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Kicking goals at the 2024 SportNXT conference

Deakin University student Annabelle Brown recently had the opportunity to attend the 2024 SportNXT conference. SportNXT is a summit hosted annually in Melbourne that gathers global leaders from all sectors of the sports industry to share, collaborate, and connect.

The conference ran for two days, with numerous panels and keynote speakers from leading organisations who addressed themes that explored the future of the sport industry. Some standout conversations included; fan engagement, diversity, reinvention of fan experiences, the media rights landscape shifts, volunteerism, AI, and the commercialisation of women’s sports.

Her top three takeaways from the conference were:

Attention and awareness drive impact

The rise of the new generation of sports fans has created a shift in how people engage with sports. This trend has sparked a movement advocating for an increased number of touchpoints to better accommodate these preferences. Connections and emotions power sport. Therefore, prioritising accessible content that authentically channels storytelling is paramount in “fighting for relevance, as sporting organisations are all competing for people’s leisure time”.

Technology is an enabler of change

Regardless of the theme that was being unpacked technology was always brought into the equation. Krishna Bhagavathula from the NBA caused us to reflect that “the slowest pace of technology that each of us will ever experience is happening now” and the importance of leaning into that strategically to maximise your impact.

Mission and Impact + profit = the driving non negotiable.

Julie Uhrman the President and Co-founder of Angel City highlighted some key learnings driven by her entrepreneurial experience.

Firstly, ‘There is a price point for everybody, value the product’ – ensuring that boundaries are set so that the product is never devalued or discounted for what it is. This can be done by offering a range of experiences at different price points for various community members, ensuring that they feel connected.

“Every game is someone’s first game” – you must be constantly striving to understand how their experience can be elevated.

Lastly, “Partners should always be value-aligned” – when you lead with values that align with your community you want to make everyone happy.

However, it is important to be ok with living the values of the organisation and not always getting everyone on board when making tough decisions.

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