August 2017 Newsletter

Shannon Headshot 3   

Executive Director’s Report

The Australian Sporting Goods Association has provided a submission to the National Sports Plan consultation run by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). I was also interviewed directly by the Commission about ASGA’s views on what should be in the Plan.

Australia, like much of the rest of the developed world, is facing a physical inactivity crisis, contributing 6.6 per cent of the overall health burden in Australia and 10 per cent of all deaths.

Our submission calls for a national approach to combating physical inactivity, with the Government to form a small, multi-sector Group (including representatives from sport, health and education), to implement the outcomes and recommendations of the National Sports Plan.

We noted the importance of physical education in schools. If we are serious about combating childhood physical inactivity, students at the primary school level require dedicated PE teachers and a minimum of 150 minutes of PE and sport each week.

The Plan must acknowledge the way Australians are undertaking sport and physical activity in the modern age. The ASC should work with National Sporting Organisations to assist them in developing new forms of the game, whether that based on the amount of time required to participate, the number of players required, the level of competitiveness, or the types of facilities necessary to participate.

We also called for the Government to expand the Sporting Schools program and to continue with the new AusPlay participation research.

We called on the Plan to influence city planning efforts, noting that “From a city planning standpoint, the evidence presents a strong case to design cities to be more active… Put simply, the research shows active cities are healthier, wealthier, safer, greener and more cohesive. Not surprisingly, the people who live in them are happier.” (Designed to Move: Active Cities)

We recommended the Plan call for a national physical activity advertising campaign, similar to the old ‘Life. Be in it.’ campaign, but updated for modern audiences.

Given our changing demographics, we believe the National Sports Plan must recognise older Australians as an important cohort that requires encouragement to become more physically active.

We recommended the Plan directs funding towards technological solutions that can assist sports clubs to more effectively administer themselves and manage staff and volunteers. We recommend developing closer ties with the Australian Sports Technologies Network to facilitate these outcomes.

Both a national sports facilities audit and a national agency to direct infrastructure spending should be considered by the Plan. We also want to see all schools that receive government funding be required to open their sports facilities to community use.

While we oppose a national lottery for sports funding, if a lottery is adopted the funds generated should be directed to participation and prevention programs, not elite sports.

We suggested the Australian Sports Foundation should play a larger role, that the Government investigate ways to reduce costs for participants and that the government change the Fringe Benefit Tax to allow businesses to reward their staff with gym memberships or personal training opportunities.

I’d like to thank all our members who contributed to the ASGA submission or who made your own submissions to the National Sports Plan. We look forward to working with the government and the Sports Commission to implement the Plan when it is finalised.


dplusk logo   

ASGA welcomes innovative new active wear brand d+k as a new member

The Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) is pleased to welcome innovative new active wear brand d+k as a new member.

d+k offers customers Australian and ethically-made quality products with excellent performance features and precise fit without compromising movement.

The brand is the result of passion and hard-work from founders Danielle Larkin (Director), and Kelly Tickle (CEO).   

“We both have a strong back ground in business and a passion for a healthy active life.  We live and breathe everything d+k stands for – Be Bold. Be Brave. Be You,” Ms Tickle said.

“We are in control of all facets of the business, with every part of our design and production process being executed under the one roof in our Brisbane Head Quarters.  We have seen a gap in the market and we are here to fill it,” she said.

Executive Director of ASGA, Shannon Walker, said “ASGA is very pleased another active wear brand has seen the benefits of joining their industry association. d+k is exactly the sort of smart, passionate company ASGA is designed to help.”

“They’ve already made great strides in our industry, selling their range through their own website – – and are currently stocked in four States, since launching wholesale in early May 2017,” Mr Walker said.  

d+k is accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia ensuring garments are cut, made and trimmed at their head office and factory in Brisbane. They are proudly Australian-owned, designed and crafted, with a laser-like focus on enforcing sustainable practice.

Kelly Tickle, CEO of d+k, said “We want d+k to be more than a wardrobe choice. Our products and our brand are a lifestyle decision and, by aligning ourselves with the Australian Made campaign, we are supporting retailers and consumers at work and play.

“Our focus on sustainability extends to the industry we are so passionate about – we look forward to working with ASGA to achieve our goals and to make a stronger sporting and active lifestyle goods sector. With their goal of getting more people more physically active, ASGA is a great fit for us,” Ms Tickle said.

