Sports Business

How the Women in Sport and Gaming Group is evening the score

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

A WOMEN IN SPORT and Gaming Group, set up by LiveScore Group’s general counsel member, Rani Wynn, is having a big impact.

Ms Wynn said there remained a big gender gap in the sport and gaming industry. She put it 70:30 which means women are still in the minority.

Ms Wynn said she had set up the Women in Sport and Gaming Group when she returned from maternity leave.

“I wanted to create a bond, or more of a sense of belonging with other women across our business,” Ms Wynn told Talking Business.

“We’re a very disparate business. There’s lots of offices across Europe and also Africa and because there was quite a low percentage of women that I work with day-to-day, and get to see on a day-to-day basis, I wanted to bring us all together.” 

She said that the group was broad with all different levels of seniority across the business.

“It’s all different types of women and different career trajectories and different stories which is really great because you’ve got thought diversity in each of the rooms whenever we get together,” Ms Wynn said.

Great impact on the business

Since the group had formed in September 2023, it had “a great impact on the business” she said.

The group had worked hard with the company’s people team and the board and had worked closely with HR to produce a number of different initiatives. These included family packages, fertility, menopause and agnostic job descriptions to get more women into the leadership funnel. The numbers have shifted nine percentage points in terms of ‘top of funnel applications’ in the last year.

This was attracting more women to LiveScore.

“I think just having this collective group of women that network, that have great social activities is also an attractive prospect for women joining the business,” Ms Wynn said.

“Personally, I think it has made LiveScore a more attractive employer and hopefully a leader in this space.”

Ms Wynn said LiveScore was now performing better than its competitors in terms of women viewing the company’s sites.

She said the group had helped to foster safety across the business.

She said people, including those from minority backgrounds, were seeing it as a safe place to come up with ideas and suggest things.

Opens the door for positive action

This had flowed into other parts of the business and there were now more employee resource groups. These included working parents and carers resource groups.

There is also a Pride resource group, she said. That group has done a lot of work with HR as well and LiveScore now has a transgender policy.

“We do have some transgender staff members and it’s a real safety culture across the whole company,” Ms Wynn said.

“We recognise that thought diversity, different perspectives are critical to good business. We think that everyone should be their true self at work and we want to embrace that.”

She hoped other companies in the industry would be on a similar journey.

Ms Wynn said it was really important to have supportive management. It was critical for the board and CEO to be on board.

“I do think it’s important to have the support of your executives and HR.”


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at

QUT teams with MIT in weeklong event to ‘design a 2032 Brisbane Olympics accessible for all’

A WEEK-LONG Queensland University of Technology (QUT) challenge, starting today, will tackle how to ensure transport and infrastructure around the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games goes beyond the concept of flying taxis to make the event accessible to all.

A QUT Entrepreneurship initiative, MBA students from QUT, MIT Sloan School of Management and the University of Auckland will work together on a ‘Mobility Collaboration Sprint’ which will include a visit to the planned Northshore Olympic Village site, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub and the QUT BMW Design Academy

They will be led by Associate Professor Glen Murphy and guided by experts such as Prof.  Alexander Paz, QUT Transport and Main Roads Chair, Santiago Valasquez, 2022 Churchill Fellow and founder of EyeSyght and Hailos, and Prof. Michael Milford, director of the QUT Centre for Robotics, before presenting their pitches at the end of the week.

QUT’s pro vice-chancellor for entrepreneurship, Prof.  Rowena Barrett said a highlight of the week would be a Wednesday evening panel discussion – ‘Mobility 2032: Fast Tracks and Future Hacks’.  

“It’s all very well to consider flying taxis and yes, the cross-river rail will be critical in moving people about the city, but we want to explore what else is realistically possible for all to be able to seamlessly live in Brisbane and participate in the Olympics and Paralympics with ease,” Prof. Barrett said. 

“With 2032 rapidly approaching, this is an opportunity to make Brisbane a more liveable city for all. Infrastructure and transport innovation are the key.”

The keynote speaker for Wednesday night will be Matthew Ames, the board chair for the Hear and Say organisation, a quadruple amputee who shares his experience to inspire positive attitudes towards adversity and disability. 

