The sports industry has always been an exhilarating unifier in every environment and time, from the Ancient Greeks with their Olympics which continues up to today to the rise of international competitive e-sports around the world. Sports will remain to excite and engage its participants and audience alike, so how can technology propel the industry’s capabilities forward?
The interest in advancing sports through technology has been silently growing through the years with VC funding for esports surpassing a total of US$2.5 billion and spectators predict that the sports tech sector will be worth US$30 billion in the next 5 years. With so much interest and funding in sports tech, it is certain that the industry will be transformed in numerous ways.
Among the technological changes that we will see more of in the coming years are from fan engagement, streaming capabilities and e-sports. Naturally, technology will also complement the sectors of athletic performance and hosting location but these are expected to progress at a slower rate than the more feasible and cheaper technological progress within streaming, engagement and e-sports.
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 will serve as a catalytic point for sports tech as it is expected to showcase the latest technological advancement in the industry, particularly as the home country is famed for its technological savvy society and quick adoption rates among themselves. Unsurprisingly, the impediments to a wider adoption of cutting-edge technology within sports isn’t an issue for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Among the impediments to a wider and faster adoption of sports tech are monetization factor for tech developers and startups, risk aversion on the adopters and a lack of unifying decision-maker that will endorse the new era of technology within their particular sport. While the frenzy of sports achievement affects people of all walks of life, the monetization from it remains uncertain for most tech developers. The fear of immense financial loss and the failure to gain traction is ominous.
For sports tech that can be mass-produced and adopted by just about anyone such as fitness trackers, equipment that are part of the growing IoT ecosystem and AR/VR indoor fitness options, the technology is growing proportionately to the increasing demand. In this sector where the development is economically viable, we will see and experience a whole new world of sports tech from the comfort of our own homes.