The sports industry is arguably one of the most dynamic and progressive sectors of any given economy. As people’s interests and loyalties in sports grow to levels unprecedented before, data collection and delivery systems are under pressure to match the insatiable appetite for real-time updates.
At the heart of modern sporting action are data-driven strategies, powered by among other things real-time access to quality and accurate sports data. Traditional content delivery mechanisms are increasingly being overtaken by innovative platforms, such as data feeds that promise customized, instantaneous content in various forms.
With the widening coverage of games and subsequent expansion of sports databases, more people are finding it enjoyable to follow their favorite leagues, games and player actions both in and out of play. Below are some of the top developments in this re-invigorated industry.
Gender Shift in Favor of Women
The active participation of women in sports has traditionally been hardly palpable. However, reforms in the sports and media industries have seen dramatic shifts leading to more involvement of women in sports. Apart from iconic sports like the American Basketball League (ABL), women football leagues have also generated substantial interest. Availability of data covering many of these leagues and tournaments such as the recently concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup has seen many women joining the growing football fanbase and idolizing their favorite stars.
Increased Internet Penetration and Smart Gadgets
Entire population previously locked out of the online are now coming on board thanks to the availability and affordability of smart devices and stronger internet penetration. 4G networks are now becoming the new norm and this means faster streaming times for sports enthusiasts. With as little as $30 one can get a smartphone to enable them stream live their favorite games, check pre-match analyses and quickly browse data for their favorite players. This means more sports data consumption and increased demands for differentiated offerings from sports data vendors.
Opening up of the Digital Marketing Frontier
Sports fans from across the world are now consuming content through marketing strategies rolled out by online sports media companies such as ESPN and Goal.com. Unlike previously where most of these companies were using traditional media, their reach has now broadened and in the same manner their audience bases. Whether it is through the web, smart phones or tablets, information flow is now seamless. Fans can follow their teams’ performances and progress anywhere and however they wish.
With more real-time and historical data becoming available for all major leagues from around the world, the wind seems to be blowing stronger pushing the sports industry sails in the direction of inclusivity and active fan engagement.