SMA News

All the latest news, insights and features in the world of Sports Marketing Australia with a focus on events, sports technology, marketing and much more.


ONE FROM THE HEART FREE concert for the people of the Lismore Region

Autumn 2022

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Some of the biggest names in Australian Music have signed on to take part in ONE FROM THE HEART a free concert for the flood impacted Lismore community. This northeast NSW city was devastated on February 28 and again one month later, with rising waters leaving thousands of people homeless and without their possessions. SMA assisted LISMORE CITY COUNCIL, Chugg Entertainment and Helium with the official planning for this unique event to be held at Lismore Showgrounds on Sunday, 15 May.

Within 12 hours of free tickets becoming available for ONE FROM THE HEART, all 10,000 tickets were allocated and in order to ensure as many Lismore residents as possible can attend the concert, a further 2,000 tickets were put on sale at 12.30pm today and these have also been exhausted.


The Buckleys | Darlinghurst

Paul Kelly and Dan Kelly

Daryl Braithwaite

Sheppard | Lime Cordiale

Jon Stevens | Grinspoon

Grinspoon lead singer, Phil Jamieson, said: “Grinspoon are over the bloody moon to be giving back to a community that gave us so much. We can’t wait to see you all on 15 May in 2480!”

The concert will celebrate resilience and SMA is proud to be an official partner in this event. “This idea grew from discussions with Lismore Council when one of our own team was asked if we had an event that might boost the spirits of the people of Lismore and rather than a fund raiser, they wanted a free event for the community - something authentic, “ SMA Director, Rick Sleeman, said.

“The obvious ‘go to’ person was Michael Chugg. SMA has worked with Michael on a number of his events which we place in the 64 regions (LGA’s) who partner in our comprehensive Events Placement Program across Australia and New Zealand.

“Everyone involved in this project is volunteering their time and services. So, a heartfelt thank you to all who have put their shoulder to the grindstone and pulled ONE FROM THE HEART together in record time … and what an appropriate name this is.”

Get behind the Lismore Community! Tickets are free for local residents in flood affected postcodes. To those outside those postcodes, tickets can be purchased. Each family within the most affected areas - postcodes 2471, 2472 and 2480 – can order four (4) tickets from Moshtix.

The additional 1,000 tickets available to purchase are available for everyone outside the nominated postcodes from 8.00am on Saturday, 30 April from

SMA Opens New QLD Office on Gold Coast

Autumn 2022

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Photo: The Rydges Gold Coast Airport has outstanding facilities and will be the new office location on the Gold Coast for SMA.

Sports Marketing Australia (SMA) has launched a new partnership with Rydges Gold Coast Airport which will be the host location for our new Queensland office, opening this month.

SMA selected Rydges Gold Coast Airport because of its outstanding facilities and the office will be used by staff to maintain the strong relationships with our partnering councils, tourism organisations and event owners in QLD. The opening provides opportunities to further cement SMA’s relationship with the City of Gold Coast, Major Events Gold Coast and the current and new destinations we partner with in Queensland.

Rydges Gold Coast Airport is the Gold Coast’s first and only airport hotel and leisure venue. As well as traditional airport accommodation, the hotel has a 25m outdoor swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium, conference and event spaces catering for groups between 10 to 200 and the stunning Salty Fox Rooftop Bar. The hotel is close to Coolangatta, the beachfront is a five minute walk away and it is near one of the world’s best surf breaks.

The decision to have a Gold Coast office was multifaceted. SMA Director, Jason Sleeman, said being part of the City of Gold Coast Sport Supply Chain was significant. He said it was important to collaborate with businesses leveraging off the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane as momentum builds for this major event.

“SMA is excited to form this new partnership with Rydges Gold Coast Airport and open a new office location,” he said. “We expect the hotel will be very popular for events and high performance sporting camps, based on their superior facilities and proximity to Gold Coast Airport. We are thrilled to showcase the property and the Gold Coast to our international and domestic relationship base in sports and events."

GM for Rydges Gold Coast Airport, Luke Harley, said Rydges Gold Coast Airport and SMA were a perfect match due to the hotel’s location and diverse offerings for the market which SMA supports. “We look forward to commencing this and building on it over the next decade, leading toward Brisbane 2032,” he said.

To find out more about this new development, talk to Jason on 0401 359 537.

International Tennis a Big Hit in Bendigo & Latrobe

Autumn 2022

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Photo: Two Victorian towns won the honour of launching the 2022 Summer of Tennis at the Bendigo and Traralgon Internationals. The Summer series saw Australia's favourite girl, Ash Barty, score the ultimate victory.

Two Victorian towns won the honour of launching the 2022 Summer of Tennis recently at the Bendigo and Traralgon Internationals.

SMA kicked off 2022 with a bang through discussions with Tennis Australia, ultimately resulting in placing these events in City of Greater Bendigo and Latrobe City Councils as part of our Events Placement Program. Proving to be a major tourism drawcard, the event included the ATP Challenger tour as the ITF Women’s tour descended on regional Victoria for a solid week of world-class tennis in the lead up to the Australian Open.