He will be followed by panellists including Jenny Larios Berlin the entrepreneur in residence at the MIT Martin Trust Centre for MIT Entrepreneurship. She is the co-founder of Optimus Ride, an MIT spinout aimed at bringing shared, electric, and autonomous mobility solutions in a safe and practical way to communities. 

Prof. Gjoko Muratovski, the director of the Digital Futures Hub and Deakin University industry professor, will also be present, along with QUT’s Prof. Michael Milford, whose research covers robotics, neuroscience, computer vision and autonomous vehicles. 

The event, to be emceed by journalist, author, and business advisor David Fagan, will also see three students from Bundaberg State High School present a smart mobility solution that won them the 2023 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Award, which is supported by a QUT-Bundaberg memorandum of understanding.

“The students – Cadence Taylor, Aida Peterson and Nicole Seesink – formed a team called Hard Headz and have come up with a technology solution using sensors to address the problem of head injuries inflicted on riders of scooters when helmets are not worn,” Prof. Barrett said. 

MIT Sloan School of Management and QUT entered a multi-year strategic collaboration in 2019 focused on academic exchange, a unique innovation immersion program for QUT MBA and EMBA students, and engagement of QUT’s entrepreneurial students in some MIT programs.

The collaboration is directed by MIT Sloan Global Programs


New Zealand Rugby’s digital transformation kicked on by SAP

NEW ZEALAND Rugby (NZR) has announced a major multi-year partnership with SAP to power and accelerate the rugby union’s digital transformation across all areas of its business.

SAP, which is NZR’s first major technology partner, becomes an Official Premium Global Partner, Official Technology Partner and the Official Cloud Software Partner to the Teams in Black, including the All Blacks and Black Ferns.

The two organisations will collaborate to identify and implement innovative ‘cloud’ solutions from SAP and connect data across key areas of the business to provide a competitive advantage on and off the field for the ‘teams in black’ and NZR’s wider rugby ecosystem.

The partnership will see NZR leverage SAP solutions and co-innovate across four key areas including creating an integrated management system to run and enhance its operations; elevating the fan experience; enabling the organisation’s sustainability goals; and exploring how the use of data and solutions can support team performance. 

“NZR is undertaking a large digital transformation which really needs the support and expertise of a global technology organisation to help us achieve our vision of becoming the most technologically advanced rugby union in the world,” NZR chief information and technology officer, Angela Nash said.

“SAP is at the forefront of digital enablement globally and have the tools to help us build a team of experts that not only share our vision but are world class in their skills and capabilities.

“It is great to have them on board as our first technology partner, working with NZR across all key platforms to review, enhance and enable us to provide technology systems that ensure we are the best both on and off the field,” Ms Nash said.

SAP executive board member for customer success, Scott Russell said, “New Zealand Rugby has set an ambitious goal of becoming the most technologically advanced rugby union in the world. As the organisation’s first-ever technology partner, SAP can help NZR meet this goal by driving digital transformation across all areas of the business and introducing game-changing technologies that will help NZR teams run at their best – and win.”

SAP and NZR will also place emphasis on developing additional programs and initiatives that promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion.

Through the partnership, SAP will receive various rights and benefits including branding and signage in-stadium and on-field for NZR managed matches, branding across all digital platforms, player appearances and exclusive team and player experiences.

NZR’s Teams in Black are the All Blacks, Black Ferns, All Blacks Sevens, Black Ferns Sevens, Māori All Blacks, All Blacks XV and All Blacks Under-20.


        Organisational Operations: Using a digital hub of SAP solutions to create interconnected systems will allow NZR to leverage the power of its off-field systems and data to better support on-field teams.

        Team Performance: By implementing SAP SuccessFactors and establishing a single source of HR data, NZR intends to elevate the employee experience and empower employees to achieve their full potential.

        Fan Experience: Create new ways to connect and engage with NZR’s local and global fan base while also tapping into new technologies and platforms that enable fans to get closer to their favourite teams and players. 

        Sustainability: Leverage digital solutions and capabilities that enable NZR to holistically manage its sustainability performance, while supporting NZR’s broader Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Strategy where needed.



