Sparx Solutions is excited to have delivered a comprehensive ICT network infrastructure solution to the Hawthorn Football Club and we are pleased to continue our partnership in support of their success.

Client: Hawthorn Football Club

Industry: Sports / AFL

Services: Network and Cyber Security Consultancy, Cloud Networking, Wireless Networking


Historically, Hawthorn FC’s IT network was challenged by low network performance which created a disproportionately high business risk for the club.

Hawthorn FC’s recent decisions to migrate to a hybrid-cloud architecture presented new challenges in the form of securing data on and off premise whilst maintaining acceptable performance and reliability across its IT network. Hawthorn FC’s IT team soon realised that if one switch in their network fumbled, nearly all football and business operations would go down with it.

Their Local Area Network put them at a major competitive disadvantage and that risk was unacceptable. They understood the need to mitigate the network performance risk across their hybrid-cloud environment, effectively manage the increasing volumes of sports related IoT (Internet of Things) device data, ensure data security and plan for an exponential expansion in capacity.

Hawthorn FC chose Sparx Solutions as their trusted networking and security partner to see them into the next stage of their future and their next Premiership.


Sparx Solutions’ consultative, business-focused, solution-oriented methodology underpinned the delivery approach:

1. Build a robust understanding of Hawthorn FC’s business as-a-whole;

2. In collaboration with Hawthorn FC; analyse the problem, the risks and its effect on the business; and

3. Apply a technology agnostic approach to identifying a fit-for-purpose solution which considered the business’ priorities, budget, requirements and implementation timeframe.

Sparx Solutions worked collaboratively with Hawthorn FC to design a secure, highly integrated, high speed network by analysing the current network’s strengths and weaknesses and considering the Club’s future plans. The approach identified elements that required immediate remediation and analysed future sports IoT trends to “future proof” the network for the longer term.


Sparx Solutions and Hawthorn FC worked together to deploy new Juniper data center network infrastructure creating enough network capacity to support data and telephony as well as over 150 high definition video feeds.

The security solution utilised a Next Gen Firewall to segregate security zones and isolate potential threats. The existing firewall was optimised to also facilitate: secure remote access for Hawthorn’s mobile workforce; secure site-to-site VPNs connecting branches to head office; Unified Threat Management; and Zero-Day threat defense.

The final solution:

  • Prioritised the critical transport of live video during games as the drone devices transmitted high definition video and audio back to the coach’s box in real-time;
  • Managed switching infrastructure across multiple sites as a single entity allowing for operational efficiency and simplicity; and
  • Focused on delivering the Club’s cloud and on-premise hosted applications across business, rather than spending unnecessary time managing their network.

The solution also enabled Hawthorn FC to become a Hybrid Cloud Enabled Enterprise, with connections to Microsoft Azure. Business applications could be mixed between on-site and Cloud-based. This capability enabled the club to address a major business continuity risk as business-critical services can now operate out of the Cloud should the on-premise environment become unavailable.