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The Big Red Group launches experiences brand in Australia 

The Big Red Group launches experiences brand in Australia 
June 3, 2019

The Big Red Group (BRG) has today launched the premium curated experiences brand, IfOnly, in Australia, unlocking access to local and global experiences that benefit charity. 

IfOnly is a partnership with the US site of the same name – founded in 2012 with the purpose of unlocking access to extraordinary experiences for social good, with every listing benefitting a cause. 

Partnering with local and world-class ‘luminaries’, whether experts in their field, celebrities or other noteworthy personalities, brands and charities, IfOnly offers extraordinary experiences across entertainment, culinary, music and more, with up to 80% of the funds going to an associated charity.

The brand launches locally with more than 20 charities set to benefit initially, including Cancer Council, R U OK!, Starlight Children’s Foundation, OzHarvest and The Sony Foundation. 

BRG Co-Founder, Naomi Simson, says the launch of IfOnly is testament to the Big Red Group’s purpose ‘to shift the way people experience life’ and is a response to the continued growth of the experience economy, a subject on which the group have published a new whitepaper. 

She explains “customers, more than ever, want to align themselves with brands that have a true social conscience and who are actively contributing to the community. 

“Australians are known as charitable people, and the way we value activities and our time more than material possessions is unlike any other time in history. 

“BRG is focused on offering a broad range of experiences, across different brands, that serve different purposes for our customers and clients. And being able to offer a fundraising channel for Australia’s not-for-profit sector adds greatly to our social commitment. 

“IfOnly is all about making the impossible possible and answering a consumer desire for richer experiences that give to both the recipient and our communities via the strong philanthropic focus.” 

Simson herself will be hosting a range of premium experiences, with the proceeds going to the Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance of which she sits on the Board of Governors. Simson’s experiences will fund a valuable preventative public health campaign to educate about the link between Cytomegalovirus (CMV)* and children born with cerebral palsy. 

Once-in-a-lifetime IfOnly experiences available to Australians from today, include: 

● The Who and Eddie Vedder, live at Wembley. In the first global sweepstakes of its kind, IfOnly is unlocking access for Australian residents to win a rock’n’roll adventure with legendary rock band The Who and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, at Wembley Stadium in London, 6th July. 
● Kevin Pietersen South African Rhino Conservation Experience at Umganu Lodge. Price on request - US$50,000 of proceeds benefitting Care for Wild and South African National Parks. 
● Dinner on the pitch of the SCG with Michael Clarke, personalised tour and signed memorabilia – directly benefitting The Cancer Council. 
● The Kingdom Choir at Sydney Opera House. They performed their show-stopping performance of 'Stand By Me’ in front of nearly two billion people at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018, and now they bring their heralded performances to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Includes coveted backstage access, meet and greet and photo opportunity with Conductor Karen Gibson and Choir members – 80% of proceeds to The Sony Foundation. 
● Ariana Grande ‘Sweetener’ Tour Experience. Meet Ariana with VIP Tickets to one of her US shows, in this rare encounter with one of the most popular artists of the moment. 

IfOnly US Chief Executive John Boris is in Sydney for the launch and is thrilled to be partnering with the BRG to bring the premium experience offering, with a charitable twist, to a new market. 

Boris advised “by combining the Australian experiences market leader with the leader of premium experiences in the US, we are able to bring our unique offering to new audiences and support more causes.

“Whether you want to have a bucket-list experience - such as playing soccer with Rinaldo or meeting the Rolling Stones, or you want an amazing local experience such as a cooking class with a lauded local chef - IfOnly has it all, and a portion of every experience we sell goes to support charity. 

“We raise millions of dollars for charities in the US, and we can’t wait to do the same here in Australia through our partnership with BRG.” 

The launch further powers the BRG’s multi-brand strategy, to appeal to different audiences with different experience needs, and follows the acquisition of Adrenaline only six months ago. 

IfOnly joins RedBalloon, Adrenaline, Marketics (Albert AI) and Redii, cementing the group’s position as the largest online aggregator of experiences in Australia, and third largest globally (Hitwise 2018). 

As a $100 million business and experiences market leader, BRG has also unveiled a new research report detailing the depth and opportunity of the 'experience economy’ in Australia. 

In response to the explosion of experiences both locally and globally, the BRG has released a whitepaper, The Experience Economy: Riding a rising tide

Simson is mindful that the ‘experience economy’ has evolved significantly in the 20 or so years since the phrase was first coined. 

She adds “as leaders in the experience space, we felt it was crucial to interrogate what the ‘Experience Economy’ stands for in 2019 and beyond, particularly in the Australian market. The ‘Experience Economy’ is in no doubt growing but it is also ‘growing up’,. 

“The paper is a deep dive into demographic trends, the role of social media, brand loyalty, and how fintech developments and AI are shifting the expectations of the modern consumer.” 

Click here to access The Experience Economy: Riding a rising tide.

Key Facts

● BRG was founded in July 2017 by Naomi Simson and David Anderson
● BRG brands have served more than five million experiences
● Collectively, BRG brands represent more than 3,000 experience partners and
more than 7,000 experiences across Australia and New Zealand
● BRG has served more than 600,000 experiences in FY19, with the vision of serving an experience every second somewhere on earth by 2025
● Annual traffic to the BRG online experience brands has reached 10 million (Hitwise).

* CMV causes more long-term problems and childhood deaths than Down Syndrome, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, and neural tube defects. However, only 9% of women know about CMV and fewer know about simple steps to take to reduce the chance of acquiring an infection during pregnancy. The preventative public health campaign being funded by Naomi Simson and IfOnly will increase awareness of Congenital CMV by educating pregnant women about the simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of infection and help prevent permanent disabilities in children.

Related Articles

8th April 2019 - Anytime Fitness partners with R U OK? suicide prevention charity

4th November 2018 - IAAPA report highlights global surge in the ‘experience economy’

18th November 2017 - RedBalloon fined over excessive credit card charges

8th September 2016 - Exercise & Sports Science Australia urges Australians to reconnect on R U OK? Day

19th July 2016 - RedBalloon launches real-time bookings with Livn GDS

29th April 2015 - Australian backed wellness resort presents a new approach to lifestyle tourism

19th November 2010 - Forget Leisure: Focus on the Experience Industry

14th April 2004 - RedBalloon survey shows Australians value family time

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