Cricket Australia uses Microsoft Viva ‘data power’ to improve employee experiences – and the game itself

CRICKET Australia has known for a long time that delivering a great cricket experience for players and fans is inextricably linked to ensuring the wellbeing of its staff.

Looking for better ways to do that – and measure results – Cricket Australia has turned to Microsoft Viva Insights to help empower employees to take ‘a moment for mindfulness’ to prevent burnout.

While the Australian public sees cricket come to the fore in summer – with big events such as the Boxing Day Test drawing huge public attention – for those working behind the scenes to bring the game to life locally and overseas, cricket runs all year round. This can prove challenging to many staff who have to meet high expectations on a constant basis. 

According to Cricket Australia senior client services manager, Emma Cashen, in delivering a great experience for players and fans, staff have to remain passionate about what they do.

“So, our employee experience at all levels and in all interactions nationally is really important to us,” Ms Cashen said. “It’s about putting our employees first to deliver the best outcomes.”

Like all professional sports, COVID-19 had a big impact on how cricket was played. Border closures and venue restrictions resulted in a lot of matches being rescheduled or cancelled.

Cricket Australia staff could not travel as often as they used to, or work from headquarters, and the organisation was also forced to reduce its headcount.

While conducting quarterly employee engagement surveys during the pandemic, Cricket Australia found that all of this was taking a toll on staff.

“Quite often, people feel tired and overworked, and the commute to and from the office that no longer exists had blurred the lines between their home life and their work life,” Ms Cashen said. “It was this tired workforce that was potentially going into a planning season and feeling under-resourced.

“What the surveys indicated was that the workforce had their busy periods at different times of the year. Some were busy during a cricket season, others were busy in what is [traditionally] the off-season.

“We wanted to better understand what groups were going to be impacted at what point during the year. So, it was about how we use data from our engagement surveys to make sure we’re putting an action plan in place to try and protect those employees from those situations.”

A new partnership at the crease

Cricket Australia teamed up with Microsoft partner Engage Squared in September 2021 to deploy Viva Insights, a module of the employee experience platform Microsoft Viva.

Powered by Microsoft Office 365 and experienced through Microsoft Teams – which Cricket Australia was already using – Viva Insights enabled the organisation to identify groups of unidentified people who were feeling overworked and were working longer hours. 

“Interestingly, our data shows that it’s our senior managers and above who were working longer hours and potentially looking to burn out,” Ms Cashen said. “With this insight we can encourage them to take their own advice and take breaks where they can.

“What we learned is to lead by example and, when they’re taking leave or switching off to do that, it also empowers their staff to do the same. We’ve seen a big shift in them going offline and delegating somebody else to be acting in their role.”

Cricket Australia is also looking to educate staff on how to view their insights at individual and team levels, and then take action based on the data-driven recommendations from Viva Insights.

“What we’re finding is people are always available just because we’re working flexibly at any time of the day. This means people don’t know that boundary anymore, so we want to help them create those boundaries at an individual level,” Ms Cashen said.

“Getting a reminder to take a moment and really have that mindfulness opportunity within Viva Insights is amazing to see. As an organisation, we’re supportive of people taking a moment.

“I couldn’t recommend the Virtual Commute feature more, because it’s so easy to blur your day, and this allows you to disconnect.”

Recognising team play

Ms Cashen said the Praise feature was also popular among Cricket Australia employees. They used it to recognise the contributions of co-workers, either in a private chat or a Teams channel conversation.

Looking forward, the organisation wants to integrate its engagement survey results, which are currently run through Culture Amp, into Viva Insights.

“The idea then is we can really start to see the correlation between how people are behaving on a regular basis and the end result of our engagement surveys. We can see if there are any similarities as we go into our action plans,” Ms Cashen said.

Cricket Australia will also focus on broadening the insights to the state cricket associations to deploy Viva Insights so that it can integrate their data and insights, giving “an Australian cricket-wide view rather than a Cricket Australia-only view”.

“I can see some of the state associations jumping on board really quickly,” Ms Cashen said. “They’ve got a big focus on their data as well for employee experience, and insights and employee engagement are part of their strategy planning.”

