5 big sports business trends for 2016

The sport industry is worth hundreds of billions of US dollars worldwide, with a power to unify with which other industries simply cannot compete. Here are five big emerging trends that all businesses should consider.

5 big sports business trends for 2016

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1. eSports.

On the back of the Olympics, sport is everywhere. Some people prefer not to get hot and sweaty, however, and the rise of eSports is gaining pace.

Video games are big business due to the prize money involved – millions of pounds annually – and you can play anyone anywhere in the world from your sofa. As with physical sport, sponsorship of eSports is exploding.

2. Athletes as investors

With some notable exceptions, an athlete’s career is generally much shorter than more ‘conventional’ routes. Endorsements can be lucrative, but are not guaranteed.

Off the pitch, startup businesses are at an all-time high and savvy athletes are getting in on the act, linking their sport with a venture that will keep them in business for years to come. This might be their own idea, or someone else looking for backing to get off the ground may take them on as an investor.

3. Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS)

More commonly known as ‘drones,’ the RPAS is becoming a more common sight in the UK. The Civil Aviation Authority has guidelines on using drones and there is scope for providing a better customer service, such as checking the availability of parking spaces at a stadium.

4. Injury research

The scope for technology to step in and reassure, conduct health checks and offer preventative support is huge. Many sportspeople wear protective clothing but we can expect many more products using the latest technologies to evolve.

Warm-ups and drills will continue to play a big part in safety and preventing injury. The internet is home to lots of help and advice for both amateur and professional athletes, such as a netball drill video to help a local club and field hockey drills by Sportplan and other providers.

5. Data

Using statistics to analyse results will continue, but the big news will be more prediction of results. Data will predict injury to an extent, using sensors to monitor the impact of collisions down to hydration. The England rugby team already uses the technology.

Some of this emerging technology looks set to be a real game changer.

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