When is the Right Time to Invest in a Sports Business?

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The launch of the Australian Government’s Sport 2030 plan will also aim to reshape the national sporting body for the better. Pexels/ Tim Gouw

Have you ever asked yourself why Australian individuals and teams are so good at sport? It’s a worthwhile question, and one that many England fans will have considered after the cricket side’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of the Aussies last winter.

The answer is surprisingly simple; as sport is deeply ingrained in Australian culture and as such has always remained a key funding priority of government. This approach has certainly borne fruit over the years, as there are fewer than 500,000 Aussies for every Olympic medal that the country has won, with the corresponding figure for the U.S. a hefty 2.7 million.

Despite this, the nation’s sporting bodies have come under fire recently, with swimmer Ian Thorpe being one of several Olympic athletes who have labelled Australia’s funding model as being “broken”.

Not only this, but the launch of the Australian Government’s Sport 2030 plan will also aim to reshape the national sporting body for the better, creating a slightly uncertain future for the sector in the future. But what does this mean, and how will it impact on those interested investing in a sports business?

What is the Government’s Sport 2030 Plan?

At the heart of this ambitious plan is a new-look Sports Australia body, which will collaborate with the creative community platform ‘Move It’.

These parties will combine to promote sport and athletic activity across the length and breadth of the country, while the underlying aim is to make Australia the most active sporting nation in the world (if it isn’t already).

The plan is underpinned by four key pillars, namely participation, high performance, supporting integrity and the strengthening of the wider sporting industry.

So while the campaign will lead with its desire to encourage greater participation in sports and improve the overall health of citizens (more than half of all Aussies lead what’s considered to be a sedentary lifestyle), it will also focus on improving existing levels of sportsmanship and investment at the elite end of the spectrum.

By aiming to expand the sporting industry as a whole, the new plan will also create a number of exciting commercial opportunities for startups throughout Australia.

What About Investors? Should They Strike While the Iron is Hot?

The latter point will be of particular interest to investors, as there may soon be a number of opportunities to back sports tech startups and particularly those whose products are aimed at helping customers to become more active.

Aside from the theoretical opportunities created by the Government’s Sport 2030 plan, investors should also consider the existing appetite for backing sports ventures. Interestingly, there were three startup accelerators in Australia that received a combined investment of $13.45 million from the Andrews Labour government, one of which was the international brand Techstars.

This accelerator will establish its own Australian SportsTech program and manage this over the course of the next two years, during which time its aim is to support 20 independent startups.

This represents quite a commitment, and one that underlines the growth potential of sports businesses in the current climate and opportunity for investors.

The ‘Move It’ marketing effort will also drive greater awareness around the nation’s sporting industry, creating interest among a number of customers and commercial gaps in the market that startups will aim to fill.

So, even though the plan will be primarily focused on creating greater levels of physical activity, it will create momentum in the sports market and a significant opportunity for investors to capitalise.

The Last Word

With these points in mind, there’s no doubt that now may represent the ideal time to get in on the ground level and invest in a sports business in Australia.

Even for investors who are concerned about integrity and ethics under the new Sport 2030 plan, there are experts in sports law practice who can help them to develop profitable and sustainable commercial partnerships.

Given this and the cultural importance of sport in Australia, investors may be inclined to act now before the market becomes saturated with new startups and ideas.