Sports have established themselves as part and parcel of everyday life. Whilst competitions and professionals have been present for a number of decades, the modern era puts sports in front of our eyes and at our fingertips.
Specialist channels, websites, social media accounts and more exist to give us our daily dose of sports content, with Premier League football and the NFL being amongst the two most popular- and most lucrative for businesses.
Whilst this may all feel new to an older generation, who are still getting their grips with the new era, the younger generation has grown up with these evolutions and have seen sports grow alongside them.
Sport is now far more accessible than it ever was and participation amongst youngsters is very high. Whilst a lot of reasons can be attributed with providing a boost in this aspect, the growth of sport in general has clearly had a lasting effect.
Modern technology has proved to be a big hit amongst the younger generation, who can access sport in bitesize chunks on YouTube or highlight shows, whilst they also have the option to watch full matches if they desire.
Coverage is vast and there’s plenty for everyone. However, perhaps the most important thing to rise in recent years has been eSports- something that gets many involved with sport at a competitive level and thus provides plenty of commercial opportunities.
The rise of eSports has only really just begun and the evolution could hit entirely new levels in the years ahead, particularly with a suggestion that eSports could be present at the Olympics in the future and with a number of professional teams like Manchester City now having eSports players connected to their club.
This drives interest in sports, with many youngsters gaining an interest in sport after playing a popular game on their consoles or PC, which then may drive them to join a local team, becoming more active and more sociable.
Accessibility of local teams
Teams for a variety of sports can now be found on the doorsteps of youngsters, which provide a route into a competitive environment. Whilst a minority will go on to become professionals, the majority will simply be doing it for fun.
Like getting involved in a sports business, it’s all a long-term game. Children often get involved in a team when they’re under ten years old, with the majority remaining in sports until the dip that follows between the 16-18 mark.
By that stage though, individuals will be immersed in sports through different ways. Whether watching on TV or researching who the favourites are for this weekend’s fixtures, the accessibility of sport remains- and getting involved with a local team is the first step on that journey.
Crucially, the modern era means fans can stay connected with their teams in different ways. Moving away from home doesn’t mean the end of the connection as coverage is widespread, especially for those who support a team who are in one of the big and more established leagues.
The accessibility of sport is likely to grow further in the years ahead as new products and inventions enter the market. The likes of Netflix and Amazon are expected to enter the sporting sphere further in the coming years, with online platforms already making their way into that scene.
Complaints are that the average person is being priced out of sport, due to the high ticket costs and the subscription requirements for sports channels, but that’s likely to hit a peak. As things become more competitive, prices must too and a more affordable option is likely to bring a lot of success.
eSports will also continue to rise, especially if they reach the Olympics, and competitors will start to be seen as athletes. Whilst this may divert some of the attention away from the established sporting scenes, the likelihood is that it will lead to further involvement and attraction in sport.
A partnership between sports teams and the eSports world is already starting to be created and it’s this scene that’s likely to explode in the coming years, potentially involving eSports clashes that go hand-in-hand with what we see on the field of play.