Exclusive: Hockey Australia CEO’s Strategy Breakdown
In an exclusive interview with Ministry of Sport for the ‘Brand Break’ video interview series, Hockey Australia CEO, David Pryles, discussed the organisation’s new live-streaming platform, LIVEHockey, and how it aims to give back to the community.
Following the announcement of the platform, which is powered by Cluch.tv, Pryles, who recently began as the new Hockey Australia CEO, said the business model and OTT platform, which Cluch provides, supports Hockey Australia’s vision.
“Having the opportunity for our whole community, both playing and fans to be able to watch everything from premier league up to national champs and hopefully we’ll have some international matches, really ticked our box,” Pryles told Ministry of Sport.
Commenting on current and future platforms, Pryles added: “It’s just the OTT platform that you can access on any web browser, we’re spending this year on looking at ways to further engage with the community.”
“Whether that be an app to drive engagement, that’s the work we’ll do this year, but this is an awesome start and I’m really proud of all the work our team has done here at Hockey Australia, our member associations and member states, who are a huge part of this, should get a lot of recognition,” he said.
On the investment in LIVEHockey, reinvestment into the sport and potential partners, Pryles said there will be over 1,000 hours of live hockey, which gives current and potential partners an opportunity to engage with the hockey community.
“We’ve got a few announcements coming out shortly on new commercial partners which is great, and they’ve seen the vision these platforms can bring,” Pryles said.
“It’s another huge asset that we can take to market and give brands an opportunity to get to the hockey public.
“I’m not saying we’ll do it, but we’ll investigate the merits of an app, aggregating our content on the app and look at other ways to partner, whether it’s with Fox Sports, Kayo and/or other networks.
“There’s also other engagement tools with fantasy and tipping, we have a lot of content all the way from what you’ll see on Cluch this year, from a grassroots perspective through to national champs, then we have Hockey One which is really important to the sport, as well as our international game, so we’ll spend this year seeing how we can take it further,” he said.
Revealing the next steps of growth for the organisation, Pryles said the support from state level hockey organisation will play a crucial role.
“What I can say is, in hockey we’re in a very fortunate position as a national sporting organisation to have a very strong relationships with all our state bodies, who have not only bought into it from a monetary perspective, but also from engagement levels and showing a collegiate nature within the sport,” Pryles said.
“We can only control what we can control, our relationships are strong, we’re going in the same direction and we want to do something different for the hockey community, in my opinion this is just the tip of the iceberg.
“I think there’s so much more that we can do, this is a start, we now need to look at other ways to engage our hockey public, whether it’s through fantasy or looking at Hockey One and how we take that to market and working with broadcasters like Fox Sports and Kayo.
“As a CEO two months in, I’m really excited that there’s so much more growth that we can do and take this further,” he said.
Pryles also commented on LIVEHockey featuring grass-roots events and the potential to grow the sport, saying it can definitely grow the sport, but it’s also a way to give back to the community.
“It can be used for scouting, high-performance and all the way through to just following your mates,” Pryles said.
“The premier leagues around all the states are so competitive and there’s huge amounts of engagement, that’s the best thing about being at a national sporting organisation and a bigger one like hockey, where we have 95,000 members that are engaged within the product and sport 24/7, 365 days of the year,” he told Ministry of Sport.