Gold Coast SUNS CEO Headlines Australia’s Biggest Sport Technology Conference

by Sep 13, 2022Elite Sport, Most Popular

How does the newest club in Australia’s biggest sporting code get to more fans to grow their brand in what has historically been one of the country’s toughest sporting markets to crack?

The answer was to partner with Playbk Sports to bring the club’s players, intellectual property and overall brand onto the devices of young people across a geographic catchment zone that covers Southern and Northern Queensland as well as parts of the Northern Territory.

So mused Gold Coast SUNS CEO Mark Evans at the recent Sports Tech World Series Event on the CEO’s in Sport Panel – Which Technology Levers to Pull and When.

sport technology conference with Playbk Sports
(Left) Jon Shepherd, Mark Evans, Pierre Comis, Jess Corones, Lachlan Wills and Damian Hecker (Right)

The panel discussion focused on how sporting organisations were leveraging sport technology to grow fan bases and generate revenue in a crowded sport technology market.

Playbk Sports Co-founder Jon Shepherd pulled the panel together to share with attendees how Playbk Sports clients were utilising sport technology and the sunk costs of their business to scale their reach and impact whilst also finding new ways to generate revenue.

“What we’re seeing with the Gold Coast SUNS is a smart and innovative way to harness their brand and staff to scale their reach. Every player has community hours as part of their contract and many other departments have community outreach as part of their remit also. Our approach looks at these sunk costs in a new way and challenges traditional community engagement strategies by developing cutting edge content that is delivered through sport technology. There is minimal work for the club and the upside is new fans and new revenue streams.”

Jon Shepherd, Co-founder at Playbk Sports
Gold Coast SUNS CEO Mark Evans

Evans has been CEO of the SUNS since 2017 in a career that has included stints at AFL House and being part of four premierships at the Hawthorn Football Club between 2008 – 2015. These experiences have left Evans in no doubt that the SUNS must find new ways to build a fan base on the Gold Coast and beyond.

“We’re not in the position yet to have kids born into a SUNS scarf and membership like some of the traditional AFL clubs. We need to meet young fans where they are – which is online – and share with them the great stories of our players, staff and club to encourage them to learn more about us and come along to a game.”

Mark Evans, CEO at the Gold Coast SUNS

The SUNS first foray into this technology landscape is the Play to Your Strengths program, which has been delivered to over 50 classrooms and 2000 students from Years 5 – 8. The six week programs showcases players from the men’s and women’s team and helps young people understand their personal strengths.

“The beauty of this program is there is a direct connection between a player and the student through their shared strength, which quickly builds fan avidity. A quick dive into the data also shows that the SUNS brand has been present in schools for over 300 hours through the program, which is impossible using traditional means.

“Eventually this data will grow which also makes it an attractive option for a corporate sponsor to get behind.”

Mark Evans, CEO at the Gold Coast SUNS
Play To Your Strengths

The Gold Coast SUNS are pioneering a new and innovative approach to sports technology, harnessing its power off the field of play, and turning sunk costs into revenue generating assets which builds greater connection with fans.

This revolutionary approach to community engagement and commercial sustainability is set to build into 2023 with the release of SUNS Fitness for high school students and other opportunities to explore in the corporate learning space.

As part of the follow up from the CEO’s in Sport Conference, Playbk Sports will be holding a free Fan Avidity and Monetisation strategy session on October 4 on the Gold Coast for interested organisations.

Please contact [email protected] to reserve your spot now.

For media enquiries, images, videos, or interviews message us via our contact us page.

Sport Tech World Series Conference Hype 2022


About Playbk Sports

Every team needs a playbook.

Playbk Sports makes delivering online content simple and effective with dynamic technology, immersive experiences and evergreen material that turns fan avidity into revenue

Playbk Sports works with your organisation by harnessing your logo, players, coaches, stadia, training facilities and team administrators and harnesses the power of those ‘brands’ or assets to create global fan avidity and strategic value your organisation can rely on in sustainable ways.

We create experiences that help sport organisations give their worldwide fans what they want – closer access to the sports they love


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