For everyone involved in the sports and entertainment industry, 2022 marked the return of a somewhat normal schedule of events and operations after two difficult years.  

And now 2023 is an opportunity to charge ahead of the pack. 

With the industry returning to normal programming, new challenges arise as organisations are tasked with integrating the online content developed during the pandemic and the traditional game day experience. This begs the question: what will the major trends of 2023 be? 

Some of our team have weighed in on what they think the future holds.  

 

We’ll dig deeper into the power of Web3 

It was impossible to miss the meteoric rise of NFTs, however the back half of 2022 saw them fall just as fast as they rose. Wimbledon, the NBA and a number of sports clubs jumped on the NFT bandwagon in search of a short-term cash boost, at the expense of understanding the long term potential of Web3.  

There is a limited understanding of that long term potential, as is expected with any new and diverse platform, but in 2023 we will start to see more strategic decisions come to light. A shift in focus from viewing these technologies as a relatively quick revenue stream to a new way to interact and improve relationships with fans and customers should mark the turning point for Web3.  

 

Increased impact of streaming on advertising 

Sports streaming services have catapulted across the globe, with millions choosing to subscribe to these services over their television sets. There are more options than ever before to watch matches and increased competition between providers to house multiple codes. 

Amazon Prime is now the exclusive rights holder to Thursday Night NFL games, and Kayo in Australia have reported their number of subscribers doubling since December 2020. Teams have also jumped in on the action through streaming their own matches for members and fans to view for a fee. As we see this transition to sports streaming rather than through the traditional TV channels, it drives on screen innovations and unique advertising opportunities.  

Untapping the true potential of VR 

What was once an exciting addition to the gaming experience, virtual reality is now slowly integrating itself into our everyday lives. Its adoption has represented a bumpier road that what would’ve initially been planned, but as we enter 2023 VR is positioned as a great piece of technology.  

As with Web3 in general, we’ve only scratched the surface of what VR could achieve. In 2023 the industry will continue to chip and carve away at how this technology can be best applied to improve operations and the match day experience.  

 

Finding the right communication techniques will be key 

Venues, promoters and event organisers will need to figure out the best way to interact with their broader fan base and followers, and not just their core supporters. Some sports clubs may have a few thousand people coming through the turnstiles, but more than a million individuals on their database. How do they interact with them and make them more ‘sticky’ so they can add value? That is one of the major questions that can be answered by proactive, innovation-focused organisations. 

 

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