Empowering athletes to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape is at the core of a breakthrough athlete marketing tool from the Ministry of Sport.

Dr Popi Sotiriadou (GBS) delivered the educational features, based on years of research, in PlayaPower’s 12 masterclasses.

Launched in January, ‘PlayaPower’ is an answer for athletes seeking to advance their careers beyond the field, the online platform designed to empower sports stars to navigate the synergy between success and their digital brand.

After months of meticulously crafting content, Griffith Business School’s Dr Popi Sotiriadou delivered the educational elements in PlayaPower’s 12 masterclasses, ranging from branding strategies and storytelling to social media use and crisis management.

“This collaboration has revolutionised athlete education,” Dr Sotiriadou said.

“It also demonstrates how research expertise can be translated into a commercialised deal by working with Griffith University’s commercialisation team at Griffith Enterprise, bringing tangible value to the market.”

“Through strategic use of social media platforms and storytelling techniques, athletes can extend their reach and engage authentically with their audience, ensuring they remain relevant in an ever-evolving digital environment.”

The commercial evolution of Dr Sotiriadou’ s research began in 2023 when she attended a sports-tech executive meet in Brisbane and was sought out by PlayaPower’s founder Ben Parsons.

“After Ben pitched me the idea, we spent two hours sharing our enthusiasm about the need for and importance of offering such a unique platform, recognising how this could revolutionise athlete branding in the digital age,” she said.

Dr Sotiriadou has produced impactful reports examining brand endorsements and purchase intent, athlete brand identity, image and congruence, and more recently the effects of culture in determining female athletes use and portrayal of their brand through social media.

Her extensive expertise in sports marketing led to an exclusive invitation for her to contribute to PlayaPower, offering practical tools and strategies for athletes to extend and elevate their careers through digital engagement.

Former rugby player and sports presenter Alana Ferguson is one of the high-profile names leading a masterclass.

“The success of seeing my research translated into the market through PlayaPower has been personally fulfilling and professionally rewarding,” she said.

“By empowering athletes with the knowledge and skills to navigate the digital landscape, I have witnessed tangible outcomes, not only for individual athletes but also for the broader sporting community.”

PlayaPower’s founder Ben Parsons said witnessing Dr Sotiriadou’ s emotional connection to the original concept was a pivotal moment, confirming their commercial endeavours were perfectly aligned with her academic work.

“Popi has been more than a partner; she’s been a cornerstone of innovation, weaving her academic insights into the fabric of our project,” Mr Parsons said.

“Her contribution has been instrumental in transcending the boundaries between academia and industry, showcasing the profound impact of uniting academic excellence with commercial ambition.”

The NRL, A-League and Australian Jockeys Association are some of the big brands already showing support and interest in the innovative platform.

Find out more here.

Playa Power from Ministry of Sport on Vimeo.

9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
UN Sustainable Development Goals 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure