the wake of these emerging opportunities, LaunchVic, who were established by the Victorian Government in 2016 to grow and develop the startup sector, recently partnered with KPMG to undertake a review of the SportsTech startup ecosystem.
Last week, the Hon. Martin Pakula, Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Tourism, Sport and Major Events launched this final report at the Australian Sports Tech Conference 2019. The report documents the significant opportunities presented by SportsTech across Australia and the vast potential for growth, particularly through leveraging the strong credibility of the Victorian sporting landscape and world leading research and education capabilities in sport and technology.
It is clear that technology is enhancing the sporting experience for the better and a number of Victorian companies are leading the way and at the forefront of this growth sector.