Adding more Viva modules to the line-up

Cricket Australia plans to deploy other modules as part of the Viva suite, such as Viva Connections and Viva Learning, to further enhance the employee experience.

“Viva Learning would be an easy one to roll out next if we wanted to. We have LinkedIn Learning, which we can embed in Viva Learning,” Ms Cashen said.

“But I think Viva Connections is going to be the biggest game changer for us. We have an intranet and an enterprise social media platform in place however they are standalone and they won’t work in the flow of your work.

“Bringing them into Connections makes total sense. It gives the organisation the ability to have a really clear communication channel and reach their staff when they need to.”

Ms Cashen said Cricket Australia was also keen to explore how it could leverage the Viva suite and Teams to bring everything together in a central location.

“We’ve got a high adoption rate for Teams, so it makes sense to bring everything into that platform and really centralise all other experiences,” she said.


Fitness Australia moves step closer to 'allied health' with Bupa arrangement 

IN A MAJOR step forward in the fitness industry’s alignment with 'allied health', Fitness Australia has today announced a milestone provider arrangement with health fund provider, Bupa, which will allow eligible health fund customers on selected products to claim towards the cost of gym and personal training fees.

There will be annual limits on claims, which will become available when a person's exercise program is designed to address or improve a specific diagnosed health or medical condition -- for example, diabetes -- and their health professional recommends exercise. 

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said the arrangement with Bupa would enable personal trainers and businesses who are registered with Fitness Australia to become a Bupa Recognised Provider, elevating their position as a vital health and fitness professional. 

“Today’s announcement is a huge step forward for our industry. Over the past 12 to 18 months, we have been working hard to strengthen the industry’s credibility and become more aligned as an allied health service provider,” Mr Elvish said.  

“During the pandemic, the importance of regular exercise and access to a personal trainer or gym has been consistently communicated by governments, health professionals, fitness experts and our industry. The role physical activity has not only on mental health and wellbeing, but also assisting with lifestyle related diseases and conditions, cannot be underestimated. 

“The provider arrangement with Bupa will see all Fitness Australia registered businesses and AusREPs who meet Bupa’s requirements become Bupa Recognised Providers, meaning gym members and PT clients who meet their Bupa’s eligibility requirements can claim a benefit toward the cost of their training or membership with those providers.” 

Bupa corporate CVP manager, Erin Fullarton said the new arrangement was a value-add for the industry and an initiative that will be well received by customers. 

“We’re delighted about introducing these new value-adds for personal training and gym memberships to our Corporate Extras product. We know this will resonate really well with our customers,” Ms Fullarton said. 

For Bupa members to claim a benefit towards their gym or personal training, a health professional such as a GP, medical specialist or exercise physiologist must complete and sign a Health Management Gym and PT Medical Form on the Bupa member’s behalf.  

Bupa will then pay benefits to its customers on eligible products towards the service delivered by  Bupa-recognised gyms and personal training providers, subject to yearly limits, waiting periods, fund and policy rules. 

Personal trainers who have full membership with Fitness Australia will need to get in touch with Fitness Australia to become registered as a Bupa Recognised Provider.

Gyms and fitness facilities registered with Fitness Australia will automatically become a Bupa Recognised Provider provided that they meet Bupa’s recognition criteria, available online at For Providers of Other Services - Bupa.  

Gym and personal training benefits currently only apply to selected Bupa products. Bupa customers can check their eligibility to claim through MyBupa. 

Fitness Australia information:

Bupa customer information:

Personal trainers information:



Brisbane Bullets on target with Supply Aus

THE Brisbane Bullets National Basketball League club has announced a new two-year partnership with Indigenous-owned company Supply Aus.

“We are excited to welcome Supply Aus to the Bullets family,” Brisbane Bullets CEO Peter McLennan said.

“CEO Adam Williams and the team at Supply Aus have enjoyed incredible growth and we are looking forward to working with them to continue that journey.

“It is a challenging time with so many moving pieces. Our focus and commitment to all of our partners has only increased during this time. Our clear goals are to align with our partners to continue their business growth and I’m excited to see where our new partnership with Supply Aus will take us,” Mr McLennan said.  

