1. Smart stadiums. Sports stadiums will provide apps and even virtual reality tech to transmit real-time data (eg, that a particular player has run 9.5km so far in this match) to enhance fans’ enjoyment of the game. They’ll also have other high-tech features, like projections of pictures – perhaps your Insta snaps from the match – onto the field.
2. We’ll see what players see. There will be more cameras fixed to athletes so we get to view the game from their perspective, a la those racecar drivers.
3. Fans connecting with players. Audiences will have more opportunities to engage with their favourite teams and players – eg, Hawthorn Football Club recently worked with Adidas for fans to design a guernsey (aka jersey).
4. More monitoring of players’ health. Since parents won’t want their kids playing certain sports if there’s a high risk of injury or illness to the players, sporting leagues will increasingly use wearable tech to monitor athletes’ health, fitness, energy levels, etc. Activity trackers will also become more sophisticated – eg, athletes’ uniforms will be embedded with activity tracking tech so coaches will have an even better idea about when to take a player off the field because their vital stats will show they’re flagging.
5. More innovative recaps. Millennials aren’t watching full sports matches as often as previous generations, so sporting leagues will provide new ways for audiences to connect with games, expanding upon current types of video recaps.
6. More women in sport! We’re talking more female fans, players and industry execs. Women like Michelle Payne will inspire girls to get involved in traditionally male sports, women’s pro leagues – like the new AFL Women’s – will continue to be introduced, and the increasing interest from fans in female athletes and matches will mean higher salaries and sponsorship deals. That’s the hope, anyway! #ISupportWomenInSport #ISWIS
7. The rising popularity of eSports. Not really sport, in the trade sense. Really video game competitions. eSports comps are of normally multiplayer games held between pro players, often in a large stadium. Call it nerdy, but it’s predicted there will be a $5 billion consumer spend and $2.5 billion sponsor spend on eSports by year 2020. Big business.
For more info on the Money In Sport conference or to register your interest for 2017, go to: moneyinsport.com