Why is technology going to help the sports industry and you must get used to the proven fact that people and businesses will all the time be outside the stadium? This is a big question in early 2021 and definitely a legitimate one too. The world has changed. More than six months ago, in diverse parts of the world, developments in viruses that have alerted us all have been analyzed every day. COVID 19 has spread to more than 100 countries and brought with it, in addition to attacks on the body, doubts, questions, changes in people’s habits and behavior both individually and collectively. Sport has also fallen victim to a devastating impact, although not as much as industries such as travel and hospitality. We’re used to seeing any sporting discipline and perhaps for a while we cannot see it in the same light anymore – no more going to soccer games with the children. No more watching swimming and gymnastics shows. No more Sunday afternoons playing golf. Those who practice it professionally or amateurly, too, will be unable to expand their activity in the same way anytime soon. All areas came to an uncommon halt. Some records may have been broken and a few will be set, you can read more about that at www.premierleagueheroes.com.
However, the reality is that the pandemic also leaves certainty. More than 75% of the world’s population loved sports before the virus went global, the same percentage we will get when this process has been overcome. The behavior of the athletes must be different from what they’ve experienced so far, both during training and transfer. It won’t be the norm anymore to go see a sport with an audience like we used to do in the past. And this last point is bound to be the one most of us pays no attention to. So what will change? Technology is bound to intervene as it already has.
Technology leads wa
Technology will continue to help us stay connected to the sport we love. It will accompany us and permit us to enjoy it in a different way. Nowadays when there isn’t any space to enjoy entertainment outside the home, content consumption by diverse technology platforms is increasing. According to a recent Global Web Index survey, content use via streaming, online TV, or video games grew the most amongst those under 37, peaking at virtually 50% more than they used before confinement. In Europe, use social network increases by 55%. The number of eSports tournaments increased significantly, while sports instantly fell. An increase in tournaments and the public that follows them, will make it possible to increase the commercial revenue of the properties that initially generated this activity (Federations, Leagues, clubs, etc).
Technology already allows us to see what’s happening in the stadium, at the same time, anywhere in the world. Transmission via conventional systems such as TV or new platforms (streaming, OTT – Content over the internet) can take us to every corner of the planet. While all the football leagues in the world struggle to have large numbers of fans in their stands, business on matchdays is much smaller with respect to sales of audiovisual rights or sponsorships.
Perhaps where we can find the most contribution in technology is in the distribution of content and the revenue it brings to leagues and clubs. Attendance at stadiums across much of Europe and America was well under 30,000 per game. However, now there is a chance to watch games you may not have seen before, and a few soccer leagues may be broadcast in additional than 170 countries. In recent years, the growth of OTT has made it possible to reach any cell phone, tablet or computer in the world directly, successfully doubling audience and revenue. The clubs, leagues or athletes that make use of them are global and not local. However much of the revenue generated will be used for good causes. During the COVID-19 crisissport has donated millions to good causes to help people get back on their feet.
Is it only football?
NO! The NBA just signed an agreement with Microsoft a few days ago to use artificial intelligence to enhance fan experience and broadcast content. 99% of his fans in the world have never attended a live match. It has been working with OTT itself for some time now and offers its global followers different content and images to view from cellphones and tablets. Formula 1 last season saw 1.9 billion people pay to see the races, with around 4 million fans attending the grand prix. Their OTT can be viewed from any platform in approximately 80 countries, while their races are run in 21 countries. Basketball is big and all the sports platforms have been hit but things are improving yet again as a result of advances in technology that allow fans to still get the sports experience.
COVID 19 will pass. When conditions allow it to return to enjoying sports, each country will get the green light to advance yet again. Technological tools will continue to allow us to enjoy them. With or without spectators, professional sport has long ceased to be an activity enjoyed only in stadiums. Its business is not supported by its ticket sales, even though in many places it still constitutes a significant part of the revenue. The setting will not be the same, but there will be more people and businesses outside the stadium than inside. Technology will continue to accompany the growth of activity and bring in new fans from all over the world, whether or not they are in quarantine or not.