Technological advancements are reshaping the sports industry, influencing everything from how athletes train to how fans consume content. The industry is growing rapidly, increasing the demand for improved technology to further enhance the fan experience. As consumer habits and demographics have changed, companies have sought innovative ways to use technology to reach untapped segments of the population. Keep reading to learn about the biggest trends shaping the sports industry right now.
Increased Fan Engagement
Engaging fans is a priority for most sports leagues, and technology is helping them to do it. Sports teams are using various innovations, including video sharing, smart chatbots, and biometrics identification, to reach their fans. Technology has increased the demand for social betting and in-play wagering, allowing fans to access friendly wagers and place bets at short intervals, immediately before the action takes place.
Placing wagers is a big part of the fan experience, with many viewing online betting as a way to indirectly participate in their favorite sports. Most fans who bet on sports want to keep close tabs on how their teams are performing, and many of the technologies which sports teams are using allow them to do so. Alongside this, immersive technologies, like holograms, allow fans to chat with sports stars from anywhere in the world. All of this together is increasing engagement and enhancing the fan experience.
Although it may not be obvious, artificial intelligence innovations have had a considerable impact on all aspects of our daily lives. From soccer to Formula 1 racing, the sports industry uses AI to help with training, strategy, marketing, and more. Given the vast amounts of data that sports generate daily, sports data analytics are playing an increasing role in the industry’s operations.
Machine learning and data mining technologies have helped sports leagues evaluate players, assess draft picks, increase ticket sales, and improve fan engagement. Sports leagues have entered into partnerships with companies like Amazon Web Services to gather performance-related data to enhance real-time predictions and keep fans interested.
With the rise of the metaverse, it seems inevitable that blockchain technology will have an impact on all aspects of our lives and the sports industry is part of that. While you may think of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin when you hear the word blockchain, in the sports world, blockchain will facilitate safe and secure transactions without the need for banks, credit cards, or other intermediaries. And that’s not all; blockchain will also allow sports clubs to issue tickets that can’t be forged and build loyalty programs to interact with fans.
Soaring eSports Popularity
While there’s still plenty of debate about whether video games are legitimate sports, the impact of professional gaming on the sports industry is undeniable. eSports is on track to surpass NHL, MLS, NBA, and MLB in viewership numbers and could overtake the NFL if it maintains its current pace. Given that gaming tournaments fill stadiums and attract millions of viewers worldwide, we can safely say that competitive gaming is here to stay.
Traditional sports clubs have taken notice, and some have started their own digital teams. Top eSports athletes have superstar status rivaling athletes in traditional sports, and many spend over eight hours a day practicing their games. They also have trainers, coaches, nutritionists, and strategists to ensure they’re making the most of their skills.
Tracking data in real-time is changing the face of sports, with NFL and NBA coaching staff using these technologies to help boost players’ performance during training sessions. Sports clubs are using data analytics to track on-field data during games and make adjustments to maximize their chances of victory. Moreover, the sports industry is using data analysis for fan engagement and to gather insights about the audiences attending sporting events.
Sensors are also increasingly being used to help athletes train at the highest levels. When players wear sensors, trainers can monitor their heart rate, reaction times, and distance traveled. With this information, they can make adjustments to help players avoid injuries during games and improve training sessions. In the near future, there may be sensors on t-shirts to help improve posture, turning clothing items into personal coaches.