Streaming platforms dominate content distribution, and more consumers are forced to pay more companies to access everything. There is a growing interdependence between streaming providers and the largest sports organisations. Deloitte predicts that in 2023 streamers will spend over $6bn on exclusive major sports rights in the most important global markets. What will be the following big agreement?
AR has quickly found a home in sports. Broadcasters ranging from ESPN to Nickelodeon are incorporating virtual elements into their shows. Other properties are looking for tools to improve live/in-person experiences. Additionally, VR games like NFL Pro Era and Golf+ show successful cases. It will be interesting to see how many advanced simulators are created and launched this year.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Due to the AI technology advances, its potential application in the sports industry is likely to broaden, and various is expected to see more sports brands, clubs, and companies equally experimenting with new AI tools for a variety of purposes, including content creation and operations. In the meantime, it is anticipated that sports brands, clubs, and companies to experiment with AI and new AI tools to improve their operations and enhance the fan experience.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) had an outstanding 2022, not only in sports. The use of NFTs in the sports industry keeps growing, and it is likely to see more sports clubs and leagues consider creating and offering their own NFTs and improving their activation strategies rather than partnering with established platforms.
The use of web3 technologies, such as blockchain and decentralised applications, will continue to grow in the sports industry. This trend will likely manifest through sponsorship partners of clubs and associations to introduce and onboard consumers to web3 technologies. The composition of the fan bases of many sports properties makes them prime targets for web3 onboarding efforts. In this context, sponsorships provide a natural platform for introducing these technologies to a broad audience.
Goldman Sachs forecasted the metaverse to be a potential eight trillion-dollar industry. With the constant evolution of the sports industry, the two sectors make the perfect combination for continued innovation for years to come. More and more sports organisations will begin defining their metaverse / web3 strategies. A Metaverse Arena offers numerous monetisation opportunities for right-holders, and these spaces will increase their number this 2023.
Mergers and acquisitions of sports organisations
Sport is increasingly becoming an attractive asset that is too large for institutional investors to ignore. According to Deloitte analysis, In the first 10 months of 2022, there were around 200 M&A transactions across sport. In 2023, more capital will be invested into professional sports, and some transactions could be historical such as the NFL Washington Commanders and Manchester United, to mention just two examples.