Sport in Australia isn’t just a way of life – it’s big business. Our sports industry generates some A$32.2 billion in annual sales, with $1.8 billion in exports.
It’s a diverse industry that spans sporting activities from grassroots to elite levels and includes major sporting events, sports marketing and cutting-edge sports technology. More than 220,000 people are employed across the sector, from fitness instructors to event managers and sports scientists.
Sport industry contribution
- A$14.4 billion to GDP
- A$50 billion in total economic value
The Australian Government’s Sports Diplomacy Strategy includes plans to maximise trade, tourism and investment opportunities.
Since setting the standard with the ‘best ever’ Olympics in Sydney in 2000, Australia has cemented its reputation as a creator of world-class events. Our expertise spans the entire sporting event lifecycle, from assessment and bidding through to venue construction and event management. Australia is keen to retain its reputation as the host of choice by supporting bids for major international events. In recognition of this, we’ve just been announced as the host of the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane.
Our track record exporting this expertise is impressive. Over the past two decades, Australian companies have shaped the delivery of every Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as World Cups and major regional events.
Upcoming major events
- 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
- 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup
- 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
- 2023 World Transplant Games
- 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games
The 2032 Olympics will see the biggest sporting event in the world return to Australia. Around A$5 billion will be spent on preparing for and hosting the Games, and with returns to Australia expected to outweigh the costs, billions of dollars will be injected into the economy and more than 100,000 new jobs created.
With A$690 million to be spent on building or upgrading 37 world-class venues to be built or updated to the highest environmental standards, and millions more on further improvements to already strong road and rail links, there are significant opportunities not just for businesses and entrepreneurs in the sports sector, but for those in infrastructure as well. And of course for those in the tourism industry, the Olympics will boost Queensland’s already stellar reputation as an aspirational destination.
Going for gold
At the intersection of sports and technology, Australian start-ups and researchers are pushing the boundaries of human performance and the spectator experience. Sports tech accounts for 4% of all start-up activity in Victoria, which is home to many of Australia’s major sporting codes.
Worth A$24 million in 2020, sports tech offers huge growth potential for innovative startups that can capitalise on Australians’ embrace of technology and access to a growing global market.
2029 Projected sports tech market
- A$3 billion in Australia
- A$123 billion globally
By bringing your sports tech business to Australia, you’ll benefit from our strong IP protection. And to help to scale and commercialise your technologies, you’ll have access to Australia’s many accelerator and incubator programs, including the Australian Sports Technologies Network’s sector-specific accelerators.
Planning for the future
Our Sport 2030 national plan supports a thriving Australian sports and recreation industry. We’re driving towards goals that include:
- a high-performance system focused around sports, teams and athletes and ensuring they have world-leading technology, practices, systems and people to enable them to achieve lasting podium success
- an Australian sports industry that leads the world in many areas – including integrity, inclusion, innovation, research, physical literacy and technology
- greater collaboration across the sport sector and with partner organisations, including various levels of government and governance systems that position our sports for a changing world, enabling them to focus on driving international performance, strengthening the pathways system, creating greater commercial opportunities and increasing participation rates among more Australians.
- The Athlete Management System (AMS) is a nationally available web-based platform to support education and decision with the aim of improving athlete health and performance outcomes.
- The AIS Applied Technology and Innovation team, Paralympics Australia and Toyota Australia (Olympic and Paralympic partner) produced a custom-designed wheelchair for 6-time tennis Grand Slam champion Dylan Alcott and his doubles partner Heath Davidson.