Sports Technology Industry Overview
The global sports technology market size was valued at USD 11.70 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 36.20 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 16.8% over the forecast period. The rising adoption of emerging technologies, such as the internet of things (IoT) and data analytics, along with social media integration, across various sports, is expected to drive the market over the forecast period. A strong emphasis on audience engagement and entertainment activities coupled with the digital transformation of stadiums is anticipated to drive the demand for technology-driven services in the sports arena. The industry is experiencing a paradigm shift due to increasing investments by various organizations in adopting the latest technologies for monitoring players’ performance and engaging fans, among other activities.
Moreover, investments in marketing, sales, and operations to increase the revenues of companies are also projected to support market growth. In addition, digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) paves the way for developing the advanced sports arena. The growing number of sports leagues across the globe is creating substantial business opportunities in infrastructure development and advanced technical services. Professional sports associations and franchise leagues are increasingly adopting new and innovative technologies, such as smart stadium, data analytics, wearables, and digital signage. For instance, in 2018, FIFA approved the use of wearables during the live game to track players’ performance. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also embraced various technologies, such as Spidercam, DRS, Snickometer, and Hawkeye.
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Franchise owners are investing in new technologies and tools to improve players’ performance and expand business opportunities. The franchise model has particularly transformed the industry by providing several benefits, such as financial viability and profitability, to players, organizers, and investors. The franchise model typically envisages investors buying teams with territorial rights. The franchise can establish revenue sharing models for games, events, merchandising, and players. The league franchise model helps create longevity and enhance professionalism, which drives the demand for advanced technologies during the game.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on several industries including sports and related industries, such as technology, broadcasting, transportation, and hospitality. Many tournaments and game events, including the Olympics, have either been postponed or their format has been altered. As a result, stakeholders in the market are trying to assess the downstream impact arising from disrupted cash flows, insecurities, and the potential declines in long-term attendance and engagement.
The lockdowns imposed by the governments of China and other Asian countries in Q1/2020 and Q2/2020 adversely affected the production of wearables and digital signage. The limited staff and reduced working hours particularly restricted the development, manufacturing, and sales of wearables and digital signage. The distribution network was shut temporarily in several locations due to the restrictions imposed by various governments, thereby limiting the growth of the devices segment in H1/2020. The cancellation of some of the Esports events led to a fall in merchandise revenue and ticket sales. The revenue growth plummeted in 2020 as a result of the aforementioned factors.
Sports Technology Market Segmentation
Based on the Technology Insights, the market is segmented into Devices, Smart Stadium, Analytics & Statistics, and Esports.
The smart stadium segment accounted for the highest revenue share of over 57% in 2020. Smart stadium technology helps in enhancing the audience experience, increasing profitability, and strengthening stadium security.
The smart stadium segment has been bifurcated into software and services. The software segment accounted for the highest revenue share in 2020 owing to the rising demand for building automation software for energy-efficient and secured stadiums.
The Esports segment has been further divided into tickets & merchandise, sponsorship & advertisement, and others. The sponsorship & advertisement segment dominated the market in 2020 and is expected to retain the leading position over the forecast period.
Based on the Sports Insights, the market is segmented into American Football/Rugby, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Golf, Ice Hockey, Tennis, Soccer, and Others.
The soccer segment led the market in 2020 with a revenue share of more than 15%. The International Football Association Board approved the use of electronic tracking systems in 2015.
The basketball segment is expected to register the fastest CAGR of over 18.0% from 2021 to 2028. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has realized several benefits due to the adoption of data analytics, mobile apps, wearables, and heart rate sensors.
Based on the Sports Technology Regional Insights, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East and Africa (MEA).
Europe led the global sports technology market in 2020 with a revenue share of over 30% and is expected to continue dominating the market over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing regional market from 2021 to 2028. China, due to the presence of a large number of market participants, led the APAC regional market in 2020.
Market Share Insights:
October 2019: Modern Times Group (MTG) formed a strategic alliance with the Dutch football league Eredivisie to scale and improve FIFA 20 e-league.
April 2019: SAP SE collaborated with Team Liquid, an Esports team owned by Disney, to co-innovate and offer in-game data analysis-based feedback to improve player performance.
Key Companies Profile:
Major companies are focused on striking strategic partnerships and collaborations to gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Some of the prominent players in the global sports technology market include:
Cisco Systems, Inc.
HCL Technologies Limited
Modern Times Group MTG
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson
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