Past the summer solstice and well into the year 2022, we have seen some remarkable technological innovations and major AI breakthroughs being made that have an impact on our everyday lives. The field of sports is no different. With the rapid evolution of video technology in sports, we expect a huge acceleration in digital fan engagement in the coming year with the help of smart innovations; our big 5 to watch out for would be:
1. The future of fan engagement lies in the metaverse
Experiencing the world of sports from the comfort of the living room is the very definition of ‘Metaverse’. With an immersive 360° viewing experience, brands, broadcasters, and streaming platforms will not only use metaverse to redefine the viewing experience but also leverage the platform to create unprecedented marketing campaigns using real-time moments in a virtual environment. For instance, Nike in collaboration with Roblox created a virtual world, called Nikeland, where fans in Nike apparel are provided with tools to create games, socialize and have an exhilarating brand experience.
2. Instant gratification will drive consumer loyalty
To attract and engage the new generation of viewers, sports teams and broadcasters will feel the need to share all live content, including the game and pre-and-post-match events, on multiple channels in real-time. The ability to lure and reward the users through instant gratification on social media channels will go a long way in complementing the existing outreach of the broadcasting platform. In addition, the ability to customize video content to consumer preferences using analytics in real-time will act as the magic sauce for increased subscription and retention rates for these digital platforms.
3. College Sports will operate on a whole new playing field
Tides have been shifting as more and more college teams have been kicking off in a bigger way after a transformative season. Technology will continue to revamp playing fields from little leagues to majors as teams embrace upgraded digital infrastructure. The focus will be on AI-powered performance analytics and innovative content distributive avenues for an enriched fan experience.
4. Sports Betting at crossroads, exciting times ahead
Sports betting is in a transitional phase as it emerges from the periphery to the mainstream. The global marketplace has created a niche for online sports betting with continuous innovation and technological advancements, such as AR and VR, and the industry is expected to soar to $218 billion by the year 2023.
5. E-sports is expected to surpass the revenues of traditional sporting leagues
We are in the sports renaissance and there has been a steep rise in e-sports engaging the new generation that believes in ‘equality, togetherness, and technology’. According to the Global E-sport market report, global e-sports is likely to generate nearly $2 billion in revenue in the current year. With e-gamers poised to reach 3 billion in the year 2022, there has been an accelerated sponsorship in the world of E-sports as well, with big sponsors like Amazon, NASCAR, and Discord moving into this space. In the future, global brands would catalyse growth by securing media distribution deals.
The creator economy is on the rise and we at Magnifi believe that technology has to be the conduit that links the gap between what is possible today and what the audience wants next. We would love to hear your thoughts on the next big 5 predictions you foresee in the year 2023.