The end of the pandemic is nowhere in sight, so reimagining certain industries is not a suggestion anymore. It is an imperative.
Some industries have it less complicated than others. The sports industry is one of them. For way long before 2020, the way sports fans interact with their favorite teams or players has been transforming. For example, the use of social media and merchandising deals have become pathways to a more meaningful and engaged interaction between them.
But for long, these online social platforms have only played this unilateral role between fans and athletes. A more engaged role with the sport itself hasn’t been as widely available for audiences, since the way sports events are broadcast hasn’t changed that much. A few, incumbent players still have most of the leeway to dominate the sports viewing industry.
So, it might be a good time right now to start reimagining sports using precisely these online, social tools in the way sports are meant to be enjoyed: as live events.
Here are three ways to think about these reimagined versions of live events.
- Consider the technology. The existing technology today might make for an easier transition to a different experience of online events. OTT streaming can allow for smaller teams and leagues to stream their games directly to users’ phones. More phones are increasingly having the capability of receiving real-time, live streaming –and they will be even more ready once 5G is rolled out worldwide. So, it is safe to say that the bones of what could become a new live sports offering are ready.
- Look out for new audiences. Fans of smaller leagues, fantasy sports of underrepresented sports, local teams that include senior citizens, junior or children leagues; there’s a myriad of niche audiences that could benefit from –and be willing to pay for– a new live sports streaming.
- There are alternatives for monetization. The surge of NFTs and new regulations are helping athletes monetize their image and endorsements. It is one of the most appealing aspects of any new way of transmitting live sports. According to the PWC Sports Industry Survey, 82.9% of respondents say that the creation and monetisation of digital assets is one of the best opportunities for revenue growth within sports.