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ASTN’s Open Innovation Challenge reimagines fan engagement for Melbourne Renegades

  • Written by Business Daily Media

The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) and the Melbourne Renegades have today announced that Sparkup Studios has been selected as the winner of its “Pitch to the Renegades” Open Innovation Challenge. The Challenge gave sportstech startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the Melbourne Renegades as part of a new Open Innovation Pathway pilot program facilitated by ASTN. 

The ‘Pitch to the Renegades’ concept was established to help uncover and promote the next generation of game day, fan engagement, commercial and community engagement innovations. 

The Renegades identified three business challenges and worked closely with ASTN to source start-ups that could help address those challenges. ASTN and the Renegades had 25 start-ups apply for the Program and 14 were selected to pitch their ideas.

“One of our biggest objectives for this WBBL and BBL season is to get more people back to our games and engage with supporters in the stadium. However it is also vital that we can continue to connect with our fans outside of our matchdays and in the off-season to ensure we are building on the passion and loyalty they have towards the Renegades,” said Felicity George, Head of Brand, Marketing and Fan Engagement.

Sparkup Studios was selected for its SportzFan solution – helping sports organisations to drive better engagement and commercial outcomes through innovative gamified technology and provide fans with an enriched experience that rewards them for their attention.

“SportzFan is a fan token platform that facilitates year-round engagement. The solution will make it simple for fans to engage with us and reward them for doing so. We are looking forward to implementing the Sportzfan solution for the upcoming BBL season, and seeing how we can continue to build on the platform to engage with fans through a new channel,” added George.

Luke Santamaria, Co Founder, Sparkup Studios says he is honoured to be selected as the winner of the Open Innovation Challenge.

“Partnering with the Renegades to help enhance the fan experience across the season and beyond presents a great opportunity for everyone involved. To do this in collaboration with such an innovative and forward-thinking organisation like the Renegades is very exciting. And thank you to the ASTN team who made the entire process very seamless and efficient," said Santamaria.

Martin Schlegel, Chair of the ASTN and Craig Hill, SportsTech Start-up Advisor and Industry Analyst, from the ASTN helped to facilitate the Open Innovation Challenge with the Renegades.

“The quality of the applications we received was excellent. They offered a diverse range of solutions, and the Renegades are likely to speak to several of the other applicants about around how other technologies may be integrated to address other business challenges in the future,” said Hill.

“Our new Open Innovation Program is a customised program that allows us to connect sports leagues, federations, clubs and corporates with start-ups in our network, helping them to facilitate new ideas and innovations to address business challenges like we have with the Renegades,” said Hill.

“ASTN supported the Renegades through the whole process, right from understanding our challenges, to helping identify, select and engage the startups and now through the deployment and implementation process. This has been a great opportunity for us to continue to push the boundaries and generate new ideas,” added George. 

For more information on ASTN’s Open Innovation program visit https://www.astn.com.au/open-innovation  

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