By Thomas Painter
The symbiotic relationship between sports and media is becoming forever more evident, with the two going hand in hand when growing as a business. The sports media landscape is witnessing some radical transformations with the introduction of innovative technology which could see endless opportunities within the industry to engage fans and allow them to have customised and immersive experiences. According to a study made by Forbes the sports technology market is forecasted to reach $31.1 billion by 2024. This figure is created by the predicted market growth which is being fuelled by an increase in the number of live sporting events and improvements in fan experience to those that are attending.
Although nothing can beat the experience of watching a game live, the continuing development of media coverage in sport is increasing the consumer experience of fans around the globe. A report from the consulting firm McKinsey suggests that younger viewers still follow sports at a high rate, but they do so through the consumption of highlights and sports-related social media content, which presents a clear opportunity of using this type of content as a main driver, and thus focusing on attracting the younger demographic when implementing these ideas.
In the future of consuming sport and media the experience will be enhanced with a higher degree of reality with the multi-dimensional possibilities of consumer experience. Fans will be able to feel as though they are pitch-side with the players whilst being in the comfort of their living room. Furthermore, there will be multiple virtual reality experiences that will allow the consumer to not only feel like they’re watching the sports games, but also being on the pitch as the players themselves. The 2022 Qatar World Cup allowed us to get an insight into what the future could hold for sports and media consumption, with the introduction with mobile features that allows us the scan the pitch and get in depth analysis of each player on the field.
The introduction of the metaverse will allow fans to have an elevated viewing experience, which will see fans penetrate an immersive, 3D virtual replica of their team’s sports arena, where they will be represented by a unique digital avatar that showcases their passion for a specific team or player, whilst being in a world surrounded by other fans that are represented by their own avatars. The metaverse will allow geographical barriers to be merged and allow all backgrounds to flow and interact. The current limitations on seat capacities that take place in the physical world will be a thing of the past with the introduction of the metaverse, which will see fans from all over the globe be able to attend any event they want. The metaverse will allow for a whole new stream of revenue for media in sport like never seen before, as the possibilities for monetised digital fan experiences are beyond the imagination, meaning that the symbiotic relationship between sport and media is only going to grow and grow.