AUSTRALIA's 1.4 million sole traders face dire circumstances due to COVID-19 according to Fitness Australia CEO, Barrie Elvish, whose organisation represents more than 10,000 fitness industry sole traders.
He is calling on the Federal Government to provide more financial support and assistance to this business sector, claiming not enough was being done to ensure they can survive the current environment.
“In Australia, more than 62 percent of small businesses are sole traders and it appears to date the government has provided no means of financial support to these hard-working Australians,” Mr Elvish said.
“Small business is at the core of the Australian economy employing more than 2.2 million people and we are already starting to see businesses really struggling and don’t know how long they can continue to survive.
“We are calling on the Australian Government to provide financial support and assistance to sole traders, casual employees and small business, many of whom proudly operate in the fitness industry," he said.
“Already the sole traders in our member network, many of whom operate as personal trainers, have seen a sharp drop in their clients due to travel restrictions, social-distancing and self-isolation.
"While we applaud and fully support the government on their recommended health and safety measures, nothing is being done to support this section of the business community that is greatly impacted,” Mr Elvish said.
In addition to advocating for more financial support for sole traders, Fitness Australia is also urging the government to consider gyms an essential service.
“Exercise is imperative to our mental health and wellbeing – gyms need to stay open to allow people to continue their regular exercise. Protecting and managing mental health during this uncertain and concerning time is essential," Mr Elvish said.
“With the strict hygiene, health and safety measures in place, gyms can stay open. We are actively working with our members every day to ensure government laws and guidelines are being met, while also providing additional recommendation on how facilities can continue do more to ensure the safest possible environment to exercise.”
VARCIS Capital recently launched what it labels the world’s first Asia-focused sports technology investment and advisory house.
Headquartered in Hong Kong and with imminent leadership announcements to be made in China and Australia, Varcis has a vision to become the world’s most important sports technology and human performance platform in Asia.
Varcis Capital founder and managing partner Phillip King said the company was founded on the core belief that Asia’s 4.7 billion people (62% of the world’s population) would have a big role to play in the future intersection of sports, fitness, health, wellness and technology.
“Varcis Capital and our partners are committed to the intersection of sports and technology in Asia – specifically sport, fitness, health, medical, wellness, eSports and human performance –making direct investments and transaction advice to companies,” Mr King said.
“The first problem with the global landscape is the majority of venture capital for the sports technology industry is American centric which represents only 5 percent of the world’s human population – Asia has 62 percent of the world’s population (4.7 billion people) and is home to fastest-markets growing at 20 percent CAGR at the intersection of sports, fitness, health, wellness and technology.
“The second problem is that Asia’s best entrepreneurs need more local investment, capital markets expertise and integrated ecosystems to accelerate faster and work more closely with Asia sports clients,” Mr King said.
“Varcis Capital and its partners aim to co-create an open end-to-end ecosystem for sports technology that seamlessly connects, celebrates, supports and turbo-charges the best and brightest sports technology and human performance across 48 countries in the Asia region.”
Mr King said Varcis Capital had created a world-class leadership team, combining elite sports experience, investment management and brand licensing, venture growth research and transaction advice in Asia.
“The Varcis Investment Division will write ‘seed’ and ‘Series A’ cheques of between US$500,000 and $5 million and the Varcis Transactional Team will provide expertise – from M&A, IPO and due diligence advice, technical expertise and brand distribution licencing – to fast-track companies looking to expand, create and monetize sports in Asia,” he said.
According to Mr King, the Varcis global partner network has access to “tens of thousands of sports teams, leagues and organisations in Asia and internationally – as well as the world’s leading sports entrepreneurs and exciting young companies”.
The company’s main geographic focus markets include China, Australia, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines and Korea and all 48 countries across the Asia region, while Varcis is establishing physical offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Melbourne in 2020.
ROY MORGAN has launched the Genome Audience Planner in alliance with TEG Analytics as a ‘next generation sponsorship planning and optimisation platform’.
The platform is expected to change the way advertisers in Australia identify, reach and measure new sponsorship opportunities across the live sport and entertainment sector.
According to Roy Morgan research, the Australian media rights and sponsorship sector is worth more than $4 billion a year. However, Roy Morgan chief digital officer Howard Seccombe said as an increasingly significant marketing and media channel, event sponsorship lagged behind the audience science of other media.
“As a single initiative, the Genome Audience Planner will not only validate the strength of this market, but accelerate the introduction of new brand dollars into the event sector,” Mr Seccombe said.
“For the first time this new platform will enable advertises to directly connect their target audiences with live events to build their sponsorship strategy, understand gaps and performance."
Genome Audience Planner brings together TEG ’s extensive audience and live ticketing data of more than 14 million Australians with Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s largest and most comprehensive consumer data set for media and channel planning. This combination on the platform will help profile the brand preferences and consumer choices of live audiences across the arts, entertainment and live sports sectors.
“The partnership with Roy Morgan points to the exciting future direction of data analytics in the sport and entertainment sector,” Geoff Jones, the CEO of TEG, the parent company of TEG Analytics said.
“It is about intelligent collaboration that combines the power of leading players. That is exactly what we have achieved with the partnership between TEG Analytics and Roy Morgan.”
By defining a particular fan base, product preference or behaviour, lifestyle or demographic, Genome Audience Planner prioritises the products or services fans prefer, or events which are best suited to a particular target audience such as a new car buyer.
For the first time, Mr Secfcombe said, the live entertainment sector can now be defined as a measurable ‘media channel’ consistent with other media like television, digital or outdoor, enabling live entertainment to play a role inside a broader advertising strategy.
Advertisers will be able to optimise sponsorship budgets across paid, owned and earned media, identify gaps and deepen consumer engagement and shape customer experiences.
“Genome Audience Planner provides a huge set of insights into the live economy – the who, what and where of fans and participants alike,” TEG Analytics and Insights general manager Andrew Reid said. “It allows sponsors and event owners the chance to build their own audience profiles and create more value for the medium.”
TEG lays claim to being Asia Pacific’s leading ticketing, live entertainment and data analytics company. TEG includes Ticketek, TEG Live, TEG Dainty, TEG Analytics, TEG Insights, TEG Digital, Softix, Qudos Bank Arena, Eventopia, Life Like Touring, The Entertainment Store, Brickman Exhibitions and TEG Asia.