Retailers interested in aligning with d+k should contact Brent Holden on 0413 542 979 or email



Victorian Government’s Golf Consultation

It’s been a busy time for government consultations – ASGA has also made a submission to the Victorian Government’s review into the future of golf in the state, with a particular focus on golf club management, facilities and urban planning.

The ASGA submission agreed with all but one of the ideas presented in the consultation paper. We support moves to train local golf clubs to deliver participation and inclusion programs to encourage more people to take up golf, while still making sure traditional golfers can play the game they love.

We agree that new technology and new thinking can empower clubs to expand their player base and offer improved membership options. At the same time, using clubs to offer additional services, like driving ranges, walking tracks and other forms of recreation could also be used to ensure local communities get the most out of golf club facilities.

While we think any move to open up club facilities to community use needs to be careful (it wouldn’t be appropriate for all clubs, for example), we do agree that many clubs could benefit by attracting more people to use their facilities, whether that is for golf or for other recreational purposes.

Given our understanding of the experiences of many sports, we strongly encourage golf clubs to offer a variety of membership options to encourage people to join. We also believe using data to improve club management and administration is a positive step forward.

Clubs in close proximity, particularly in regional and rural areas, should be encouraged to work together to provide a broad range of golf and non-golf options in an effort to ensure all clubs remain viable. However, we disagreed that clubs should be ‘rationalised (shut down), unless there is no other option. Where that is the case, the land should be maintained as a recreational area.

We used our submission to argue the Victorian Government should provide funding for club managers to improve their skills and to work with the Federal Government to begin work on the Home of Golf.

Finally, we’d like to see more knowledge sharing between clubs and other stakeholders to improve best practice across the industry.

Once again I’d like to thank those members who contributed to the submission or who made your own. We look forward to working with the Victorian Government and other stakeholders to implement the recommendations follow this consultation.

Please take a look at our full submission when you get the chance.


ALM logo   

I’m presenting at the ALM Communications Conference

I’m very pleased to have been invited to present at the Australasian Leisure Management’s Leisure Industry Communication and Marketing Summit and Awards next week in Sydney.

The full-day event is the first time that the leisure industry and its key sectors – aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues – will have had the opportunity to focus on key (non-sales) elements of marketing.

ASGA members are encouraged to attend the conference:

Date:     Thursday 24 August 2017
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

I’ll be talking about how organisations in the leisure and recreation space can leverage customers and members to influence political decision making, while developing a deeper engagement with them.

I’ll cover how activating and facilitating stakeholders (customers, members, employees) to take political action to change public policy can both reinforce the relationship between organisations and their stakeholders and achieve beneficial political outcomes.

It will look at how businesses are often not good at collective action but how strategies that are used by activist organisations can be powerful tools for any customer- or member- facing organisations.

In particular, I’ll use four case studies to highlight these ideas:

  1. The development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and how important it is for organisations to work together when seeking political change
  2. The ‘Space to Play’ campaign run by the activist PR firm EMC, which looks at using technology to communicate with and activate members and potential members to achieve an outcome that benefited a football club (and also shows these tactics can work locally)
  3. ASGA’s Low Value Threshold campaign that used retail outlets to communicate with federal MPs (backbenchers), which reinforced the lobbying campaign directed towards the Minister.
  4. The Fit not FBT campaign run by Fitness Australia, which leveraged members to recruit third party stakeholders to spread the message about the campaign.

Mine is one of three keynote presentations on the morning of the Summit, each of which will address the value of effective communication and marketing for all organisations and businesses across the leisure industry.

I encourage you to come along.


NSW Govt Logo   

NSW open for business on Boxing Day

The NSW Government is opening Boxing Day trading for all retailers across NSW following a successful two-year trial.

Whereas some retailers couldn’t open on Boxing Day, simply due to their location, the new legislation gives all retailers in NSW the opportunity to trade on one of the biggest retail days of the year.

In a media release, ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said this announcement is great news for NSW retailers as Boxing Day is one of the busiest trading days of the year.

“Consumers want to shop on Boxing Day, and retailers want to trade, it’s as simple as that,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Giving NSW retailers an opportunity to trade on this public holiday not only gives retailers a chance to increase their sales it allows physical stores to compete with online and interstate retailers.”

As the retail sector is the largest private industry employer, the ARA believes this decision is also great news for NSW retail staff.

