The global sports analytics market size is expected to grow considerably over the forecast period. The growing inclination of the sports industry toward an IT-aligned approach owing to the need to extract real-time actionable insights is anticipated to play a key role in driving the demand for sports analytics over the forecast period.Sports analytics solutions offer a range of relevant and historical data, which not only helps players and teams to perform well but also benefits the business side of sports.
Sports analytics comprises three elements, namely data management, analytical models, and information systems, which help in the decision-making process. Data management refers to acquiring, verifying, and storing data through data mining. Analytical models are used to describe the mined data by using statistical tools such as Tableau. Information systems extract and present data to decision makers in order to help them make well-informed decisions.
The implementation of analytics solutions in the field of sports enables the team to identify and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the team or individual players, which subsequently helps in improving their performance and winning ratio.
The sports analytics market offers both off-field and on-field solutions. On-field analytics helps in improving on-field performance and game tactics. For instance, in football, these solutions suggest tactics, such as counter-attack and park the bus, as per the game’s dynamics and the team’s current position, in order to capitalize on the situation.
On-field analytics helps to identify an outstanding player, achieve the best result, and prevent players from suffering an on-field injury. Wearable equipment is used to help athletes and coaches monitor the player performance and fitness level. With the increasing use of wearable technology, on-field analytics is expected to gain traction as every team wants to get a competitive edge over their opponents. This can be achieved with the help of data analysts who study the data gathered about the players’ performance during the game, assess tactics, watch how opponents react, and thus, give feedback to the team. On-field analytics also exploits inefficiencies in the game.
Off-field analytics deals with the business side of sports, which includes increasing the revenue through the sale of tickets and merchandise as well as enhancing the audience experience. The freedom to choose a seat is the most important ticket purchasing consideration that these solutions focus on in order to improve ticket sales. Furthermore, the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in conjunction with sports analytics solutions enables the audience to obtain sophisticated data insights about the player and team performance, thus enhancing the audience experience.
Technological advancements such as improvements in recording devices as regards their resolution, clarity of visuals, and noise cancellation along with an increase in the number of frames captured per second have enabled the smooth functioning of supplementary techniques used in sports analytics, such as motion tracking and Hawk-Eye. Motion tracking is used to track player reaction and on-field movement, whereas Hawk-Eye is used to take error-free decisions with the help of six to seven high-end cameras situated above the field. Hawk-Eye is mostly used in hockey, tennis, and volleyball, among others.
Furthermore, big data and artificial intelligence effectively complement sports analytics and are expected to be the major drivers of market growth over the forecast period. However, the lack of a skilled workforce, including data scientists, and the reluctance on the part of coaches to adopt advanced analytics solutions are expected to hamper the growth of the market over the forecast period.
The increasing need for sports analytics to access knowledge about ticket-sales patterns to set the ticket price, analyze concessions, and arrive at a price that generates maximum profits is expected to drive the sports analytics market over the forecast period. With the advancements in sports analytics solutions, the data being presented to the audience is in a more simplified and interpretable form and has thus increased the urge to gain more insights regarding the game amongst the audience. This trend has fueled the growth of sports analytics solutions that cater to the need of audiences to analyze stats, graphs, and interactive figures related to a particular game or match.
In 2018, the North American region witnessed the highest penetration of sports analytics solutions owing to early technology adoption lead by countries such as the U.S. The baseball and basketball leagues in this country portray the highest adoption rate of these technologies. Major players in the sports analytics market include OPTA Sports Data LTD, STATSports, SAP Sports & Entertainment (SAP Sports One), and IBM Sports and Entertainment Solutions, among others.
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