Travelling from all over the world, players competed at the Bendigo Regional Tennis Centre and Traralgon Tennis Association.

The first two days of the main draw saw top seeds play in Bendigo with underdogs victorious across all courts. All eyes were on American and former world number nine, Coco Vandeweghe, who did not go unchallenged. Eventually Belgian, Ysaline Bonaventure, was crowned champion defeating Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva, an Andorran, 6-3, 6-1 in the final women’s clash.

In the men’s competition, Enzo Couacaud from France flew the flag for his country in the Men’s Singles final against American, Ernesto Escobedo. Escobedo hit the winning stroke to claim his 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 victory.

Over in Victoria’s east in the Women’s Singles, 198th ranked, Yue Yuan, from China won all her matches in straight sets and in the final defeating Argentina’s Paula Ormaechea in front of a Traralgon crowd 6-3, 6-2.

On the men’s side, the Czech Republic’s Tomas Machac took the final win in straight sets; 7-6, 6-3. Coming from the bottom half of the draw, Bjorn Fratangelo made the final after a tough three set semi-final win over fellow American Mitchell Krueger.

This prestigious event was a rare opportunity for crowds to watch highly skilled, international tennis players hit the court in regional Victoria. To host major events in your region, talk to SMA's national partnership team on (02) 6652 1112.

SMA Wins Crucial Grants for Multiple Regional Events

Autumn 2022

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Photo: Regional event grants are designed to secure high quality events which attract intrastate, interstate and international visitors to regional communities for sports and entertainment.

SMA’s specialist grant writing program has secured Government funding for several significant events being held across Australia, attracting large Covid-safe crowds and increasing regional tourism.

The events include The Bay Games in Shoalhaven, the World Jousting Championships in Orange, the 2021 Australian MX Invitational and Monster Truck Madness in Nowra and the 2022 Huskission Triathlon, which all secured funding as part of the 2021 NSW Government REAF funding scheme.

The events included The Bay Games, a fitness festival in Jervis Bay running over seven days and including a five day immersion event that will enhance the focus on human connection, mental health and physical fitness through a series of activities, adventures and academia.

The World Jousting Championship is an international solid lance jousting tournament featuring the best jousters from across the globe. The event will be held in Orange, NSW, attracting thousands of spectators and including a medieval faire with a full program of exhibits and demonstrations including real village life, archery, birds of prey demonstrations, Viking battles and a medieval catapult.

The “Big Husky” Triathlon Championship secured funding and attracts over 5000 participants plus 6000 spectators to the Shoalhaven region annually. The grant helped to extend the 2022 Husky Festival by adding extra activities and improving access for interstate and intrastate participants. New features at this triathlon include a 3-day Ultra triathlon (swim, bike and run done earlier in the week), an aquathon (no bike), open air cinema, food trucks and a health and lifestyle expo.

Meanwhile, the originally postponed 2021 Australian Supercross Championships were held last month in the Shoalhaven region (see story below), providing the opportunity for amateur riders to experience a world class track at Nowra Speedway.

Grants Writer and Event Support Specialist, Caitlin Sebbens, said the funding provided significant support for event owners and regions craving more events based tourism. “This support is for the social and economic recovery of our regions,” Caitlin said. “The NSW Government’s $40 million Regional Events Acceleration Fund (REAF) is helping organisations to attract new, major international and domestic events to regional areas and supports existing regional events to grow even bigger and better.

"SMA is really pleased to be able to help event owners access these grants and make a real difference to local regions.”

To find out about this specialist service and the opportunities on offer, call our Director, Craig Gibson on 0414 186 200.

Australian U16s Youth Baseball Championship in Moreton Bay

Autumn 2022

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Photo: QLD will eagerly defend the U16s Australian Youth Baseball Championship title at the upcoming competition in Moreton Bay.

Queensland will defend its Australian U16 Youth Baseball Championship title on home soil in July after SMA’s Partnerships Team facilitated placement of the tournament in Moreton Bay through the Events Placement Program.

Redcliffe, north-east of Brisbane, will host the 2022 tournament during the Winter school holidays in partnership with the Moreton Bay Regional Council. This will be the first national baseball championship, outside of the Australian Baseball League, held in Queensland since 2015 and Baseball Australia Chief Executive, Glenn Williams, was thrilled the U-16 championship would return to the calendar in the Sunshine State.

“The Australian U-16 Youth Championship is a much-anticipated event on the calendar and we’re looking forward to its return in Redcliffe in July,” Williams said. “Redcliffe has been a terrific host of state titles in recent years and we can’t wait for our rising stars to play at its brilliant facilities and soak up all the region has to offer. The Moreton Bay Regional Council continue to be terrific supporters of baseball and we’re looking forward to working with them to deliver a high-quality national championship.”

National youth championships are strong event tourism drawcards with supporters staying in the region for a number of days. Moreton Bay Regional Council is excited to host this major youth championship and the hundreds of participants.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor, Peter Flannery, said the hallowed diamonds of Redcliffe’s Talobilla Park would be the perfect venue to watch the game’s next generation duke it out. “Our region has a proud history of supporting baseball at all levels of competition and this is huge news for our hosts, the Redcliffe Padres, the biggest single-season club in Australia,” Mayor Flannery said.

