The future is now. Digital platforms has already fundamentally changed the way we interact with the world, shrinking the globe, vastly increasing the array of products and services on offer and changing the way we access them.
The sports industry and business landscape is evolving towards a more connected, technological and data-driven industry.
The most notable aspect of this evolution is the rapidly increasing use of social media, OTT platforms, digital, analytical and AI platforms. The digital transformation and the technology that fuels it has enabled fans of football clubs to interact with their content way beyond the 90 minutes live games. Indeed, digital ensures that the match never ends.
This explosion in data driven strategies are a result of “datafication”, or the ability to codify entirely new classes of information in digital forms.
Digital has impacted the sports world and will continue to do so to even greater lengths. Ticketing is very much a digital process. Merchandise sales online are a feature of the industry today and have been for some time. Social media intensifies the connection between fans and club and provides generates valuable insights which the clubs can take advantage from.
With technology, rule changes and fan expectations constantly changing the way sports are played and viewed.
Sports organizations are adopting a data-driven decision-making strategy at all levels, from player recruitment to fan engagement and sponsorships / partnerships, which has led to increased investment in data services and highly customized analytical solutions.
With a market size of only $125 million in 2014, sports analytics valuation jumped to $764.3 million in 2016 and is expected to reach a staggering $4.7 billion by 2021. Technavio’s analysts estimate the global sports analytics market to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth rate is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period) of 56.66% between 2017-2021. The Sports Journal’s holding company, DANTANI, Inc. Sports has got into the analytics and media monitoring business with Sponsorlytix and Dantani Newswires with innovative analytical solutions.
Given the tremendous growth in the sports industry and related businesses, it has become clear that technology and sports are becoming further intertwined in a multitude of ways that will benefit teams, fans, and the industry at large.
Modern fans don’t merely watch sports, they connect in real time, socializing, critiquing, and engaging deeply with each event. Sports fans are viewed as true brand partners by advertisers due to their loyalty.
Access to richer data will enable more focused sponsor targeting and authentic engagement that will spill outside of the stadium.
Analytics in sports, specifically fan engagement analytics, could enhance the live game experience and maintain fan and sponsor participation. Explore potential revenue-generating ideas for boosting attendance, driving engagement, and enriching sponsorship opportunities.
With global sponsorship expenditures reaching over $62 billion in 2017, the importance of understanding and effectively managing this evolving relationship is coming to the forefront.
Sponsorship packages are evolving rapidly. Brands are not looking for signage or logo on backdrop. They would like to associate their brand with sporting organisations, clubs, leagues and federations through digital assets. They would like to use all kind of data in order to run campaigns for their sponsorships.
Brands can use player data, match / competition data, performance data in order to activate their sponsorship rights. And also, rights holders can use player data, match / competition data and performance data for their competitions and relationships with their sponsors.
Data driven sponsorship activation gives interactivity to sponsors and rights holders. Interactivity brings more loyalty to fans and more engagement for sponsors and rights holders. And this interactive relationship obviously will increase sponsorship revenues of rights holders.
All fans are curious about performance data of their legend heroes. Brands easily can use player data and performance data for fan engagement purposes.
Also, fans are curious about match / competition data like number of yellow cards, number of red cards, number of offsides, number of shots on target, number of clear saves etc. And it is possible to use this data for fan engagement purposes.
Tapping into transaction and mobile app usage data can help clubs, federations, leagues and sponsors target fans and offer tailored offerings or promotions.
In addition to marketing, sponsorships, media and fan engagement purposes, data is used for preventing injuries for athletes. Storing all data of athletes in one platform makes it easier to discover and communicate key insights. Utilised and stored player data is used to optimise performance and reduce injury risk. Also, usage of data helps to develop performance of players and reach their maximum limits.
Future is now in sports world, fans, athletes, players, sponsors, federations, leagues, clubs and all stakeholders are evolving with technology and the most importantly with the effective and strategized usage of data.