We speak to Nathan Rothschild about the evolution of his business GTG Network, his thoughts on the sport tech industry in Australia and how it feels to promote their business to a global audience! They have built relationships with brands including Sportsbet, DraftKings, Cisco & the LA Lakers!
Tell us about your background
I studied Commerce/Science at Melbourne Uni, majoring in mathematics and statistics. I’ve always had an interest in numbers but at the time of studying, I couldn’t have imagined where it would lead.
What was the reason behind getting into the sports tech industry initially?
Other than numbers, I always liked sport! Initially I operated a daily deals site for sporting goods, but was never overly passionate about it. Then came the opportunity that evolved into GTG Network.
Tell us about your journey with GTG Network?
My fellow co-founders, Jared Hopping and Brett Cosgriff, were giving out free information about sport on Facebook and attracted a large following. The long story short is we had lots of people messaging us for sports data. When the first few people contacted us I thought that’s great, there are some fellow maths geeks out there, but when that number grew, we thought there may be a serious commercial opportunity.
We researched the market and identified that if we could provide genuinely interesting sports data and insights, covering all of the major global sports, and present the platform with a clean user experience there would be significant demand. This data and content platform is called iSport Genius (iSG) and is our flagship product. iSG has provided a foundation for other divisions within GTG.
With our light-tough gamification proving to be successful, we explored other expansion opportunities in this space. Combined with a talented tech team, we started building animated arcade games which we’ve licensed to the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and Caesars.
You have a suite of products that leverage off each other. How did they originate and evolve over time?
Even before iSG was launched, it was clear that high quality data analytics would help an opinion be formed. It also became clear that people engaging with iSG wanted to express their opinion with the potential of reward. Consequently, we built a suite of free to play tipping games which we have licensed all over the world. Originally the focus was on sport, but the technology we have developed allows us to run tipping games on anything which can be resulted, whether that is predicting who will hit the first 3-pointer in a game of NBA or who will win the best actor award at the next Oscars.
With our light-tough gamification proving to be successful, we explored other expansion opportunities in this space. Combined with a talented tech team, we started building animated arcade games which we’ve licensed to the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and Caesars. Our range of games has grown significantly over the last couple of years, and we’ve also added additional tools like polls, brackets and trivia to our product suite.
When you look back on the journey, when was the moment you felt confident that it would become a sustainable long-term business?
I don’t think there was one specific moment, we were confident when we set out that we were embarking on a significant and sustainable long term business. I’d say there was affirmation of that confidence when we closed major deals, initially domestically before expanding internationally.
You mentioned you’ve had the opportunity to present at and attend various global sporting conferences. Firstly, how does it feel to be able to speak about the industry and promote your brand in front of a large audience?
Pride is the first word that comes to mind. I’m part of an inordinately dedicated and talented team, and I’m the one lucky enough to share what we do all over the world. The reality is my job is made easier and more enjoyable by the quality of products GTG produces.
What are some of the best networking events, podcasts or social media groups to check out for budding enthusiasts in the sports tech industry?
For all of the Australians out there, definitely get involved with the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN). There’s a great group of people behind ASTN who are genuinely committed to the growth of the Australian sports tech industry. It’s also well worth checking out the Sports Tech Industry World Series, which is headquartered in Melbourne but run really impressive conferences globally. Beyond these, I’d suggest that everyone does their research into the specific area of sports tech they are interested in to find the best events and groups to join – there are many different sub-sectors that come under the sports tech umbrella.
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