We Know Sports Are Different

For those of us who are lucky to work in sports, regardless of the capacity, we know sports are different. With technology evolving faster than ever before, it continues to become a more important part of the sports business every year.

The team at Next League, who has been delivering technology solutions for global sports organizations for over 20 years, put together this 2023 Industry Outlook report[1]  highlighting nine sports technology topics we think will be most important for the industry this year (and beyond).

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The Sports Betting market had about $1.5 billion in revenue in 2020 and will grow to almost $6 billion by 2023. It was $3.8 billion in 2021.Although there are currently more expenses than revenue for most sportsbooks, consumer adoption is happening.

Today, most fan-facing experiences focus on providing users with a replay of the previous action, including play-by-play feeds and video highlights. The expected advancements in Real-Time Content Delivery will introduce a massive shift in how fans watch live games.

The Artificial Intelligence market is valued at over $136 billion currently and is projected to rise to over $300 billion by 2026. With the volume of data now available, inferring recommendations and gleaning insights from big data has become easier than ever.  The generative AI space, which includes OpenAI’s ChatGPT (text creation), and Stability’s Stable Diffusion (image creation) has already will begun to disrupt creative roles inside of sports organizations and could have a radical impact on the workplace.

Smart Stadiums and venues will represent a significant opportunity for sports organizations, tech companies, sponsors, brands and fans, though organizations will need to navigate some big questions as they look to bring these to life.

Today, Customer Intelligence goes far beyond simply understanding your audience or target demographics. Nowadays, companies use technology to delve into signals sent via every possible source of customer engagement, from social media and face-to-face interactions to the way they place sports bets and interact with live events.

Cloud Technologies have the potential to transform the way businesses operate. It will become increasingly important for sports organizations as these technologies play a larger role in overall spending.

While Next-Gen Computing Network trends and capabilities continue to greatly impact the shift of live sports to digital mediums, its reach can be felt far beyond viewing options. Computing and networking power drives sports betting choices, keeps customers connected for longer, and increases engagement, ultimately improving the engagement experience for both fans and brands.

Some of the most important investments in technology will not be in the area of innovation.  In solidifying and maximizing an organization’s Foundational Sports Technologies, there are opportunities to leverage existing, proven solutions that can help achieve business outcomes.

Web3 has emerged as both a force and a farce. The potential of blockchain-based technologies is undeniable, and there are already great companies being built around blockchain, some specifically in the sports space. Enterprise-ready technological rigor may still be a few years away, however.

As you’ll see in the report, there is certainly lots to get excited about.

As part of what we deliver on behalf of our clients, we are constantly monitoring the sports technology landscape; we are excited to share a snapshot of what we offer through this report. We welcome the opportunity to help you on your digital evolution. If we can be of assistance, please reach out. For more on Next League, visit NextLeague.com.

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