Sports Are Moving from the Stadium to Your Smartphone

What’s going on for the future of the sports
and recreation industry? Let’s talk about the details. Today, we’re going to talk about
the global sports and recreation industry, a really big and exciting industry that’s
growing quickly as incomes rise in emerging nations around the world. Now, sports mean
a lot of different things to different people. To some, it simply defines the way they spend
Sunday afternoon in front of the television watching their favorite ball teams, but to
others it means really massive investments and a great way to make returns, and to many
more a professional living. this brings up a question: Where do we draw the line about
what’s a sport and what is not? For instance, cable television has turned poker tournaments–it’s
a competition, it’s recreation, if you will–but that has been turned into a professional sport
and a spectator sport on cable television. And now there are generational shifts in sports:
what are developing, what are the activities, and what are the equipment. One of the biggest
shifts is the Baby Boom Generation; we’re seeing seniors more and more invest in equipment
and activities that are pretty carefully designed just for seniors. In other words, exercise
equipment and exercise classes can have a little bit more consideration for senior bodies
and what’s safe for them. Now, modern technology has caused another line to be crossed in what’s
a sport and what isn’t, driven largely by the Millennial Generation. We have a category
called “e-sports,” which is spectator sports based on electronic games. There are significant
stadiums being built around the world today just for spectator viewing of live playing
of electronic games. There are e-sports leagues, even on college campuses, there are professional
e-sports players, there are a lot of companies betting heavily on this by running their ads
on e-sport platforms, and there are, in addition to physical, show-up-as-a-spectator places
for e-sports, there are websites–for instance, Twitch, which is owned by Amazon–that are
making big bets that viewers at home want to use the Internet to watch really high-quality
play of electronic games online. Now, where is the big money to be found in the sports
industry? Of course, we should probably start at the top with the big professional sports
leagues. In America, that would be the Big 4, which includes hockey, baseball, basketball,
and NFL football being the something of the giant. Of course, an equally massive industry
exists in UK, EU, other areas in professional football, or what Americans call “soccer.” I’m
talking about huge enterprises, famous players, lots of licensing income, big, big media revenues,
and lots of advertising going on. Meanwhile, other types of technology are being embedded
in almost everyday devices for active people, sports fans of all types. Of course, “athleisure,” or
athletic-type wear, has become a very dominant component of the total apparel market, going
way beyond just the running shoes that people have worn for so many decades to very athletic-oriented
clothing, especially for women, that is now dominating roughly 25% of the apparel market;
it’s just become a huge, booming business. Overall, the sports and recreation industry
have a very, very bright future through the use of more technologies, more broadcasting
over the Internet and smartphones, and driven by rising incomes in emerging nations, where
people will want to, number one, view more spectator sports, whether that’s live on television
or online, and B, participate more in recreation activities themselves. For everything you
need to know about the sports and recreation Industry, see our Plunkett’s Sports and Recreation
Industry Almanac, which we rewrite and republish every year, and it’s a staple reference item
in universities, business offices, and government agencies all around the world, and our online
research center for subscribers to Plunkett Research Online. Thanks.

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