Global sports gambling worth 'up to $3 trillion'
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Using tech-enabled solutions will be key. Sports teams increasingly are competing with the couch and other entertainment offerings for consumer attention. In an attempt to cater to a more diverse set of fans, organizations like the New York Jets have rolled out subscription-based mobile passes that allow fans to attend a predetermined number of games for a flat fee. Through these subscriptions, seat location varies depending on ticket availability, which allows for fans to have a unique experience at each game.
At the same time, the continuing trend of innovating the game-day experience through stadium enhancements and participation opportunities has also spurred more tailored ticket offerings. One way baseball teams such as the St. Louis Cardinals are taking advantage of enhanced stadium experiences is through season-long subscriptions for standing-room-only areas within the stadium.
Teams are banking on this ticketing creativity to help bring a whole new generation of fans to the ballpark. New ticket offerings are providing fans the options they need to get off the couch and back into stadiums and arenas. Soon to be gone are the days of mass marketing home games on billboards and TV commercials.
Instead, as individuals increasingly watch sporting events over digital platforms such as SlingTV or DirecTV Now, the data trail left behind will be used to target fans with personalized offers to buy tickets or merchandise.
By moving ad spend to digital and social channels, teams can more effectively target fans who are already interested in their content. One team leading this trend is the Miami Dolphins, who over the past year has used much of its marketing budget on content development, using social engagement as a mechanism to identify and grow its fan base. By reaching fans where they are and with targeted content, teams will likely grow revenue in ways not possible just a decade ago.
Consider a sports gambling platform that provides full transparency in the establishment of odds and the resolution of bets. Imagine a technology that enables full control of the ticket resale market, and prevents tickets from being fraudulently copied or shared.
These digital assets have the potential to disrupt the sports industry through their ability to mitigate risk, create new sources of value, and enable new secure transfers of information. Although still in its relative infancy, blockchain offers potential emerging solutions to many challenges the industry is striving to improve. From Mark Cuban investing in an e-sports betting startup enabled by Unikoin Gold to startups using tokens to sponsor and support young athletes, the time to act is now.
Sports enterprises can be late adopters of new technologies—for instance, virtual reality is not yet a fast-emerging sports trend. March Madness, with its dramatic upsets and Cinderella stories, captivates sports fans across the country and thrusts the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA into the national spotlight every year. Fueled by billion-dollar television deals, this annual basketball tournament turns many collegiate players into household names and is a tremendous revenue generator for the NCAA, teams, and sponsors.
Current NCAA policies prevent these student-athletes from receiving any financial compensation beyond the cost of attendance at their university. The final chapter of this story is yet to be written. Will the investigation continue to reveal a pattern of similar activities across sponsors, teams, and sports? One thing is clear—this will still be top of mind when the Big Dance tips off this year. A year ago, the sports industry witnessed a resurgence of prominent athletes staging demonstrations to raise awareness of various social issues.
Player activism has now become commonplace, partly due to the politicization of their efforts. Athletes may finally have drawn attention, but their message has been lost. Rather than sparking a conversation about racial inequality or police brutality, these protests have become political, something to cheer or reject depending on your perspective.
Athlete activism may also be impacting the bottom line of the league. TV viewership is down, 10 and while it could just be cord cutters, sponsors are anxious about associating their brands with an uncertain product.
Soon, leagues and players alike will likely have to make a decision about what is most important: The bottom line or social activism.
Some leagues are supporting their players. And that is the problem: The issue of social activism in sports is hindered by a hyper-politicized environment where picking sides becomes greater than picking a cause.
While the activist issues of today might not mirror the issues of tomorrow, we expect both leagues and player unions to make the governance of, and response to, social causes a key topic in the next round of collective bargaining negotiations. The stakes are higher than ever before, particularly for the bottom line. Trends expected to disrupt and dominate We believe these topics are going to impact the business of sports, both on and off the field, over the next 12 months.
But invariably new stories, trends, and themes will emerge that further disrupt the industry, derail the game plan for executives, and delight us as sports fans. Please tweet DeloitteSports to share the sports trends or opportunities that are on your mind in