How digitization impacts the sports market

Digitization and globalization have significantly changed the world as we knew it before.

Travelling from A to B is just a matter of flight hours today and getting informed about the current situation in a country that might be 10,000 kilometers far is just a mouse click away.

It is needless to say that this had massive impacts on the business sector and the overall economy.

Potential customers switched from local prospects in the surrounding to the whole globe and direct targeting was simplified to a google search and an e-mail send-out.

The sports market – then and now

When transferring this to the sports market, it becomes obvious that these changes affected the target group of sports clubs and –organizers.

While it had been unthinkable before that a German sports club like e.g. the FC Bayern Munich could attract fans from out of Europe – if even out of Germany – it now has a broad fanbase of Chinese supporters.

Sports have swapped from an analogous competitive activity to a digital party: events are broadcasted globally, smartphones are used to send impressions out of the stadium or arena and fan groups do not discuss in the local pub but argue on Facebook, Twitter or blogs about current issues.


Asia Fc Bayern Fans

Source: Xinhua 2015 

What does the future hold?

Consistent with that development the dynamics of ticket sales, advertisements and acquiring of sponsors have turned around.

Sports organizations try to adapt to the changes and once again the FC Bayern Munich can be taken as an example for proactive planning.

In so-called HackDays, Germany’s record-holding champion invites fans, students, entrepreneurs, designers, and programmers to develop digital business models, software or features for the future.

New services, even more global interconnectedness and digital innovations like virtual and augmented reality are just some of the numerous novelties that you can expect.



Source: Gaudiosi 2015

Mass events and personalization – a contradiction?

A special focus has to be laid on achieving personalized experiences in mass events where up to 90,000 people share one stadium.

How do you make sure the individual customer experience does not get lost in the shuffle?

New digital possibilities offer the advantage of directly addressing each customer individually without getting in personal contact with him or her.

By that, you can assure each visitor’s satisfaction and make him feel like he is standing out of the crowd.


aus der masse herausstechen

Source: Sandow 2015

What changes caused by digitization do you expect in the future? Join the discussion in the comment section below!

Lennart Hohneck

Digital Marketing
Fanomena GmbH


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