The Future of Sport

PwC has published its annual survey of the global sports industry and it is packed full of insights on where sport is going as we head into a new decade.

It is a detailed piece of work and the result of a gathering of the views of almost 600 industry leaders from 49 countries around the world, including Rob hartnett from Sport for Business.

The survey covers growth expectations and a wide range of strategic and organisational topics.

As well as assessing the overall state of the industry, this year’s edition zones in on three important themes: the need for innovation within established sports organisations, the value of direct-to-consumer media distribution and the role of sports federations going forward.

Starting on Monday we will devote a week of features looking at these findings in detail and looking at how they can be relevant for the growth and development of sport in ireland as well as on a global stage.

“A great number of rights owners, and in particular sports federations, need to transform the way they do business,” said David Dellea, Head of PwC’s Sports Business Advisory team.

“While different players will be at different stages of progress on this long journey, we hope that the insights in this report are indicative of how they can refocus efforts to make the changes needed for their organisations to flourish.”

On Innovation

While 94 per cent of all sport leaders worldwide recognise the importance of transformation and innovation, just 46 per cent are implementing concrete innovation strategies.

Sport organisations need to refocus on the right combination of structures, processes and people to make this happen and remain relevant in an increasingly competitive and disrupted industry.

On Direct to Consumer

The respondents of the survey indicate that direct-to-consumer distribution is a tricky business and has been commercially underwhelming to date.

Those that are able to build direct fan relationships and develop an intimate understanding of their audience, be it through “Direct-to-Customer” streaming or other means, will be well placed to succeed in the future.

When asked about the challenges faced in implementing an Over-the-top content platform, the responses that ranked highest globally were ensuring high quality of service (76 per cent), sufficient content (75 per cent) and an effective pricing strategy (68 per cent).

On Sports Federations

The findings also show that there is still a lot of work for sports federations to do in order to continue playing a central role in the governance and development of their sports.

To do so, they should establish focussed strategies, innovate formats and rules, broaden their reach and turn to partnerships to ensure they have the right capabilities on hand to deliver.

“It is a great success that for the first time nearly 600 executives from almost 50 countries have responded to our survey. It is remarkable to see that more and more people within the ecosystem share our vision of establishing an independent perspective on the state of the industry”, added Dellea.

Join us next week as we look at the findings of the PwC Survey in an irish context in the following areas:

Monday: Women in Sport
Tuesday: Innovation
Wednesday: OTT and Direct to Consumer
Thursday: Gaming Strategy
Friday: The Role of Federations

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