Is off field success more important than winning or losing?


In evaluating the perceived success of a business, we often immediately make judgement on the product or service that the business produces and how that product is received by the market. Technology companies are judged by the functionality and aesthetic of their products; engineering companies by the buildings that they design; restaurants by the food they serve and sports teams by whether the team is winning or losing.

For sport’s in particular and the business of sports, this appraisal of success solely based on winning or losing has fascinated me. Sports performance is a completely volatile product, with fan scrutiny often more intense than any shareholder meeting. There aren’t many industries where the competition is actively week in and week out trying to physically prevent your pursuit of success!

It is no longer acceptable in this day and age for sports organisations to continue to view themselves as amateur organisations with volunteer staff. The business of sport is booming and the sporting landscape is as competitive as ever for funding, sponsorship and membership – to be successful you need to employ business methodologies off the field to pave the way for success on the field.

This is clearly outlined in the Australian Sports Commissions Report on Governance Reform in Sport where they cite a growing need for sports to move away from traditional ‘association’ models and move towards a corporation structure, or ‘unified model’. This move is essential in order to capitalise on new lucrative commercialisation opportunities within the private sector, as well as even securing government funding. The ASC report outlines five key areas for improvement in sports associations, namely strategy, commercial, financial management, digital and I.T and staff. If organisations adopt proven business practices in these five areas, they are well on the way to off field success.

At Actuex, we are committed to helping sports organisations adopt business practices within their organisations. We have seen this happening through our work with Water Polo NSW, partnering to deliver a new national championship for youth athletes in 2017. The scope of the project is ambitious, but by implementing proven business techniques we know that whatever happens with the teams in the pool, that Water Polo NSW is set up to run a successful and sustainable event.

To look at how you can focus on growing your sport by employing business processes in your organisation, reach out to us at today to arrange a meeting to discuss your business needs.



Author: Scott Nicholson

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