If We Don't Build Arenas Without Seats, Why Do We Build Products Without Them?
US adults spent more than $8 billion on sportswear alone and sports enthusiasts spend, on average, $725 on sports each year. Any experience that doesn't include the fans is one that is flawed. Products that are easy for fans and athletes to both adopt, as well as interact with each other will present the most value in the future.
There are very little restrictions on how much money fans will spend to keep up with their favorite team and athletes.
This includes purchasing their favorite jersey (JRZY) purchasing match tickets, buying collectibles, and subscribing to streaming services. Most athletes acknowledge the importance of the fans, and why wouldn't they? Fans spend all the money, and the entire experience is created for the benefit of the athletes and the fans. These fans are the gold that advertisers spend so many resources trying to get their products in front of.
US adults spent more than $8 billion on sportswear alone and sports enthusiasts spend, on average, $725 on sports each year, with different numbers for wealthy individuals and young professionals. The value is estimated to be $1,143 per person annually for young professionals. This number increases with the wealth of individuals, with greater wealth bringing more exclusive experiences and environments that cater to the ultra wealthy. Floor seats, lounges, access, and service are amongst the luxury experiences that only increase the fan experience. You haven't lived until you've sat in floor seats and had your beer spilled all over you from a player diving into you chasing a loose ball.
Streaming services will be responsible for one-fifth of all sports rights spent this year across Europe’s largest markets. Most sports fans want real time updates on their team, and are happy to check scores and results on a daily basis. If you want retention for your products, give the fans a reason to keep coming back.
Fans will pay what it takes to watch their favorite teams compete live and are even willing to pay more for OTT streaming services over traditional cable and satellite channels.
“Most fans say they would subscribe to a streaming or over-the-top sports channel and would pay more for online streaming than cable and satellite channels, according to a survey by the Center for the Digital Future and ThePostGame. Additionally, mobile devices are growing as a method of sports viewing for younger fans.” CNBC
This has led to a shift in the way athletes, leagues and teams stream their service. Now it’s common for a league or club to have its own streaming service. In the onset of this shift National Football League announced in April 2016 that it would stream it’s Thursday night games on Twitter. The easier access is, the greater opportunity for fans to engage where they are.
Tickets and clothing are two additional areas where fans will often spend a lot of money. Football supporters in the UK shelled out an average of £712 annually in 2018 to support their teams, and more if their team belonged to the Premier League. When it comes to how sports fans spend on sports, they spend the most on streaming services, occasional tickets and clothing, with collectibles especially in the digital realm being a rapidly growing market and opportunity for fans to be even more engaged with their favorite athletes.
With the rise of blockchain technology, we're entering an era where digital assets (like highlights and photos) may now be owned and verified online, which means this space should be rapidly expanding since we're living in an ever increasing digital economy.
Any experience that doesn't include the fans is one that is flawed. Products that are easy for fans and athletes to both adopt, as well as interact with each other will present the most value in the future. Digital collectibles present a huge market opportunity and most operators in the space are completely missing the mark. The value is in the experience, not in the purchase, so any marketplaces or experiences that solely revolve around a transaction present a losing proposition.
Creating the environment for the fans should be a priority for any products currently operating in the sports tech space.