Emerging Sports Trends in 2021
Covid-19 has affected the Sports industry in a great way. Games are being played not the same way as they used to be played before the advent of pandemic. Many major events have been cancelled due to the pandemic. The Tokyo Olympics has been postponed to the summer of 2021. Although many football events, cricket matches and other sports have resumed action, the sports sector is not in the same state as earlier. Limited numbers of fans are being allowed in the Premier League, similarly for other sporting events. 82 per cent people who used to attend live events say that they miss the experience. This is where technology plays a crucial role. Thanks to the streaming services, the fans can now catch the events live.
The IPL is set to start from April 9. It is expected to have no spectators this time. With the biggest cricket event around the corner, the cricket fans are getting excited to view the matches in any way possible. Though the only likely options available for the fans is to watch the cricket matches through television and streaming services. With a growing number of people already preferring to use mobile phones over television, people are going to prefer watching on Disney Star Sports Network. The network is expected to garner around Rs 3200 crore from IPL 2021 advertising.
The debate on whether E-sports is to be considered a sport is long over. The numbers show how much its market has grown. The E-sports market is on track to surpass a worth of $1.5B by 2023. Total E-sports viewership is expected to grow at a 9 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2023, 646 million people is expected to be viewers in 2023 as per Insider Intelligence estimates.
Gaming has become a trend not only as a pass-time but professionally and commercially as well. It has attracted various sponsors such as Red Bull, Mountain Dew and Activision. This only further expands the industry. The major gaming trends are chess, Among Us, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Chess has found a platform to expand itself in the online platform during the lockdown period. Youtuber Agadmator has been unofficially credited by all for his role in the expanse of market and viewership for chess. His unique style of portraying chess in a fun way has become a hit among the viewers, triggering a long list of players and viewership towards the game.
“On-demand coaching, incorporating engaging content and immersive experiences, will yield more engagement. Larger media players are seeking content to combine adjustable markets, so going after and engaging young demographics is very important,” says Deepen Parikh, Partner, Courtside Ventures.
Chess.com organizes a series of online amateur level tournament called “Pogchamps” where popular streamers take part in order to promote the sport. The Grandmasters Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Magnus Carlsen interact and coach with popular streamers like Pokimane, xQc, MrBeast during this tournament.
As the sports industry evolves to adapt to the changing dynamics, there is going to be a sweeping change in the way sports are played and experienced, and technology is going to play a significant role in this transition.