HomeFree ArticleExclusive: Lachy Wills Talks Sportstech With Sport’s Cutting Edge Podcast

Exclusive: Lachy Wills Talks Sportstech With Sport’s Cutting Edge Podcast

Exclusive: Lachy Wills Talks Sportstech With Sport’s Cutting Edge Podcast

Lachy Wills has kicked off season two of the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) podcast ‘Sport’s Cutting Edge’, where he brings the latest trends in sport news and technology to listeners on Spotify and Apple.

In an exclusive interview with the Ministry of Sport, Wills, who is the host of the new podcast, said Sport’s Cutting Edge looks at the technologies and innovations that enhance a wide selection of sports in Australia.

“The Olympic games captures our imagination every four years, the Commonwealth games in those off years,” Wills said.

“In Queensland and New South Wales, the religion is rugby league, in Victoria and the AFL states, Aussie rules football is king.

“Through the summer its cricket and then obviously we see netball, there’s just a powerhouse of sport.

“So, it’s how technology can influence, grow and enhance sport both on and off the field.

“We also want to shine a light on Aussies that are impacting the world of sports technology, celebrate what they’re doing and spread the word through the wider sports and tech community.

“We have this incredible opportunity in Australia to create a new powerhouse within our economy.

“The things that have driven our economy for so long, through evolution and growth, are now starting to move further and further away from where the future will be.

“Sportstech is something that can help Australia stand out on the world’s stage once again,” he said.

On the content that’s featured on the podcast, Wills said stories can be heard from grassroots to the elite.

“Simon Murphy, who is the chief entrepreneur in residence at the University of Melbourne just started a company called Trophie,” Wills said.

“Which is the perfect illustration of how technology helps grassroots communities, whether they’re out in the country, in the suburbs or inner city, to be able to use social media, and digital content and marketing to help create new revenue streams and connect with their community.

“Simon is a beautiful example of someone who’s passionate about local communities, has a technological nous and the ability to bring that all together in a product.

“You can also look at the upper echelon of sport, with the absolute elite, including Nathan Rothschild, from GTG Network, which is another Aussie start-up who is the world’s leader in fan engagement.

“They create the gamification and ability to engage fans through technology and immersive experiences,” he said.

On hearing the stories of his guests and his goals with Sport’s Cutting Edge, Wills said he’d love people in Australia to know an episode comes out every Monday, where they’re going to get the latest news in sports technology around the world and what the challenges were in creating the product.

“Australian business, Rosterfy, is an amazing story, which started in a spare bedroom, and now it’s one of world’s leaders in workforce management technology,” Wills said.

“Their first client was a mountain bike race in Cairns, and now their client list includes the Superbowl, 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and Expo 2020 in Dubai.

“There’s also two-time Netball world champion, former Australian captain, six-time Super Netball premiership player and head of female cricket in Victoria, Sharelle McMahon, who is a regular on the show and talks about how sport tech has changed and evolved from when she played.

“She also talks about how new tech is applied and the difference that can make for an athlete,” he said.

On why he started a sports technology podcast and his relationship with ASTN, Wills, said he’s lucky to a have a long association with the company.

“Former AFL athlete and founder of ASTN, James Demetrious, has always had a vision to see what’s ahead,” Wills said.

“When he founded ASTN, the sports tech industry was worth about US$200 million, now it’s worth US$1.2 billion.

“So, you see a billion dollars of growth across the past decade, in no small part to ASTN acting as an advocacy body for the industry, a source of great pooling of knowledge, resources and capital, helping Aussie innovators make their dreams come true, and contributing to the Australian sports tech landscape and economy.

“Along with ASTN, I’ve been involved with the Sports Tech World Series, which is a company that started in Melbourne, and prior to COVID-19, was walking the world stage as the largest sports tech global series, which has been held in several cities including Mumbai, Tokyo, London and Dallas, with this year’s event being in Brisbane.

“So, I’ve been involved in this space, and essentially, I started a conversation with ASTN about doing a podcast, which is readily accessible for people to listen to, in a short format and available every Monday, running for 45 minutes to an hour.

Wills also said the podcast adds to ASTN’s mission, by putting a voice to sports technology and gives the companies growing the industry a platform to share their stories.

“It’s about speaking to the existing sports tech community, celebrating people who are involved, and introducing people to this new world,” Wills said.

“It’s a relatively niche subject on the broad spectrum of what’s out there on the marketplace for people to consume, in terms of podcasts and various forms of media, so we want to spread the word,” he told Ministry of Sport.

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