Technological advancements have changed the lives of billions around the world. Digital transformation has also hit the entertainment industry. And with new technologies, watching a game now and then is a thing of the past. Indeed, diehard sports fans have many more immersive ways to indulge in their passion. In this article, we bring you some of the technological trends that are already shaping the sports of the future.
Sitting through an entire game used to be the only way to go for sports fans. Yet, a waning attention span makes it harder to keep viewers’ attention for hours on end. Unsurprisingly, live-watch ratings have been plummeting for most major leagues. Therefore, sports providers have brought forth bite-sized content to accommodate their most volatile audiences.
On the internet, highlights are now amassing millions of views. In a matter of minutes, sports enthusiasts can catch up on games they would never have watched otherwise. Users can then share and comment on the most beautiful football goal of the week or an epic basketball three-pointer. Condensed highlights are so popular now that even professional players have joined in on the trend.
Immersive Fan Experience
For many diehard sports fans, the game alone is not enough. Indeed, sports buffs crave a more exclusive experience. Therefore, several teams and clubs have turned to new technologies to take their fan experience to the next level.
Fan tokens, for instance, have paved the way for a closer bond between both team and supporters. Based on blockchain technology, these cryptocurrency assets give their owners access to first-hand experiences like gifts and VIP invitations. Several NBA franchises have already pioneered the concept, such as the Chicago Bulls. Football clubs also jumped on the bandwagon. French football team Paris Saint-Germain even allowed fans to vote for the message they wanted to print out on the captain’s armband.
Other clubs have experimented with immersive augmented reality. Football clubs like the FC Barcelona or the Olympique Lyonnais have invested in connected robots that allow hospitalized children to communicate with players face-to-face. AR has also been used to grow stadium attendance and engage fans in the game, even remotely.
Arguably, social media platforms have revolutionized the sports industry like no other medium. And sports players were quick to take notice. Indeed, professionals now connect with their supporters directly. Besides, fans can enjoy an insider perspective on their sports of choice, free from potential media bias.
Social media have also given a voice to individual sports fans, as sports content is no longer the sole prerogative of journalists. From Twitter Spaces to YouTube channels, many private individuals have made a career of sharing their sports analyses without filter. In doing so, they also contributed to the sports betting boom.
Indeed, sports forecasts and betting reviews are rife on the internet. And finding the right online bookie has never been easier. If you’re into American sports, for instance, you can rely on sports betting guides to wager safely. Experts have laid the groundwork to find the most favorable odds online. The top US betting sites offer substantial bonuses to get your money’s worth, including free bets and sign-up offers. And you don’t have to worry about scams, as all reputable platforms are licensed.
Technological progress has given new meaning to sports. Virtual sports are now as valid as any other sporting discipline. The rise in e-sports first came from China and South Korea as part of a booming video game culture. The e-sports phenomenon later hit the rest of the world to become a billion-dollar industry. Talks of bringing electronic sports to the Olympics have even made the news.
Digital transformation also made fantasy sports more relevant than ever. These virtual leagues of imaginary teams have become so hot lately that eminent television channels have developed fantasy programming. Some clubs even use sports simulation software, like Football Manager, to scout players in real life.
Technology is playing a significant role in redefining the sports industry. Sports content is now more immersive and diverse than it has ever been. And promising innovations such as virtual reality or the blockchain might have an even more transformative impact. Thus, the future of the sports buff is looking bright.