Thanks to Andrew Walton from MPower Sport for doing an awesome job in answering all the questions in Sports Geek Nation AMA.
Full Transcript available in the Sports Geek Nation Member's Area.
Here's the highlight question from the Sports Geek Nation AMA with Andrew Walton.
About Andrew Walton
Andrew Walton knows sport, technology and how this flows into business very well. This experience since being a founder of InteractSport, that has delivered the MyCricket digital platform for Cricket Australia transitioning into netball, rugby and football, his appetite to learn from direct interaction has allowed deep relationships of significance to develop across the UK and India, particularly in cricket.
Andrew recently transitioned into a new role as the General Manager of MPower Sports that empowers organisations to make smarter business decisions through modern business solutions involving business intelligence, data analytics, digital and data strategy.
He is still actively involved with coaching cricket being the Assistant Coach for the Australian Blind Cricket Team for Cricket Australia and an associate with Cricket Mentoring.
Connect with Andrew Walton on LinkedIn, Twitter @AndrewWaltonx and Slack @andrewwaltonx
Find out more about MPower Sport at https://mpowermsl.com/
Hello @Liam Murphy and thanks for the question where I am able to draw upon a time frame from the start of the century where the internet in Australia generally was very much early stages, and in relation to sports administration, practically non-existent. The toughest part was convincing people to believe there was a better way from where we felt the capability was moving and a vision ahead to what was going to become normal. There was never a shortage of excuses as to why things couldn’t or shouldn’t work. I was blessed in being able to start this journey with my partners (David and Peter, still actively involved and together as owners with InteractSport) where we had a reasonable clarity over our roles and abilities. We shared a common philosophy of creating a system where data was entered once and it flowed where it needed to go, along with a focus on team sports with a ball and a score that had a healthy representation of juniors (future audience) and a strong connection to the community.
Change can be complicated and difficult for those who have a strong need to possess and position themselves in a comfortable environment. I now accept that is still an existing behaviour. We failed often in delivering a message that was too complicated and challenging. We didn’t listen well enough.
Common obstructions early were like “I don’t have a computer” or “I don’t have the internet” or “we can’t let clubs do that” so much of this frustratingly revolved around individual control. This wasn’t helped by the inertia from governing bodies at state and national level where the interest to engage or respond in many cases did not exist.
Thankfully as we persisted in meeting people personally and presenting, from Bunbury to Penrith to Warrnambool to Northgate to Dandenong to Newcastle and to the Adelaide Hills, over several years of consistent interactions, we were able to uncover and develop some beautiful and valued relationships where cricket bound us in spirit. These people (like Ted Hussey, Carole Jones, Ashley Kaye, Craig Hambleton, Garry Davis) became champions within their community and helped to establish and then build the trust in wanting to find a better way.
By the time we then were able to properly engage with Cricket Australia, through an official tender process six years after we started the business, the foundation of reliability and usefulness that was now well established in the majority of the regional and suburban associations and clubs made it easier to progress as a partner.
More Sports Geek Nation AMA Questions you missed
- How has your involvement in coaching helped you in your sports business career?
- What facets of sports tech/biz do you think are stronger in Australia, and what are we behind in compared to overseas?
- What are and were some of the challenges of implementing digital scoring within Australia for grassroots cricket?
- What have you learned in your first few months working at MPower Sport?
- What's one thing you know now, that you wished you'd known when you started your sports tech journey?
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