Last month witnessed an important milestone, involving 5 state sport organisations, 4 local government authorities, state government and the state peak body of NSW. Everyone in this meeting was logged into their respective online accounts, all connected by one insight sharing eco-system. This group were in the process of establishing an exciting new precedent for how infrastructure is now planned and funded.
The Sports are some of the 75+ state and national sports across Australia and New Zealand who have integrated their player management system data with the SportsEye Network. The Network now generates insight from over 3 million members, as well as hosting the official National Infrastructure Database. Each SportsEye account translates this previously untapped, fragmented and siloed sport data into relevant insights, predicting growth hotspots for each sport and aligning this with local resident health and wellbeing outcomes (using existing data to speak government language!).
This connected, cloud-based network then makes sure this powerful insight is at the fingertips of those government stakeholders when they need it most.
This single workshop identified a broad range of new areas for collaboration between sports and government, government and government, and sports and sports - a more informed and connected sector.
“It was great to be able to go to our account, and to an area we know is under supplied, and have the data tell the story instead of us!” Local Government Planner.
“Prior to SportsEye we struggled to find outcomes related to participation and really understand about the socio-demographics of our current and potential members” NSW Sport Organisation Administrator.
The SportsEye Network, which operates in all States and Regions across Australia and New Zealand, will soon be putting $ monetary values behind the current and potential local community savings generated by each sport as part of an ongoing Social Value collaboration with research partner KPMG, aligning with Government principles – a further best practice benefit to local government looking to push sport infrastructure projects higher up the priority list.
“You have it, now don’t waste it!”
ActiveXchange, who setup and manage the SportsEye Network, was born out of a frustration that there is so much untapped value in the data already being collected by state and national sport organisations and venue operators. Whether this is creating new revenue streams, better allocating resources (and costs) to protect and grow membership returns, or more effectively influencing and connecting with relevant planning and funding stakeholders. Yet so many organisations continue to sit on this critical asset.
With government survival grants starting to tail off, organisations across our sector are being challenged to step up to this new post-Covid plate - it will only be those that can leverage their existing assets in smarter ways who will make first base, let alone be hitting home runs come the end of 2021.
1. Why do organisations in our sector need to change now?
Communities nationwide need a blend of competitive sport, recreation and fitness to support as many people as possible to become and remain active and healthy. This requires the right offer, in the right place, at the right time. Requiring relevant information to hand and then available implementation resources.
Yet the vast majority of those delivering and administrating these opportunities have operated under a cloud of digital and financial constraint, well before Covid arrived.
This has meant positive change has been curtailed, with organisations bunkering down, relying on gut feel decisions still, “this is what we did last year, let’s run with it for one more year”. That approach only lasts for so long, and Covid for many will be the final straw.
For government and many funding agencies, so many decisions have lacked up to date consistent evidence, making decisions too susceptible to political influence. Not only does this ultimately impact resident physical and health lifestyles, but it also often burdens the Council with long term financial subsidy commitments. Is this risk still an option in this new era post-Covid?
So, what do we mean by change? A couple of examples on how your data should be unlocking some straightforward efficiencies:
● More revenue and reduced costs: attracting new members means getting the right facility and program offer in the right place using up to date market insight on what’s most relevant for your local prospect members, followed by data driven targeted marketing to reduce costs. It means using predictive retention modelling to keep members engaged in your offer for as long as possible, while maximise secondary spend and lifetime value. It means membership profiling to attract new and relevant sponsorship partnerships.
● Influencing and funding: making your participation and infrastructure plan digital, and linked to your live membership database, means you can put a relevant up to date evidence base on why your offer is, or will achieve specific government health and wellbeing outcomes in any local areas – sharing relevant insight across a common network. Don’t create a 150-page PDF report and leave it on the shelf, again!
2. Up to now, why has this digital transformation taken our sector so long?
Ask organisations throughout our sector why they have not maximised their data to date and you typically get one of the following responses:
● “Our organisation’s member and activity data has too many holes in it” – ActiveXchange, through SportsEye platform accounts, work with partners who hold even basic registration datasets, can provide additional relevant data, and help any organisation take a big first step forward.
● “We don’t have the in-house expertise to maximise insight right now” – the SportsEye Academy provides a 3-month program of training (and accreditation) at no additional cost, coupled with ongoing support to make sure your organisation maximises the insight and can stand on your own two feet when it comes to data.
● “We’re concerned about data privacy” – ActiveXchange prides itself on supporting all partners to implement best practice, with no organisation ever seeing another’s data without explicit permission. There’s also a cross-industry governing different parts of the platform and database.
● “We haven’t allocated budget to this area, can we afford the risk” – SportsEye accounts are modular, including free initial options, are linked across tiers of government in all States, and now have a series of return on investment case studies to de-risk taking that first step.
● We know most of this already, why should we do this? - SportsEye’s ecosystem of more than 3 million members across Australia and New Zealand takes the gut and feel of your experience, turning your data into evidence that can underpin your proposal, grant application, next decision to support your sport, club or LGA.
Quite simply, due to the increasing pressures and continued uncertainty of Covid, doing nothing is no longer a viable or responsible approach for any organisation.