Victorian NBL and AFL teams, and the state's most innovative sports and sports technology companies will be on show in China this week headlining a major trade mission led by the Victorian Government to promote the state’s sporting capabilities.

Photo courtesy of Port Adelaide and St Kilda Football Clubs

Victoria's Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula is leading the week-long mission taking more than 20 delegates from 16 companies and organisations, including La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne to meet with potential investors in the massive China market.

China’s sports market growth is driven by the Chinese Government's strong commitment on growing its sports industry, including the implementation of Government’s 13th Five-Year Sports Development Plan which recommends:

  • building new sports infrastructure (the Plan sets the following targets: 70,000 soccer pitches, 15,000 fitness facilities, 10,000 multi-functional playing grounds)
  • attracting more major sporting events and growing its sports tourism sector
  • improving its capabilities in sports administration, sports coaching, sports management, sports medicine, sports science (the Plan sets a target of 20,000 soccer academies by 2020)
  • developing innovative sports technologies and sports events
  • encouraging foreign exchanges to increase international cooperation, technology transfer, and foreign investment
  • progressing its sports IP legal framework.

By connecting Victorian companies to opportunities in China, the Victorian Government is helping them attract the investment they need to grow and create jobs for Victorians. The mission will enable participating Victorian organisations to:

  • explore China as a market for sports-related exports
  • consolidate existing relationships
  • forge stronger business connections into one of the world’s largest economies.

Global Victoria are proud to be supporting Victorian NBL newcomers South East Melbourne Phoenix to play their first ever game in Nanjing against the Jiangsu Dragons as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Jiangsu-Victoria Sister State relations. They'll also play basketball legend Yao Ming’s former team the Shanghai Sharks.

Global Victoria will also play a key role in supporting the St Kilda FC versus Port Adelaide FC in Shanghai in Round 11 of the 2019 AFL season. This is the first time a Victorian team will be involved in a match for Premiership points in China.

Minister Pakula said the China visit will create opportunities "to deepen our partnership with China through sport – something that Victoria is well-known for and has amazing capabilities in.”

Promoting sports-based collaboration and exchange with China forms part of the Third Direction in the Victorian Government's China Strategy: Partnerships for Prosperity.

Melbourne – universally regarded as Australia's sporting capital

Home to many sports technology, science and infrastructure companies, as well as elite teams and leagues with the skills needed to deliver on China’s big ambitions, Victoria's vibrant and culturally diverse community provides the perfect ecosystem for the growth and development of sports technology on the world stage.

Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) estimates that 65 per cent of the Australian sports technologies industries are based in Victoria – including Catapult SportChampion DataBelgravia TechnologiesInteract SportDMC SportPOD Active, Planet Innovation InfoPlum, and Ventou.

The Victorian sports sector currently employs more than 65,000 full time jobs across the state.

Find out more about Victoria's thriving sports sector by visiting our page on Sports Technology.