By Stina Lundgren Högbom
It’s easy to think that sport is sport wherever you are in the world but as Mounir Zok put it, in US sport is entertainment and in Europe sport is the game.
- So how will the big clubs like 49ers, Warriors and the Sharks here in the US/Silicon Valley earn their money in the future?
You have to see the fan, the consumer. How do they do that? As the new stadium for the 49ers was built they also thought of how to make the experience for the Fan so special that they just can’t stay away. The 49ers started to work with VenueNext, to develop an app that not only would make the experience for the fan something extra (like food delivery to the seat, recaps, stats about the players etc.) but also would give the organization using it data about the fan, regarding what the fans do and don’t do in the arena. As the Warriors are building their new arena, it’s not just a sports venue but also a platform for the fans and the brand.
Streaming, the future -but how?
The media rights for the games are an important way to earn money. Right now it is ESPN, FOX and others that have the rights to broadcast the games and they have contracts with the leagues and not the individual teams. So in the near future when the big contracts expire, Streaming services has the chance to disrupt the industry. The contracts probably need to look very different in the future to allow for example recaps in the app not only for NFL but also for NHL and NBA. Likely, streaming will dominate distribution of sports content in the future and the fans will stream and pay just for the specific events they are interested in.
How will the athlete become the best version of herself?
When an elite athlete wakes up every morning she needs to make a choice, the smartest possible so that one day she will be on top of the podium. How can they make that decision? The athlete and coach need a lot of data. How will this data be collected and analyzed. Is it through smart fabrics with micro needles, patches that measure the content of the sweat or, a device on your water bottle that analyze the saliva? When the data is collected it needs to be transformed into something easy to understand that gives a fast answer regarding what the body can take that day - a fast answer for the best choice. This is the future but also the reality for a lot of star athletes today. As stars are made, and it doesn’t matter for what team they play, the teams and athletes need to optimize their performance to maximize the benefit for their respective brands. Ultimately it boils down to how to best captivate an audience.
Sport is not just sport anymore; sport is the interaction of the human body with tech in many different shapes and forms, for athletes as well as fans.