“Allowing Boxing Day trade in all areas of NSW gives retailers the opportunity to roster volunteer staff on one of the biggest trading days of the year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Public holiday rates are a great way for employees to earn money and increasing trading hours for NSW retailers significantly reduces underemployment.”

This legislation aligns with the ARA’s submission to the NSW Government which supports deregulated trading hours on Boxing Day and will be introduced in the coming months.


Stay Smart Online Logo   

Protecting your business from cyber-security threats

Stay Smart Online, the Federal Government initiative to help protect businesses and consumers online, recommends small businesses think about their cyber-security. They’ve set out five common mistakes you should be fixing:

  1. No investment or dedicated resources

Often cyber security is a low priority for small businesses with limited resources. However, the risks posed by malware and hacking are severe enough that many small businesses are unable to recover.

Have at least one person in charge of implementing cyber security measures:

  • learn about threats, trends and security options
  • plan, acquire and implement security safeguards
  • help other personnel understand online security best practices and policies
  • enforce online security best practices and policies with management support
  • maintain and update the security safeguards used by your business.
  1. Unaware staff

Your staff will always be your greatest asset and your biggest cyber security risk. One unsafe click by a staff member on your network can wreak havoc and spell disaster for your business.

Put in place an online security awareness program to keep you and your staff informed about good online security practices. It should include:

  • safe online behaviour training for staff (click safety and how to identify malicious emails, etc.)
  • updates and reminders on policies, standards and best practices
  • a regular, scheduled review to update existing security measures
  • signing up staff to the free Stay Smart Online Alert Service to stay up to date with the latest online threat information.
  1. No back-ups

With the ever-increasing threat of ransomware, many businesses are caught off guard and without back-ups of their systems. In 2016, 50% of Australian businesses experienced a ransomware attack.

An incredibly effective and simple way to safeguard against malicious cyber activity, hardware failure and theft is to regularly back-up your data. If you don’t have a back-up, you can lose everything on your system.

  1. Out of date

In 2017, malware called WanaCry crippled hundreds of thousands of systems around the world. The affected businesses had not installed a software update (for a Microsoft operating system), leaving their systems vulnerable.

Keeping your organisation’s computers, websites and other applications up-to-date is one of the best ways to protect your business from being hacked.

  1. Bring your own device

Many organisations have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, allowing network connectivity on personal devices. While this can be an efficient way to do business, it can create vulnerabilities in your network.

Develop a connected device policy that considers:

  • what devices can be connected to the network
  • what security measures must be implemented on the device (such as anti-virus software and strong passwords)
  • what information can be accessed on the device and what is too sensitive.

For more information on this topic please visit the Stay Smart Online website.




International News

In the latest edition of the WFSGI News Alert you’ll find articles about:

TAITRA – This will be the first time since 2011 that TaiSPO and Taipei Cycle are being held separately.
adidas – “Based on the strong first half performance, we are raising our full-year guidance. We’ll grow both our top and our bottom line faster than originally anticipated,” said adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted. 
ASICS – Featuring all four ASICS brands under one roof for the first time, the state-of-the-art retail space will bring to life the ASICS ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ philosophy. 
Columbia Sportswear Company – Columbia announced record second-quarter net sales of $398.9 million, a 3 percent increase compared with net sales of $388.8 million for the second quarter of 2016.
VF Corporation – “VF’s second quarter results were solid and consistent with our expectations, driven by strong results from our largest global brands, the company’s international and direct-to-consumer platforms, and our growing workwear businesses,” said Steve Rendle, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Under Armour – Under Armour announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017, and announced a restructuring plan. 
Swim Swam – TYR Sport announced the signing of Olympic gold medalist, 3x World Championship gold medalist and American record holder Tom Shields to its roster of sponsored athletes.
Sport Insight – Odlo is aiming outside of our historic core areas and wants to turn into a true global full-year performance brand.
hoodline – French sporting goods giant Decathlon, is opening a store on 735 Market Street in San Francisco, marking its return to U.S. retailing.
Fung Global Retail & Technology – In the US and in European countries, athleisure and health and wellness trends buoyed footwear sales growth in 2016. 
Retail Dive – According to the “Gen Z brand relationships” study, the way to reach the young generation is through more opportunities for brand engagement and a transparent relationship with their customers.