The sports industry is no stranger to the changes brought about by cultural changes and technological innovation. And since the year is about to close, we will usher in another decade of sports with new trends that are redefining the experience for players, investors, and fans. In this article, we explore in detail the trends that were big in 2019 and what we can expect in the years to come.
Augmented and virtual reality application in sports
During the last several years, AR and VR were the most exciting innovation set to revolutionize sports. Although the excitement has fizzled somewhat, there is still significant interest in finding new applications of these technologies in the world of sports. Perhaps what is most notable here is how AR and VR bring a new way for fans to experience and enjoy sports. As entertainment becomes more interactive, fans are also more in touch with sports celebrities they admire and respect.
Sports analytics and data
Information is powerful and is changing how fans enjoy sports. Entertainment plays a significant role in keeping fans engaged. As such, the availability of platforms that provide access to data and analytics give fans what they need to choose which team or player to root for. Even sites that host games like booty bingo are benefiting from analytics and reporting. These tools can be a source of confidence for players and fans alike.
Athletes as influencers and content creators
Nowadays, sports fans no longer rely on the news to get updates about an ongoing tournament or a favorite player. Athletes are becoming more transparent about their daily activities through social media. Some even go to the extent of contributing stories to sports websites.
Social media presence makes these players relatable. Fans can also engage through comments and connect with fellow fans. In turn, players can use these channels to make a difference or encourage support for worthwhile causes such as charities.
eSports is gaining the recognition it deserves
Some sports purists would argue that eSports is not real sports. But the growing audience and support from professional leagues around the world are slowly cementing its reputation. In the years to come, more sports organizations around the globe can include eSports in events. And as recognition moves towards the positive side, eSports can be part of the Olympics in 2024.
A focus on the mental health of athletes
Mental health has always been brushed under the rug when it comes to professional sports. But as more online platforms become available for athletes to share their stories, there is now a renewed interest in mental health. It is empowering for many people to see these famous personalities come out with their struggles. As such, they become advocates to encourage mental health awareness and treatment. Not only does it remove the stigma on the disease, but allows those who suffer from the same condition to not be ashamed and seek to better themselves.
Personalized fan engagement
Collecting and storing data from the online behaviour of fans allow sports industry leaders and organizations to experiment with new ways to achieve engagement. Marketing becomes highly targeted, and fans feel more valued through the many ways they get to interact with their favorite teams and players.