The Brisbane Broncos have always been among the biggest crowd-pullers in the National Rugby League, but thanks to Ipswich City Council and its innovation hub the Broncos look set to connect with fans in bigger and better ways in 2020.
The Broncos joined forces with the Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) project for the Ipswich and West Moreton region, led by Ipswich City Council, in the recent inaugural #BroncosHack event at Fire Station 101.
The weekend hack called on some of the best technical minds in the business, who were set a challenge – to design the ultimate fan experience and further enhance the level of engagement with club supporters.
Broncos Brand and Marketing Manager Kurt Brutton said it proved to be a big winner.
“The Brisbane Broncos are always looking for new ways to reach their large fan base,” Mr Brutton said.
“The weekend was a great opportunity for us to work with people from diverse backgrounds and experience levels. We were impressed by their eagerness to provide solutions. The brief was to come up with some new ideas that we are now looking to implement.”
The #BroncosHack engaged 31 of the local community of entrepreneurs, start-ups, designers, graphic artists, football supporters and technical experts into the world of football to solve the challenge, focussed on designing and creating fan engagement based projects.
The event culminated in five final pitches to the expert panel of judges including Leanne Kemp, Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, and Paul Russell, Executive Director of Innovation Programs.
First prize went to the four-person team Happy Face, who will now work with the Broncos to implement their idea of analysing and ranking fan generated content.
Happy Face (pictured below) won a Suncorp Stadium box for 10 people at a Broncos home game next season, with the Broncos contributing $500 towards catering.
This #BroncosHack project was part of a larger scale for council and the Advance Qld ARIP program’s commitment to supporting innovators and game-changers as they strive to succeed and prosper.
Council’s aim is for Ipswich to be recognised as a connected and informed community with access to ever-increasing opportunities in cultivating, promoting and attracting investment and business opportunities.
Ms Kemp said it was exciting to witness a room full of innovators turning their mind to this challenge.
“Hackathons are a master-class in creative problem-solving and are a really great way of stopping the daily grind and thinking outside the box,” she said.
“There’s a kind of magic that happens when innovators come together and approach problems at a unique point in time. Part of the excitement is in seeing how a particular group on a particular day will respond to the set challenge.
“There were many interesting and innovative ideas that came out of #BroncosHack and I was glad to be part of the judging panel with the chance to hear the five final pitches on the day.”
Maria Baker, Regional Innovation Coordinator for the Ipswich and West Moreton ARIP region, said it was a worthwhile exercise.
“New technologies are developing rapidly and becoming more and more important in our everyday lives, in this case, the sports industry both on and off the field,” she said.
Council’s Innovation hub Fire Station has helped more than 150 participants and spawned 15 new companies.
The hub is designed to accelerate digital skills, empower local entrepreneurs, encourage an innovation culture, tackle city problems and grow a start-up ecosystem, which made it the number one choice for the #BroncosHack event.
For this event and others like it contact Fire Station 101 on: firstname.lastname@example.org