Australia’s emerging sports technology sector ranks among the top 5 in the world, already supporting more than 600 startups, according to a new report from the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN).
The inaugural Sports Innovation Report 2022 concludes that Australia already has one of the world’s most mature and interconnected ecosystems.
With the Brisbane Olympics ten years from now and the global sports technology industry currently estimated to be worth $17.9 billion and projected to grow at 17.5% annually to over $40 billion by 2026, Australia can to experience.
ASTN chairman James Demetriou said the annual contribution of local sports technology is estimated at $3.1 billion, employing nearly 10,800 people.
Over the past decade, the number of local sports tech companies has grown from 224 to 605 in 2022, a 170% increase.
Since ASTN are 10 . markse anniversary Demetriou said the local sports technology sector is on track to reach unprecedented levels as it embraces the emerging trends identified in the report.
“Australia punches above its weight and is now regarded as one of the top five countries in the world when it comes to sports technology,” he said.
“We are building one of the world’s most advanced and integrated sports innovation ecosystems over the next decade, leading up to several major events on the Australian sports calendar, including the 2032 Summer Olympics.”
It is not just about winning medals on the global stage, with the technology permeating to all sports enthusiasts, be they participants or viewers.
As a result, Demetriou argues that job creation, economic growth and trade and investment can be the legacy of the local sector.
The report also identifies 10 key themes that outline strategic opportunities for the sector and sustainability is an unexpected but core focus.
“To reach their full potential and keep pace globally, there are real groundbreaking opportunities that these companies should capitalize on and that will enable them to take with them the wave of success they have enjoyed in recent years,” said Demetriou.
“The topic of sustainability is consistently high on the global news agenda and sport plays a leading role in promoting and supporting sustainability. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also gives them a competitive advantage.”
The main findings of the report are:
- Victoria leads the way as the place of sports innovation, representing 44% of the industry, followed by NSW at 27% and QLD at 20%. ASTN estimates that nearly half of jobs are currently located in Victoria, of the 118 largest sports tech companies, 46 are located in Victoria.
- Of the tech categories used by sports tech companies, 61% were ICT-based (particularly around the capture and distribution of sports content), 16% were advanced materials (such as those used for clothing and equipment that could be fibers or composites),13 % were sensors & devices while 9% were health, medical and biotech.
- There are now approximately 70 sportstech networks/clusters, 90 sports technology accelerators and over 100 dedicated sportstech investors worldwide.
- ASTN identified 118 local sports tech companies as industry leaders, employing more than 8,000 people and generating annual revenues of $2.72 billion (89% of total industry revenue).
- Some of the trends outlined in the report, which are part of ASTN’s five-year strategy, include women in sports technology, sustainability and ESG (environment, sustainability, governance), artificial intelligence, smart clothing, equipment and wearables, and investment and venture capital in Australian sports companies.
The 10-year-old ASTN supports the commercialization, development and promotion of Australian-inspired sports technologies ranging from performance to fan engagement, data, equipment, smart clothing and more. It is currently establishing the first Australian Sports Innovation Center of Excellence adjacent to the Melbourne Olympic Park.