From virtual sports IP to subscription saturation, Seven League unveils the seven trends to define Digital Sport in 2020

This story was provided by Seven League

Leading global digital sports consultancy Seven League has revealed seven key trends that are set to define the digital sports landscape in 2020. 

Following on from the successful inaugural edition released in 2018, the “Seven Digital Trends in Sport 2020” is drawn from insight taken from a number of leading Seven League consultants, pausing for thought after another fascinating 12 months for the digital sports industry. 

The report scrutinises a number of topics within digital and wider sports marketing, touching on areas such as subscription and OTT fatigue, and sport’s obsession with data collection without understanding how fans want to be communicated to. We also dissect the anticipated rise of virtual sports IP, and consider the continued trend for sports participation to be ‘gamified’ in 2020.

With the latest edition also coinciding with the end of a decade which has witnessed momentous change in the digital landscape, the “Seven Digital Trends in Sport 2020” also features personal reflections from a number of leading industry figures, drawn from Seven League’s roster of global clients. 

Released today and available to download from SevenLeague.co.uk, the exclusive report identifies seven digital trends, and explores the possible impact on the sports industry in 2020.

A taste of Seven League’s Seven Digital Trends in Sport 2020:

1. WE’VE HIT PEAK SUBSCRIPTION
Subscription models sounds great – predictable revenue, direct access to consumers – but everyone else thinks so too and the audience does not have unlimited time or cash. Instead of competing with internet giants like Disney, Amazon and Netflix, some sports will realise that others are best placed to syndicate their content

2. YOUR NEXT BIG SIGNING WILL BE VIRTUAL
Getting access to players can be tough, that’s why the smartest rights-holders are creating their own, fully IP controlled, always-on influencers. So, it’s possible that your next brand ambassador will be virtual.

3. FANS DON’T WANT TO BE OWNED
Sports organisations want to harvest data from their fans but digital platforms are moving the other way, towards privacy, and this brings a challenge. Sport can still monetise customers but must tread carefully in terms of how it talks to its fans.

4. SPORTS PARTICIPATION WILL BE GAMIFIED
Major rightsholders like NBA and UEFA have invested in apps which help regular players not only track their progress, but also award scores for the number of baskets in a minute or scoring in the top corner. Rather than just watching the elite level, people want to measure themselves against the best (and themselves!).

5. STORYTELLING OVERTAKES PERFORMANCE MARKETING
Take care not to be sucked into a marketing strategy built around two numbers – we spent x and we made y – without great storytelling as a key part of the mix. You must sell your brand’s story, not just pay to reach people who might have bought your products anyway.

6. FANS DON’T WANT TO JUST WATCH. THEY WANT TO CHANGE THE OUTCOME
Sports has rejoiced for many years in being the one place where TV viewers will still pay to consume your broadcast live, but that audience is getting older. The biggest sports now realise that to attract younger audiences, you have to create content they can interact with and even control the outcome.

7. 5G WON’T HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT IN 2020

People are getting excited about speeds five times faster than 4G. Movies downloaded in seconds! The saviour of VR! Well, perhaps not just yet. 5G will take time to reach the masses. What should be remembered is that although it will make streaming faster and websites load quicker, it won’t make a boring video entertaining or a poor site easy to navigate.

As a global digital sports consultancy, Seven League has worked with some of the world’s most iconic sports teams and federations to ensure that sporting excellence is matched by world-class digital performance.  With a client roster including organisations such as the NBA, NHL, UEFA, Riot Games, FIFA, The FA, FC Barcelona and Juventus, the consultancy helps businesses to understand their digital opportunities, risks, strategy, tactics and capabilities.  

Seven League is part of the Mailman Group with offices in the UK, China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Together we’re committed to building the world’s biggest global digital sports agency. Empowering the world’s most ambitious sports organisations, teams and athletes to build success everywhere.

Seven League writes Digital Briefings every month, each report is tailored, explaining how each trend could specifically affect a client’s business in the future.  

To find out more information about Seven League, and to download the Seven Trends Report for free, please visit: http://www.sevenleague.co.uk/

About author

You might also like

McGregor is still UFC’s Social Media Champion despite not fighting for over a year

Nielsen Sports, the global leader in sports industry analytics, using their comprehensive influencer selection tool have today revealed that fan interest in UFC fighter Conor McGregor remains at all time

The Biggest Trends Affecting Marketing in Sports

This article was written by Mildred Delgado There was a time where big-name sponsorship deals were the bread and butter of sports marketing. However, since there’s been an overload of

Stanza partners with Sportradar to bring robust sports data to calendar

Stanza, the global leader in connecting people to events through calendar, has partnered with Sportradar to bring subscribers the best and most engaging in-calendar sports content globally. Sports leagues including the