Sports is known to capture the hearts of millions around the world. The players, teams, and games have brought people together in their homes, in front of their TVs, or better yet in arenas where they get the best seats.
Over the decade, many things have remained the same in the sport industry: the admiration, inspiration, the unexpectedness, and elements of surprise. But we’re now witnessing a deeper connection between fans and their favorite sports and athletes.
Women in Sports
Even though the sports industry remains dominant by several male figures, the gap between men and women in sport is closing. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, all participating countries had women athletes in their teams. This is certainly an important moment in history that the event was dubbed as the women’s Olympics.
2019 was a milestone in female sports where one of America’s leading business and financial news network CNBC (Consumer News and Business Channel), announced that US viewership for the FIFA Women's World Cup final obtained a 22% higher viewership than the men’s FIFA 2018 World Cup final. This propelled star athletes like Kristine Lilly, Alex Morgan, and Amby Wambach to fame in an industry that has mostly been aware of names such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
The Incredible Growth of Esports
Electronic sports, known as Esports is a form of video game competitions. Even though they were present years before, they had their big breakthrough during this past decade. With their captivating graphics and innovative gameplay, Esports has caught the eyes and stolen the hearts of gamers worldwide. Nowadays, gamers can watch and participate in live Esport competitions. They’re able to play and compete in multiplayer national and international competitions with professional players.
Esports has been generating more buzz than ever before. BBC recently announced that Esports will be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games. And the 2024 Paris Olympics revealed that they are deep in talks about including Esports in their Olympic games.
Sports Betting Apps
Online sports betting apps have been around for quite some time now and show no signs of slowing down. In 2018, some countries started to legalize sports gambling. Following this decision, apps such as DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook have been launched as a platform that enables users to predict the results of a game and place a wager on the outcome. Users can bet on a variety of sports like football, basketball, baseball and more. With the existing popular demand for sports betting, several other countries are expected to legalize sports gambling and pave the way for sports betting apps.
Athletes Rising as Content Creators
Long gone are the days where we waited long enough to hear updates about our favorite sports athletes from classic media outlets. This past decade, our favorite athletes added another title to their job description: content creator. Now, many athletes like LeBron James and Kevin Durant to name a few, have been using their social media platforms as a medium to share their day-to-day life as athletes, promote their brands, and talk about physical and mental health. We really owe this to technological advancements and social media. This has completely transformed the way athletes engage with their fans, making it ever more possible to forge strong and impactful relationships.
In 2014, Derek Jeter, a former American professional baseball player launched The Players’ Tribune – a platform that enables athletes to connect directly with their fans by publishing first-person stories, video series, and podcasts that center around daily sports conversations. You can find various posts ranging from a list of the toughest players an athlete has faced, to an emotional letter an athlete has written to their mom.
This platform has stories categorized under NFL, NBA, Soccer, Hockey and much more, so you can learn more about your favorite sports and players.
The sports industry has indeed witnessed various trends over the past decade. This will only grow and evolve even further in the upcoming years. No matter what, we will still witness the love, joy, and excitement sports bring us.