Episode 105

#105 Sports trends that you will see in 2024

Last week, we discussed the sports trends you should leave in 2023. If you haven’t heard that episode yet, we encourage you to listen to it after this one. In today’s episode, we focus on the trends you will see in 2024! If you find this episode useful, leave a review or a comment to let us know. And if we have left out anything, don’t hesitate to give us that feedback, too. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

  • The rise of original content

The rise of original content in sports has been a significant trend in the last couple of years. According to FrontOffice Sports, the live sports hiatus during the 2020 pandemic might be one of the most pivotal moments in the history of streaming and subscription video on demand (SVOD). The success of Michael Jordan’s Last Dance and Netflix’s Formula 1 “Drive to Survive” are examples of how sports content has become a core element of the content strategy of subscription video-on-demand providers. As competition stiffens, companies are looking for better differentiation strategies, and sports content is proving to be a reliable measure to influence consumer behaviour. So, if you are a sports organisation, you might want to think about creating compelling original content to attract more global fans and to tell the story of why your organisation is different. 

  • More partnerships with VOD OTT platforms such as Netflix, prime and Apple TV

This trend ties back to the first one. As the appetite for original content increases, so will partnerships between sports organisations and video-on-demand OTT platforms. For example, more sports rights are moving to streaming services (e.g., NFL Thursday Night exclusively on Amazon Prime). Therefore, Leagues and clubs/teams must create new digital and DTC products and services that complement traditional broadcasting revenue. This can be done through creating your own platforms or partnering with already existing ones. 

  • Growth of the Asian Market and continued acceleration of Saudi

In 2024, we can expect to see much growth in Asian Sports marketing, including West Asia, that is, The Middle East. For example, in November 2023, last month The Sino-Singapore International Sports Industry Fund, a joint venture between China National Sports Group and Singapore’s White Group, which aims to accelerate the development of the sports industry in China and beyond, was signed. When it comes to the Middle East, according to a survey by PWC, while respondents expect the annual growth rate of the global sports market to slow to 3.3% over the next three to five years, respondents, in contrast, expect the Middle East to grow by 8.7% over the same period.

  • Women’s Sports to reach $1bn valuation quicker than first predicted

Deloitte predicts that women’s elite sports will generate global revenues of US$1.28 billion in 2024 (£1.02 billion). This is the first time that annual global revenues for women’s sport will have surpassed US$1 billion. This total is at least 300 per cent higher than Deloitte’s previous valuation three years ago. The two most valuable women’s sports are projected to be football (US$555 million, 43 per cent) and basketball (US$354 million, 28 per cent), while the largest geographical markets in 2024 are forecast to be North America (US$670 million, 52 per cent) and Europe (US$181 million, 14 per cent). 

According to PwC’s Global Sports Survey 2023, Africa is expected to grow 8% over the next 3-5 years. Africa's Sports Economy: Current Context, Challenges and Opportunities report explains that Africa’s expected sports business growth is driven by a young population and the emergence of globally successful athletes in several sports, including football, basketball, and boxing, with over 500 African players are currently contracted across eleven prominent European leagues, according to KPMG data. According to the African Development Bank, the increased appetite for African talent also motivates African entrepreneurs to create systems and initiatives that monetize the sports industry.

Did you know that 59% of  TikTok Users globally say they’ve become more interested in watching sports as a result of seeing TikTok videos?  And that a whopping 71% agree that inclusivity and representation in sports is essential. According to TikTok’s What’s Next: Sports Trend Report, one of the two trend forces driving sports culture on TikTok is sending entertainment into overtime. The report asserts that what is happening today is that traditional sports entertainment often starts and ends on the game day itself. What’s next?

On TikTok, sports entertainment now has the power to last long after the final whistle, thanks to everyday creators sharing more accessible, collaborative, and dynamic sports content. From hyper-engaging fan edits to reaction videos, audiences now stay engaged with sports entertainment all year long. This is all according to TikTok. So, in 2024, expect to see more sports content and engagement on TikTok, such as fan edits and reaction videos.

  • Technology will continue to transform the sports industry

In last week’s episode, we discussed the trends to leave in 2023, two of which were about technology. To reiterate last week’s message, the problem isn’t that sports organisations are investing in technology but rather that sometimes they do so in a way that threatens to destroy the trust their fans have in them. So yes, technology will continue to transform the industry for the better. And for the first time in history, the sports industry has the opportunity to be pioneers in technology. For example, the strong presence in SVOD platforms and TikTok bring new content formats to sport. Many APIs are being developed to synchronise content broadcasting, while others are developed to increase fan engagement and so forth.

Thank you so much for tuning in to our sports trends you will see in 2024. Please let us know if there is any other trend you believe we should incorporate.

About the Podcast

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Sports CDP Crash Course - Data Talks

About your host

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Lorraine Moalosi

Hello, I am Lorraine. I am the Head of Communications at Data Talks, producer, host of the Sports CDP crash course, and Leader of the Women in Sports: Beyond the hashtag initiative. If you are passionate about women's sports, data, selling more tickets and merchandise, and negotiating sponsorship agreements of higher value. Then feel free to get in touch with me.