According to Yahoo Finance, the sports industry is said to be one of the fastest-growing industries, with a $599.9 billion projection by 2025. The industry is experiencing an evolution with the presence of many trends that is also affecting the iGaming ecosystem. It is very competitive and keeps evolving.
Sports fans still watch videos more than any other kind of media, but now analytics and statistics are a standard part of the whole fan experience. Both are likely to keep expanding as audiences want greater depth and faster video updates. Like sports events, many video game fans now spend hours watching their favorite games played on the internet. As a result, several iGaming industries are exploring new ways to make their offerings better and more engaging. These trends are a product of advancements in technology. Let’s see how things are changing in line with tech trends.
1. eSports and Artificial Intelligence
One of the trends in the sports industry is e-sports. It has gained much popularity, especially among gamers and sports enthusiasts, with over 240 million viewers in 2021. This trend is forecast to outrank all other sports in terms of viewership by 2025. That is made possible by the widespread adoption of AI.
AI has affected every aspect of our lives, and artificial intelligence is being heavily adopted in the sports and iGaming industry. That involves using machine learning algorithms, data, and sensors to track the performance and health of players and even make real-time predictions of sports events.
We use artificial intelligence to spot things that coaches and trainers usually overlook, even in eSports. For example, artificial intelligence can identify specific players’ patterns and trends through machine learning. AI systems are being used to study how people watch sports events and what they want to see in order to make better content. That will result in increased viewership and better fan engagement. Hence, the ever-growing AI-powered tournaments in eSports mean better content delivery and fan engagement.
2. Innovation In Sports Betting
Sports betting has always been popular. However, technology is reshaping this norm, especially since the advent of eSports betting. As a result, sports betting has seen the birth of various innovations, such as:
- Mobile App Betting
This innovation allows sports fans to be involved in online sports betting from the convenience of their homes using user-friendly betting mobile apps. With mobile betting apps, you can bet from wherever you are without desktop PC restrictions and enjoy bonuses.
Mobile betting has made it easier for betting companies to reach a wider audience. However, it has also stiffened the competition in the sports betting and iGaming industry generally. Most betting sites would offer bonuses to subscribers to get them involved. And, with the new laws favoring betting in places like Kansas, Louisiana, and Ohio, and places like the United Kingdom, more people are getting involved.
- Cryptocurrency Payment
This involves using digital currencies like bitcoin, dogecoin, Ethereum, etc. It eliminates the risk of fraud and third parties. This system has become a household name. Many people would be more willing to bet on sports because they feel safer using blockchain technology.
3. Blockchain Technology
This particular trend in the sports and gaming industry has gained traction because of its ease. With this new technology, fans can get more involved with their favorite teams and players by investing in them.
Hence, the idea of blockchain technology seems like a sure survival route for clubs. Blockchain technology is the best way for clubs to get their fans more involved and to make more money. This helps eSports and other iGaming platforms grow even faster.
The top uses of blockchain in sports include:
- Blockchain-Based Ticketing Systems
This system makes it safer to buy tickets, keep them, or transfer them from one person or event to another. It eliminates the use of intermediaries and insecure, centralized systems. This system also favors fans who cannot attend an event, as they can switch tickets without losing their money. Its more secure system also makes sure that fans don’t fight over the price of tickets or makeup claims about tickets.
- Fan Loyalty And Engagement Platforms
Block-chain-based platforms foster a sense of belonging and build communities among fans. With this, clubs can reward fans for sharing and liking content and interacting with the club’s websites. Also, by participating in loyalty programs, fans can earn points they can later use to buy digital collectibles or tickets.
- Fan Tokens
Fan tokens give fans a sense of involvement in the club’s decision-making process, such as deciding the color of the training kit. These tokens are bought by fans using fiat currencies such as euros, pounds, and dollars, which can be exchanged for collectibles or merchandise. Soccer clubs such as FC Barcelona and Manchester United are successfully practicing this. But, on the other hand, it keeps fans within reach of clubs and bridges the communication gap.
The growing trends in the sports and gaming industry have opened up new doors and improved viewership and fan engagement beyond playing the game. The ecosystem is getting more digitized, and the football federation, fans, and betting companies should key in. Overall, the sports market and iGaming industry are ready to grow, which makes it a good place for new sponsors and companies to get involved.