Press Release: Melbourne sports Travel Business, Sportsnet Holidays Celebrates 20th Birthday

Melbourne, Australia – Past and present Sportsnet employees together with owners and directors, Rob & Daniel Cecconi and Ian Philpott recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the company’s first day of business – August 7 1998. A video of past and present employees recounting their favourite Sportsnet memories was played, whilst speeches from both employers and employees were toasted over lunch.

On the 7th of August 1998, Sportsnet Holidays was a humble two-man operation in a small office wedged between a fish & chip shop and a dry cleaner and back then one had to get off the phone if they wanted to use the internet. However, in the proceeding 20 years, brothers Rob and Daniel and brother-in-law to Rob, Ian have worked tirelessly to build those humble beginnings into one of the world’s largest Sports Travel providers. Today, Sportsnet employs more than 20 sports and travel fanatics in a large 660sqm office in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, and assists 10,000+ sports-loving travellers with the experience of a lifetime each year.

That hard work and commitment to excellence has been rewarded by the organisers of some of the world’s biggest sporting events too, with Sportsnet involved in the official travel programmes for iconic events including the Rugby World Cup 2019™, the Australian Open tennis, the Netball World Cup 2019™, Isle of Man TT, the Australian Formula 1® and Motorcycle Grand Prix and Melbourne Cup Carnival amongst many others.

In a time when approximately 60% of small businesses in Australia fail within their first three years and competition from multinational conglomerates has never been fiercer (for example, Flight Centre Travel Group recently posted record-breaking revenue results), it’s a rare and refreshing good-news story to hear of a local family-run business celebrating its 20th birthday. However, Sportsnet prides itself on, and attributes its successes to, its ‘quick and nimble’ nature and ability to adapt, and high standard of customer service (it currently has an incredible average rating of 4.9/5 on Facebook). This has resulted in Sportsnet carving out a sizeable slice of the Australian Sports Travel industry. In fact, Sportsnet recently posted its own record-breaking financial year revenue results, so that ‘slice’ is rapidly growing into a chunk!

Of the milestone achievement, founder and director, Rob Cecconi remarked, “Never in my wildest dreams on that first day of business did I think that Sportsnet would still be around, going strength to strength, 20 years later. Although I’m obviously incredibly proud of this achievement, a huge amount of the company’s successes must be attributed to the people that work for it because without their passion and enthusiasm, the business simply wouldn’t be what it is today”.

… a huge amount of the company’s successes must be attributed to the people that work for it because without their passion and enthusiasm, the business simply wouldn’t be what it is today.

– Rob Cecconi, Founder and Director of Sportsnet Holidays

Co-owner and Director, Daniel Cecconi shared similar sentiments, “I’ve spent half my life working at Sportsnet and like any business, we’ve had our ups and downs, but what I truly believe has been the biggest contributor to our ability to overcome hurdles and our successful longevity are our fantastic staff. When our clients have an incredible experience it’s because our team are passionate sports and travel lovers themselves, and we put together and sell trips that we’d love to do ourselves”.

When asked why she believed Sportsnet had been able to succeed against the odds in the age of businesses like Expedia, and Trivago which have made it easier than ever for consumers to book their own travel, Product Manager at Sportsnet Holidays, Rebecca Bertuna commented, “Although it’s easier than ever been to actually book travel yourself, the logistics is still something that can be very stressful to organiseI think a lot of people are filled with just as much anxiety as excitement prior to their trip because they’re worried that they might have made a mistake and their holiday will turn into a nightmare! When you book with us, you can rest assured that not only will we get your itinerary right, it will be an amazing one with some really cool experiences that are available exclusively from us. Plus, every one of our clients gets their own personal consultant, so when someone calls up and needs to make a change to their travel plans, they’re going to be speaking to the same person who organised it in the first place. It’s really important to us that we have that personal connection to clients, and I think it’s really important to them as well”.

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William Lamont • 
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