Sport as a disruptor
Where is the sports sector heading? Can we foresee that we will meet in the future? The final destination cannot be seen because we do not know what the limitations will be or where the sport will evolve, but there is a unique premise: sport must adapt to a rapidly changing environment. From this fact, an equation is extracted that encompasses two factors: new technologies and changing consumer habits that, together, give rise to opportunity and uncertainty:
The products of this equation are the basis for giving rise to a new way of doing things, to a social and thought transformation. Practitioners and promoters have evolved into another sector that is no longer of the spectator, therefore, sport must also do so.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, which is not only focused on creating new products but also gives rise to a moment of reflection to transform existing ideas and to improve the service that is currently being offered. Public administration and the private world must take advantage of the uncertainty that the sports sector brings to work outside the comfort zone and venture to design new formats that allow the integration of different sectors and types of clients.
The sports sector is immersed in a new paradigm based on what is good for society, is good for sports business. Recently, the relationship between sport and society is changing faster than ever and most importantly, it has remained at the forefront of the sports sector. This can be seen by the result of a survey carried out by the Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, which indicates that a total of 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for brands that are committed to making a social impact and positive environmental.
Likewise, achieving corporate social responsibility will be a challenge for the coming years. The relentless focus of sports roles in society will be in the spotlight and activities through management will examine whether or not they contribute positively to society. Companies and projects that are not able to demonstrate their social utility will find themselves in an adverse situation against those that respond positively to this challenge because making a difference will be essential to prosper in an increasingly competitive world.
Apart from the socializing vision of companies, other increasingly prominent issues such as equality, diversity, gender, race, sexuality and the environment, among other issues, are dominant in the media and are having an impact in all areas of sports business. In this article, we will mention two of the themes that have taken on the most prominence in this decade, which are the Sustainable Development Goals and women's sport.
Firstly, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are the reference framework to end poverty, protect the planet and guarantee prosperity and peace for all people are a great challenge for many organizations. Sport in this area plays a very important role due to the transformative potential it has and being a crucial element for the lives of children and young people around the world, offering advantages in the field of health, education and life opportunities. Therefore, the connection of sport with a more social and educational aspect as well as more sustainable will be the trend to continue in the coming years.
Next, the other topic to highlight is the growth of women's sports in the future and the attention given to it in different areas. This is booming and a commercial opportunity to represent this group is identified as seen with large sports brands that design their advertising from a focus on women in sport, positioning themselves in favor of the fight for and facing Gender equality. The role will become greater as the market expands, sports companies will have to work much harder to reach this entire audience, as, over the years, more women from ethnic minority communities and populations from emerging countries will dedicate themselves to physical activity and sports, which will change the direction of sports media, marketing and sports policies.
Even so, this reality of sport as an engine of change was pointed out before the current moment that is being experienced with the health crisis of COVID-19. This situation involves unprecedented circumstances because the confinement, the closure of sports facilities, the prohibition of not being able to go outside to do physical activity and sport have modified the lifestyle of many people and has forced the sector to reinvent itself quickly and unexpectedly. After this crisis is behind, there will be many unknowns to be solved because the sports situation that was known can take a turn and change the way of doing, both due to the importance of the digital component and technology, due to the modification of resources and in the way of promoting physical activity and sport for citizens.
Perhaps it is time to stop thinking and change the current vision of sport to transform its purpose?
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