Date: April 08, 2013
Author: Senator the Hon Kate Lundy

Report shows digital world shaping sporting megatrends

Senator the Hon Kate LundyMinister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation Social media and new media have been identified as major influences in the way Australians participate in sport in a new report released today by the Minister for Sport Kate Lundy. The report titled The Future of Australian Sport: Megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades was commissioned by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), and conducted by the CSIRO, and identified six megatrends likely to shape sport over the next 30 years. Senator Lundy joined with Skate Australia and some talented skateboarders at the Waterloo Skatepark in Sydney to launch the report and recognise the changing face of sport. Technology is changing so many parts of our society and sport is not immune, Senator Lundy said. This Megatrends report shows there are exciting opportunities for organised sport to take advantage of technology to grow their member base and see more Australians participate in sport. The fitness sector is already a strong user of social media to build community links and to get more people into gyms and personal training. We re also seeing fitness apps developed to make personal training more interactive. While sport has innovated in lots of different ways in the past, this report is telling us that there is a lot more sport can learn about how to use technology from industries like the fitness industry. The massive growth in Smartphone use is also opening up new ways for people to get sport results, which offers lots of opportunities for sports that can t get their results into mainstream media. This report also tells us that the enormous growth in popularity of sports like skateboarding and kiteboarding is being fuelled by these sports developing their own incredibly popular websites and TV stations devoted to extreme sports. This is a great example of sports innovating to attract new members and keep existing members coming back for more. The six megatrends identified by Australia&aposs peak science agency, which partnered with the ASC to develop the report, include:

  • A Perfect Fit shows sport is being tailored to meet personal needs, including the use of online tools, to fit into busy lifestyles with health a major driver.
  • From Extreme to Mainstream demonstrates lifestyle, adventure and alternative sports are becoming popular with younger Australians.
  • More than Sport reveals there is an increased focus on the broader benefits, including crime prevention and social inclusiveness, of sport.
  • Everybody s Game identifies that the types of sports Aussies are likely to play will change as demographic shifts, including changing cultural landscapes, take effect.
  • New Wealth, New Talent highlights new opportunities and threats to Australia s sporting prowess with increasing wealth in Asian countries.
  • Tracksuits to Business Suits states that market forces are likely to exert greater pressure on sporting organisations in the future, including towards more formal governing structures.
With annual household spending on sport reaching $8.4 billion, Senator Lundy said the report would be an important tool for Australian sports system to consider the future direction of Australian sport. Over the years, sports have innovated in lots of different ways. We ve seen the development of the likes of Auskick, Hot Shots tennis and junior rugby league competitions to help kids enjoy these sports at a young age, to the use of new camera angles, HD TV and multi-channelling that have revolutionised how Australians enjoy sport at home. The Future of Australian Sport report is being released in the lead-up to the Our Sporting Future Conference, which is being held in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday, and will see important issues and opportunities for the Australian sports system discussed by the leaders of Australian sport. Copies of the report can be viewed here –