“Backing grassroots sport is a key focus for council, particularly as we gear up for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics, so the opportunity to partner with Baseball Australia for this marquee event is one we simply couldn’t pass up - and we have the facilities at Redcliffe to really knock this one out of the park.

"The National Youth Championships are a major tourism drawcard and this year’s event is expected to attract more than 200 participants and their families over eight days.”

To discuss the placement of major events, talk to our National Events Director, Jason Sleeman, on 0401 359 537.

Amazing Great Southern Stage Run Comes to Albany

Autumn 2022

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Photo: This event is an amalgamation of the best parts of Rapid Ascent's two most successful running events – The Run Larapinta Stage Race in the NT and The Margaret River Ultra Marathon in WA.

The City of Albany in Western Australia will host the exciting Great Southern Stage Run in November with more than 60 relay teams of four and 10 solo competitors signing up to the event within the first 24 hours of its online launch.

Building on the popularity of ultra-trail running and relay team events across the country, SMA held discussions with Rapid Ascent and the City of Albany enabling the placement of this new event from November 17 to 19.

The Great Southern is the largest and most diverse region within Australia’s South West and the course encompasses stunning seaside scenery.

“We knew enthusiasm would be high for entries given the popularity of our other ultra-trail running and relay team events across the country,” Rapid Ascent Event Director, Sam Maffett, said.

“The ultra-distance stage running event is a three-day, 210km point to point course which traverses large sections of the famed Bibbulmun Track in WA. The course takes runners from the tall Tingle and Karri trees at the Valley of the Giants near Walpole, past remote beaches and windswept horizons, to the sheer granite cliffs of the Torndirrup Peninsula near Albany."

Competitors will run between 12km and 25km each over the four legs that make up each day. Rapid Ascent provides unique competitor experiences and will provide group accommodation at each day’s finish line so that teams can stay together, creating a social and supportive environment for runners and their supporters.

For more information on the Great Southern Stage Run head to or join the conversation at

Events like this are a tourism drawcard, talk to SMA about the opportunities which are available in 2022. Call (02) 6652 1112.

PNG Prepares on Gold Coast for ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Autumn 2022

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Photo: Cricket PNG made the most of their time on the Gold Coast to prepare to qualify for this major global event. The City of Gold Coast was the team's secure “home away from home”.

Excitement is building for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which will see 45 matches played in Australia from 16 October – 13 November this year.

SMA assisted Cricket PNG with their preparations to qualify for this major global event by securing the City of Gold Coast as their “home away from home” during February. The move allows these high performance athletes to access world-class facilities and services on the Gold Coast and provides an opportunity for teams to acclimatise to Australian conditions in preparation for major events.

The world's best cricketers from 16 international teams will clash in this pinnacle global event in men’s T20 cricket, held in Australia for the first time. Matches will be played across Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, giving fans around the country the chance to see the biggest global sporting event in 2022.

International Cricket Council CEO, Geoff Allardice, said T20 was the global growth format for cricket. “The ICC T20 World Cup 2022 will play a huge role in inspiring our next generation of players and fans as the world’s best players descend on Australia and showcase the very best of our sport,” he said.

Sports Marketing Australia’s Partnerships Manager, Dave Szumowski, said the Gold Coast was an outstanding destination for elite athletes to train and mentally prepare for major events.

“This partnership is extremely important to Cricket PNG as it gives them a venue of world class status for their training for elite competitions,” Dave said. “A positive environment is a crucial part of the training program for events like the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.”

To find out more about this partnership program with Gold Coast, talk to Dave on 0460 630 438.

Australian Motocross & Monster Truck Madness Rock Shoalhaven

Autumn 2022

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Photo: This successful event showcased professional Motocross racing with an incredible race format and a one of a kind track design.

Nowra, located on the South Coast of NSW, hosted two massive adrenaline-filled days of Motocross last month with Australia’s best professional and amateur riders with FMX and monster trucks in the spotlight.

The event was made possible through a $40 million Regional Events Acceleration Fund (REAF), part of a $2 billion Regional Growth Fund (RGF), which supports regional centres, activating local economies and improving services and community infrastructure.

The funding was secured through Sports Marketing Australia’s Grants Writing team and gave the Australian Motocross Invitational (featuring Monster Truck Madness) a chance to run this event with professional (MotoX Skins) and amateur (MotoX Future Stars) bike riders.

The two-day event took place on a purpose built motocross track within Nowra Speedway and Event Director, Mark Petersen, said the funding was a game changer as it helped deliver a turbocharged event and attracted more visitors and locals into region.

“This expanded event showcased professional Motocross racing with an incredible race format, plus a one of a kind track design that had riders racing in bar to bar action,” he said. “Amateur riders experienced and raced on the same world-class track, entertaining crowds throughout the weekend.

“This event would not have taken place without REAF funding, the result - it produced great racing over the weekend and the additional live internet broadcast along with the delayed television broadcast package has given the event even greater exposure."

“Access to funding for major events will help to boost local business. Talk to SMA National Events Director, Jason Sleeman, on 0401 359 537.