The global sports industry, valued at an estimated $1.3 trillion USD in 2017, has been grappling with many of the same (or similar) challenges that other global industries have been faced with in recent years. As digital technologies have continued to evolve, there has been a widespread need to adapt established business models to take into account new developments like data analytics, virtual reality and the ubiquity of smartphones.
In the world of sports management – a broad industry including public relations, marketing, event management and more – major advancements in technology have presented certain challenges but have also opened up new possibilities for fan engagement, revolutionized the training process for players and driven a number of other major trends within the industry.
Staying on top of these ever-changing trends can be the key to mining new opportunities and finding success in the field, so for anyone interested in a career in sports management, here are some of the most important current trends that you should know.
1. Smart Stadiums Are Using Mobile Apps to Enhance Visitors’ Experiences
As television sets have grown bigger and the technology behind them more advanced, stadiums have been pressed to make advances that can help them compete with the comfort of home viewing.
One of the ways they’ve gone about doing so is developing smartphone applications to improve the stadium-going experience. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, for example, offers WiFi for visitors, who can access a variety of services with their smartphones, such as virtual guides to their seats, nearest bathrooms and shortest lineups. Visitors can also order food and drinks directly to their seat and watch replay videos during the game.
By using mobile apps to enhance the live game experience, professionals in sports management careers are turning smartphones from distractions into valuable tools for increasing engagement.
Geneva Business School’s Sports Management degree includes a focus on managing innovation
2. Virtual Reality Could Change How Fans Watch and Players Train
In the 2015/2016 NBA season, the league made history by being the first to broadcast a live professional sports game in virtual reality (VR).
Not only does virtual reality create a range of opportunities for catering to at-home viewers, providing increasingly immersive ways to experience games, but VR sports training platforms are also being used to help accelerate training for players.
3. Professionals in Sports Management Careers Are Seeing More Predictive Analytics
Introduced to mainstream audiences through the popular film “Moneyball,” predictive analytics are gaining increasing traction in the business of major spectator sports.
Predictive analytics uses a variety of statistical techniques in order to use data from the past to make predictions about the future. It’s already being used to maximize ticket revenue by analyzing consumer behaviours, reduce recovery time for athletes and analyze video of players’ performances in order to make incremental improvements.
Predictive analytics offer powerful tools for improving player performance, maximizing revenue and increasing fan engagement, so students pursuing a Sports Management degree would do well to keep an eye on this trend.
Students at Geneva Business School learn the necessary skills to stay on top of industry trends
4. eSports Are Going Mainstream
While it’s taken some time for eSports, or competitive video gaming, to gain mainstream acceptance, it’s a trend that’s taken significant strides in recent years and should be on any sports management professional’s radar. With several American universities now offering scholarships for top players and incorporating eSports into their varsity athletics programs, major companies like Coca-Cola and American Express signing on as sponsors for events, and prize pools for tournaments regularly reaching into the millions, it’s not hard to see that eSports represents a growing sector of the sports entertainment industry with many opportunities.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in sports management?
Contact Geneva Business School for more information about our MBA in Sports Management.