Sport has faced some tough challenges during 2020, all of which have forced numerous changes to be implemented across the industry.

Technology has thankfully proved to be a life-saver in many instances, providing the sector with practical solutions to the problems it has faced.

That trend will undoubtedly continue in the future, with innovators continuing to push the boundaries with regards to the usage of tech in sport.

Read on as we take a closer look at some of the latest developments in sport and how tech is transforming the landscape.

 

Live Streaming Booms

As highlighted by this list from Sportslens.com, live streaming services have become an integral part of the sports industry in recent times.

Traditional broadcasters and cable networks have come under increasing pressure as consumers have become switched on to the benefits of using streaming platforms.

Viewing habits have become far more non-linear, a point highlighted by a recent report from Nielsen which claimed that streaming is up more than 74 percent year-on-year.

Dennis Deninger, a sports communications professor at Syracuse University, told Forbes that sport must continue to adapt its broadcast model.

He says that the key to this will be for sports leagues to find creative ways to remain at the forefront of public consciousness.

“Flexibility and freedom are the definition of streaming services,” he said. “Sports, with their scheduled games, are rigidly timed. In other words, they offer the opposite of flexibility.

“When people were living more on schedules, watching a game in the evening became part of your schedule. Now if you have a big flexible schedule, your viewing patterns have changed tremendously.”

“They’ve got to be sending this message of value and benefit to people – that it’s valuable for you to spend your time watching these events, and there’s a benefit to getting back into the regular viewing of sports.

“There’s a reason for this, a sense of belonging, there’s a specialness to it.”

In terms of fan engagement, doing it the digital way has been commonplace not only in the sports landscape recently. Organizations, teams, and leagues face the challenge of making digital interactions succeed. With the lack of physical interaction between athletes and fans, what’s bound to happen to sports live streaming?

To get into the flow of digital transformation and excel at it, sports organizations and leagues should take note of these strategies: 

  • Reach out to your audience using the right platforms. The venue of a sports event plays a vital role in the event’s success. The right digital media distribution platform should contain rich, intuitive features that allow connections comparable to physical ones. With the advent of social media, boosting your influence on these platforms can be fruitful.
  • Create valuable, engaging content. Engagement doesn’t stop once you create an account on your chosen platform, as content is what captures the interest of your target audience. Make all types of content, from text to multimedia, and make sure it embodies your sports brand. 
  • Build brand partnerships. Sports and brands create the perfect partnership, and it’s no stranger even before the digital transformation of sports. During sports events, you’ll see different names of brands everywhere, so building a relationship with a brand that shares the same values and objectives as your association is paramount. 
  • Expose the human side of the athletes. Fans would also love to see their favorite athletes behind the camera. Aside from sharing highlights of sports events, create fun and lighthearted digital content featuring athletes, and discuss their daily life in a live stream. 

 

Deloitte puts Sport in the Spotlight

Women’s sport has long been viewed as being a sector where significant growth is achievable, and experts have forecast that its upward trajectory will continue in the future.

According to Deloitte, women’s sports are on course to become a billion-dollar market in the next few years, with increased interest from broadcasters and sponsors helping to drive the boom.

The firm has predicted that this additional exposure will change the way that women’s sports are perceived, and create further opportunities for monetisation in the future.

The use of athlete data collection and analysis is another element that Deloitte has predicted will come under increasing focus over the coming year.

Advancements in tech have allowed for a culture where data is captured in real-time, giving analysts the chance to measure what is happening both inside and outside the body.

This creates hundreds of exciting new metrics to feed into decision-making, thus creating what Deloitte describes as a ‘hyper-quantified athlete’.

They say that the potential this offers will lead to multiple professional sports leagues establishing new formal policies around the collection, use and commercialisation of player data.

“Using wearables to monitor the health of athletes, along with testing, has helped sports leagues stay in the game,” said Dr Jeff Loucks, executive director, Deloitte Centre for Technology, Media and Telecommunications.

“Collecting and analysing data from athletes can improve their performance – and potentially prevent injury. It could also enable new revenue streams for teams and leagues. As these possibilities expand, the athlete’s privacy and well-being must remain front and centre.”