The global sports technology market is poised to witness a significant growth rate over the next eight years. The increasing technological advancements, both in developed & emerging economies, and the growing number of sports leagues across the globe are creating substantial opportunities in the sports technology industry. Over the past few years, there were several developments in the sports industry. The combining of technology and sports is resulting in a data-driven sports culture, driving the next-generation viewing and stadium experience. Stadiums are no longer considered as a place where people go, sit, and watch sports events. Instead, they have transformed considerably to offer a seamless event experience, covering a range of aspects such as operational efficiency, fan experience, enhanced security, and smart parking. Today, artificial intelligence-based sports analytics are already used in developing strategies for specific opponents, scouting new talent, boosting individual performance, and reducing injuries.
The increasing adoption of IoT technologies for the adequate management of stadium infrastructure is expected to be a key factor driving the growth of the sports technology market over the forecast period. Moreover, the escalating demand for data-driven decision-making and operations in the sports industry is also projected to boost market growth over the coming years. Besides, significant improvement in audience engagement and upcoming sports events across the globe are anticipated to fuel the demand for sports technology over the forecast period. The legalization of sports betting by the U.S. Supreme Court in most states is also expected to positively impact the market growth over the coming years.
On the other hand, the deployment of sports technology requires a high initial investment and a longer span for the return on investment. This factor is expected to restrain the growth of the sports technology market over the forecast period. Moreover, the increasing risk of technology glitches coupled with the complexities in replacing and upgrading legacy systems are expected to act as a challenge for the sports technology industry growth.
The sports technology market can be segmented on the basis of technology, sports type, and region. The technology segment includes sports devices, smart stadium software, sports analytics, Esports, and services. The smart stadium software segment accounts for the largest share of this market, attributed to the growing adoption of IoT technologies for the efficient management of stadium infrastructure. Additionally, stadium owners are investing significantly in digital technologies with an aim to provide an outstanding stadium experience for the audience.
The sports type segment analyzed in the study includes American football/rugby, baseball, basketball, cricket, golf, ice hockey, tennis, soccer, and others. In soccer, sports technology is used for gaining insights and actionable decisions. For instance, in the 2018 World Cup, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was used to help on-field referees with controversial match decisions.
The market can be further segmented regionally into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA), and Latin America. North America is expected to hold a dominant share of the sports technology market owing to the rising standard of living and wide-scale adoption of technology in the region. Moreover, the growing social media integration with stadium technologies, the increasing popularity of bring your own devices (BYOD), and the rising demand for a comfortable viewing experience are a few of the factors driving the sports technology industry in North America. Sports organizations, such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Melbourne Cricket Association, New Zealand Cricket, and Sahara Force India use smart technologies for hosting major domestic and international tournaments. Asia Pacific countries such as India, China, Australia, Singapore, and Japan are constructing new stadiums and renovating existing ones.
The major players operating in the sports technology market include Apple Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Ericsson, Fitbit, Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Garmin International, IBM Corporation, Modern Times Group (MTG), Oracle Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Samsung Group, SAP SE, and Sony Corporation, among others. These companies are focused on strategic expansion to target untapped markets. Moreover, companies are also investing in research and development activities to develop new innovative solutions for sports industries. For instance, in April 2018, Fitbit, Inc., a global wearables brand, collaborated with Google to accelerate innovation in digital health and wearables.
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