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Why Digital Transformation in Sport Matters



To sports fans, 'digital' is the sum of all on-demand ways they can interact with their favourite team, league or event.  This will be for transaction, information and entertainment purposes.  Social media, in particular, gave fans a collective voice and power in the relationship – making fan engagement a digital age pre-requisite.


On the sports business side - and like the iceberg imagery where only the tip is visible - digital is so much more than fan-facing touch points.  Sports organizations that are digitally mature have transformed their business so that all factors that go into delivering a seamless digital experience are personalized and relevant for fans.


This process of transformation has been likened to changing a tyre whilst the car is moving since the business needs to continue delivering on existing brand promises whilst also adjusting to new consumer realities


Beneath the tip of this digital iceberg we should find a new strategy, governance, culture, technology investment and approach to innovation that creates a digital line of sight through all operational areas.


To offer some insight into how disrupted the industry of sport has become making digital transformation essential we have developed infographics that profile new competitive threats from the rise of eSports; how live sport viewership is changing to suit on demand consumption driven by digital media platforms winning broadcast rights; and how athletes themselves are disrupting traditional team and media outlets by sharing their stories directly to fans on athlete digital platforms.



The Disruptive Force of eSports



Through eSports, society’s preference for computer interactions is unfolding and revealing the changing nature of modern consumption. Traditional sport is on the front line of this disruption.


As ratings decrease, the main television networks are now putting eSports on the same level as traditional sports with the aim of targeting new younger audiences.


The main eSport tournaments are selling out arenas worldwide and every time a competition is streamed there are millions of viewers tuning in. According to the market intelligence reports from Newzoo, the value of the eSports economy on the global scale was a little less than $500 million last year and has the tendency to grow to more than $700 million this year.


The infographic below highlights some key figures on the disruptive force of eSports.






Social Streaming of Live Sports



Digital is changing the game for sports business. Established models are being disrupted and organizations in the sports industry must adapt to the current trends to remain competitive. 

One area where this becomes evident is in the social streaming of live sports. Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have the technology, reach and money to win broadcast rights for live sports and stream them globally via their own platforms. 
This allows them to build their profile, membership base and generate revenues (predominantly via online advertising). Fans get access to sports viewing that suits their anywhere on-demand lifestyle whilst the broadcast landscape becomes increasingly disrupted. Leagues are also providing global access for fans beyond terrestrial rights. 
In the Certificate in Managing Digital Transformation in Sports we cover the various complexities of the digital economy including how sports organizations must adapt to the new players entering the game. 



Athlete Platforms: Disrupting How Athlete Stories are Shared


Social Media has created unprecedented access to sports stars with fans able to connect directly to their favourite personalities.  

As an extension to fans insatiable desire for access, platforms have emerged that offer direct insights into to the lives, journeys and emotions from players themselves in an authentic way that traditional media doesn’t allow for.  
The aim of these platforms is to transform how athletes and newsmakers share information, all the while bringing fans closer to the sports they love. 
The infographic below lists some of the most relevant athlete platforms in the market today that are revolutionizing the way fans can connect to their favourite sports and athletes. 


To learn more about these platforms click on the links below:

The Players Tribune: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/
This post was written by Stephen Bourke, Program Director for the Online Certificate in Managing Digital Transformation in Sports delivered in partnership with the Sports Business Institute Barcelona.
To learn more about the program starting on January 29, 2018 click  here.



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