Sports have always been a big part of the entertainment industry, and the sector is expanding rapidly. Recent Statista data projects total revenue in the sports industry to reach US$1.33bn in 2022.
Sports technologies are changing quickly to fulfill the demands of athletes and fans. Today, the sector is beyond training, playing games, and organizing events. Below are seven top sports business trends in 2022.
1. Medical companies will invest in the sports industry
Today, pharmaceutical companies, which are among the wealthiest in the world, want to share their story.
And what better way to do this than via building a relationship with an industry that traditionally prioritizes physical wellbeing? Today, many of these brands have a stronger consumer presence than previously.
It is crucial to continue investing in their marketing campaigns to keep their competitive edge outside their laboratories. It is not surprising that several researchers have projected significant growth in the global sports medicine market as fans want to see them grow.
2. The industry will incorporate sustainability
Startups are creating technologies that make sports more sustainable to reduce the negative impact of the sports tech business on the environment. For example, leftover food from stadiums is recycled to keep food waste out of landfills and lower greenhouse emissions.
Additionally, businesses are adopting innovative rainwater reuse strategies to water grass and plants and flush the laundry and restrooms. Switching to renewable energy is another trend, as stadiums consume a lot of electricity during events.
Green stadiums are not only good for the environment, but they also save money on electricity.
3. Popularization of smart stadiums
Stadiums and sports facilities have gradually evolved from being a place for sporting events to business and recreational facilities.
Consider recent innovations at stadiums like the Hard Rock Stadium, demonstrating their commercial plan for the next few years.
Restaurants, shopping malls, fitness centers, and other leisure-related businesses are increasingly housed in sports facilities.
This is supplemented with technology to enhance the fan experience, optimize resources, and collect insights to enhance performance.
4. Boost in collectables
The collectible industry is unpredictable, from artwork refashioned as trading cards to shoes and NFTs. However, in 2022 and beyond, it is set to become more valuable. A Market Decipher study projects the global sports memorabilia market to increase from 2021’s $26.1 billion to $227.2 billion by 2032. Therefore, the old sneakers in your closet could be worth more than ever. Many fans will be able to make money off any memorabilia they may have.
5. Virtual reality is expanding
Virtual reality has permeated more sectors of life, including sports. As technology progresses and new applications emerge, the sports sector will see increased investment in VR. Following a failed stint in 1990, VR returned and has become an effective and aggressive tool in the sports sector.
Today businesses are employing VR to give hyper-realistic skills training for players and athletes to sharpen their tactical awareness. VR might potentially imitate real-world game occurrences, allowing coaches to make a reality-based adaptation. Additionally, fans can have the best front-row stadium experience right in the comfort of their homes, thanks to the combination of VR and drone camera abilities.
6. Advanced streaming
The advancing digitization has disrupted sports broadcasting to ensure fans get the best experience. Consequently, broadcasters must offer tailored experience and precise information while keeping a high streaming speed.
Sports fans now benefit from increased streams thanks to 3D technology and 4K resolution. OTT systems also distribute live streaming to internet-enabled devices meaning fans can view streams from anywhere on numerous devices.
As discussed earlier, VR offers fans a more in-depth experience as they view a game from various angles by virtually moving seats. These technologies increase broadcast quality and provide spectators with more precise information about what is happening throughout the game.
7. Increased fan engagement
Fans are important players in the sports business, from physically attending games at various venues to purchasing merchandise.
The role of fans in the industry cannot be understated, and it is no surprise that businesses and clubs invest a lot into maintaining the relationship and ensuring their loyalty.
Clubs use various technologies to increase fan involvement, including blockchain, video sharing, and AI-powered smart chatbots. Several sports entities offer unique fan tokens to interact with their fans worldwide.
Sports have evolved into more than just a game; the impact is felt across global economies. The above are a few top sports trends that create new opportunities and challenge the industry players.