“Last season the NBL staged its inaugural Indigenous Round and has established a working group to formulate a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

“As a club we are very supportive of this program and are excited to have added Tamuri Wigness to our roster for this season. Tamuri is a proud young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and a player with an exciting future.

“He joins training player Verle Williams Jr; a proud Yuggera man, which is the country the Bullets play on.”  

Supply Aus is a 100 percent Indigenous owned company that delivers a range of high-quality industry leading products and services including personal protective equipment, workwear, uniform, medical consumables, office supplies and coffee.

Supply Aus CEO Adam Williams, a proud Wiradjuri man, said sponsoring the Brisbane Bullets was an exciting opportunity to support the team while celebrating the success of Indigenous business in the sport’s arena.

“We love how the team has engaged talented Indigenous players on their roster, and we look forward to seeing the ongoing growth and acceptance of diversity,” Mr Williams said.

“This sponsorship represents Supply Aus’ growth and how Indigenous business is needed and valued in Australia. We hope to inspire other Indigenous businesses in their journey and how they can be successful and enjoy exposure at a national level.”

Mr Williams said Supply Aus was driven by a collective commitment to social investment and empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people towards self-determination.

Supply Aus has joined the Brisbane Bullets as a major support partner and the logo will be displayed on the back of the Bullets’ playing shorts during all games of the next two Hungry Jack’s NBL seasons.

Pictured at the sponsorship announcement are (from left) Supply Aus CEO Adam Williams, Brisbane Bullets player Tamuri Wigness and Brisbane Bullets CEO Peter McLennan. 



Table Tennis Corporate Cup to relaunch in November

AFTER A NINE month hiatus, Table Tennis Australia (TTA) is relauncing its corporate wellness program, the Table Tennis Corporate Cup.

The Table Tennis Corporate Cup was developed for businesses and organisations across the country to engage employees, build employee communication while also providing strong corporate health and wellbeing benefits. 

The Corporate Cup was initially launched in 2019 and garnered immediate success with more than 250 companies in Sydney and Melbourne registering their interest upon launch.  More than 1000 participants took part in the events, and almost 2,500 table tennis matches were recorded through TTA’s results software in two weeks.

While more than 50 companies, including Google and PwC had signed up in March for the first round of this year’s Cup, the event came to a halt when Covid-19 forced community sports and workplaces to put operations on hold.

With restrictions easing off in most parts of Australia, Table Tennis Australia has worked hard to adapt the program to ensure its safety, and TTA president Graham Symonhas said he was "excited to spread the benefits of the sport to corporate companies once again".

“There’s no doubt that this year has been challenging for everyone, including corporate workers who have had to find new ways to connect with their colleagues, while battling isolation in their homes,” Mr Symons said. 

“We hope the Table Tennis Corporate Cup will help colleagues celebrate reconnecting with each other safely, while also having fun with a bit of friendly rivalry.”

Echoing the words of Mr Symons, TTA Corporate Cup program manager Patrick Wuertz said, “We listened closely to our corporate community and we’re proud to present a fresh and easy to use program, so companies can engage with their staff, and build great corporate culture within their organisations.

“Now more than ever, it’s time for businesses to engage with their teams and boost a positive work culture, and there is no better way to do this than through a social but fierce ping pong match.

“We had nearly 400 participants sign up to our first round at the beginning of the year, and we’re looking forward to seeing the Table Tennis Corporate Cup spread the physical and social benefits to more people as corporate communities come together again.”

Table Tennis Australia is urging companies to sign up now, ahead of the finals in Adelaide and Brisbane later this year. TTA will also be introducing a Corporate Cup event in Darwin, with mainly SMEs participating.

In addition, TTA will host a free online event with corporate speakers. All events will take place under a strict COVID Safe plan taking local restrictions and requirements into consideration.

Table Tennis Corporate Cup Finals dates:

  • Brisbane Corporate Cup Final – November 6
  • Adelaide Corporate Cup Final – November 30
  • Darwin Table Tennis Corporate Cup Round – October 19 - November 22
  • Live webinar – November 10

Table Tennis Corporate Cup is on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.




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