Technology will continue to infuse every aspect of sports, empowering athletes and creating a more immersive experience for fans at live events and at home.
In a challenging economic environment, sports will likely still be seen as an attractive option for investment, with investors endeavoring to take a responsible and sustainable approach. Technology will continue to infuse every aspect of sports, empowering athletes and creating a more immersive experience for fans at live events and at home. In general, 2023 will be about making the most of these near-term opportunities while managing associated risks with the longer term in mind.
The use of digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), fan tokens, and blockchain-enabled tickets are evolving for sports. Many major sports organizations across the world are working with partners to build markets in these areas. Simple digital collectibles, originally seen as curiosities, are becoming advanced digital assets that can be used to improve fan engagement and loyalty and create new business models and even more new revenue streams. In the coming year, expect to see major strides for these assets. NFTs in sports will need to overcome some barriers—and quickly— to progress rapidly. For many fans, the barriers to entry can seem high, mainly because of a general lack of understanding of what NFTs are and how they work. There are also worries about risks and immaturity in the market and the sustainability of the services.
A lot of positive attention has been given to the increased economic opportunity and fan engagement that sports betting can bring. However, it is also important to reflect on related societal issues, including the potential for corruption, illegal betting, issues with addiction, and financial crime. With concerns over an economic downturn in 2023 and a greater focus on profitability, betting operators should not lose sight of protecting and supporting their customers.
Women’s professional sports had a record-breaking year in 2022. The levels of interest, attendance, viewership, media coverage, and investment have never been higher. Attendance records were broken around the world. Women’s professional sports are positioned to advance further in 2023.
The growth and transformation of the sports industry is forcing organizations to take a more sophisticated approach - one that makes the industry more attractive for investors, more immersive for fans, and more supportive of athletes. To make sure this happens, it is important for sports organizations to look ahead for signposts - possible events and actions that can change how the future unfolds. Signposts can confirm what could transpire or create an entirely new path with its own opportunities and challenges.