Technology has completely transformed how the sports industry operates in recent times and will continue to have a major impact over the coming years.
Embracing emerging technologies plays a vital role in the success of any brand operating in the sports sector, particularly with regard to how they engage with fans.
Forging deeper connections with the next generation is just one of the ways advancements in technology have had a positive impact on the sports industry since the turn of the century.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at some of the key technology trends that we believe will significantly influence the sports sector during 2023.
When it comes to engaging with their favorite sports, fans have increasingly been using mobile devices to facilitate this in recent years.
The next 12 months are likely to see sports organizations further gravitate towards providing people with mobile-first experiences.
Mobile ticketing solutions and exclusive communications through channels such as WhatsApp are among the ways this will manifest itself in 2023.
Second screen interactivity
Multi-tasking has become all the rage amongst modern sports fans, with digital devices allowing them to use second screens to enhance their enjoyment of watching live action on tv.
Content providers have been working hard to develop more interactivity via second screens and we expect this trend to continue over the next 12 months.
Exclusive camera angles, targeted advertising, and enhanced in-play betting opportunities are among the ways second-screen interactivity will develop next year.
Off-season fan engagement
Keeping fans engaged during the off-season is undoubtedly one of the toughest challenges facing any company operating in the sports industry.
Consumer habits can change very quickly, so maintaining a connection throughout the year with fans plays a key role in the success of any sports organization.
Voice messaging through app-based services for important announcements such as signing news is one of the ways off-season fan engagement will improve next year.
Personalization has become a buzzword in sports marketing circles in recent years and we fully expect the concept to become more prevalent in 2023.
The data insights provided by the platforms the sports industry uses to connect with fans allow for more personalized marketing activities to take place.
By reducing the amount of generic marketing content they produce, sports organizations can build fan loyalty if they adopt a more personalized approach.
It would be fair to say that we are yet to fully understand the impact Web 3.0 will have on the sports industry over the coming years.
The jury remains out on elements such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, with many critics likening these to Ponzi schemes.
However, Web 3.0 will unquestionably provide the sports industry with opportunities to unlock new revenue streams – what they will look like will be intriguing to see.
Virtual reality (VR) technology has been on the verge of crossing into the mainstream for some time now, but 2023 could be the year it finally happens.
VR tech is likely to become increasingly prevalent in sports training, particularly now the supporting hardware is finally living up to expectations.
One area where it could have a major impact is in sports where head trauma is an issue, by allowing athletes to train in a much safer environment.
Sustainable sports kit
The leading sports kit brands continue to recognize the importance of using sustainable materials during their manufacturing processes.
Consumers are eager to purchase products that contain a significant amount of recycled content to ensure they are doing their bit to be environmentally friendly.
Many independent brands have been carving a niche for themselves in the creation of sustainable sports kits and more firms will jump on the bandwagon next year.
Live to stream
The sports broadcasting landscape has undergone seismic changes during the 21st century, most notably with the growth of satellite and cable outlets.
However, the companies that have enjoyed the biggest success in this area are now under pressure from a new wave of live-streaming services.
The next 12 months are likely to witness even more emphasis being placed on sports streams as established broadcasters revise their existing mode of operation.
For people of a certain age, TikTok is a platform where youngsters gather to share and consume nonsensical content with like-minded individuals.
What cannot be denied is that TikTok has become a global phenomenon and the sports industry will increasingly embrace it during the next 12 months.
TikTok offers a massive opportunity for brand marketers, who can use the platform to engage more effectively with the next generation of sports fans.