Honan has been working with Australia’s Catapult for over 10 years. Now ASX listed, Catapult is one of the leading wearable technology companies in the world. We caught up with Boden Westover, VP Brand & Communications, to learn a little more about the brand, and how far they’ve come since 2006.
THE CRUX OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Our mission is to offer the most comprehensive set of solutions for teams and athletes to improve performance.
YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH HONAN COMMENCED BACK IN 2008. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT CATAPULT LOOKED LIKE THEN VERSUS WHERE YOU ARE NOW.
Founded in 2006, Catapult was only a five-person business in a windowless accelerator office when we first engaged Honan in 2008. Based in Scoresby (Melbourne), we had no overseas presence, and really no competitors having commercialised world-first GPS-based wearable technology for elite sports teams in late 2006. Catapult was listed on the ASX in 2014 and now boasts a team of 350 staff working in over 100 cities worldwide. We serve over 3,200 sports organisations in 40 sports across 139 countries, with annual revenue over $100m.
AT HONAN, SUPPORTING INNOVATIVE AUSSIE BRANDS ACHIEVING RAPID GROWTH AND INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM IS ONE OF THE GREATEST PRIVILEGES OF OUR WORK. REFLECTING ON THE DECADE 2010-2020, HIT US WITH YOUR TOP 5 MILESTONES.
- We have about a dozen league-wide deals with sporting competitions around the world, so any time we bring on an entire league (rather than an individual team) it’s considered a milestone as it helps us shut out competition and provide value to the teams within the league in a more scalable way. Our first league-wide deal was in 2015 with the AFL, followed closely by La Liga (Argentinian basketball competition).
- Our Boston-based CEO, Will Lopes, joined the business in November 2019 and has already had an enormous impact on the strategic direction of the business. Will led our transition from a product-led business, to a solution- and customer-led one.
- In 2015, Fast Company named us the most innovative company in the world in both “Fitness” and “Big Data”, and the 12th most innovative company in the world – ahead of Netflix, Tesla, and Samsung. In 2019, we were the fifth most innovative company in “Sport”.
- In 2016, we acquired XOS Digital, the North American leader in video analysis technology, and PlayerTek, a GPS wearable technology engineered for amateur teams, at the same time.
- We launched our first consumer business in mid-2018, PLAYR, which is a dedicated wearable technology product for individual soccer players.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 TRENDS IMPACTING YOUR BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?
LOAD MANAGEMENT – controlling how much physical stress professional athletes endure during competition.
COMPUTER VISION – the interplay between wearable technology and video analysis for elite sport.
PLATFORM / MARKETPLACE – the consolidation of the elite sports technology industry, with a couple of heavyweights owning the distribution channels.
AT HONAN, MAINTAINING QUALITY CONNECTIONS WITH OUR PEOPLE, PARTNERS AND THE COMMUNITY SITS AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO. WHAT RELATIONSHIPS & CONNECTIONS HAVE BEEN CRITICAL TO YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS IN RECENT YEARS?
Catapult is a customer-obsessed organisation that places a lot of importance on our relationships with athletes, coaches, and management within sporting organisations. We seek to empower every athlete and team on earth with technology to perform at their best.
WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE OR QUOTE THE CATAPULT TEAM CAN SHARE WITH AUSSIE STARTUPS CURRENTLY WRANGLING THEIR FORMATIVE YEARS?
James Demetriou from the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) says it best when he tells new Australian start-ups to “go global or die local”. Yes, growing pains can escalate when you venture overseas, especially if you do so too early, but don’t wait until you’re “ready” to form a presence overseas. Take the leap.
WITH YOU ALL THE WAY
From freshly founded side-hustle, to publicly listed multinational, Honan is ready to support organisations of all shapes and sizes. To find out how we can help your people and business, please contact us at any time.
Head of Global & Networks