COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll in all dimensions of life, and the sports world is no exception. It goes without saying that some things will never go back to how they used to be. Even though things are almost going back to normal, we still have more to cover and a lot of changes to do. The social distance protocol has brought about various limitations, and people have to stay far away from each other.
That is why we have empty stadiums, and you can no longer see a crowd of people standing on the roadside or sitting in a hall like it used to be back in 2018. Industries have felt the coronavirus shockwaves, and according to the IMF, the world’s economy has experienced the biggest downturn ever seen.
Sports has been severely affected by the pandemic and shown no mercy. Since 2019, leagues have been suspended following governments’ directions on what people need to do to stop the spread of this virus. Simon Davies’ article on Armchair sports-fans has clearly explained that people have no choice but to watch their favorite games from the comfort of their homes.
The value of the sports industry was estimated to increase since 2011, but the industry has experienced a drastic downturn since the virus came along. No one in the sports chain has been left behind.
The Model Of Sports
The sports and entertainment industries go hand in hand. In simple terms, there are three main income sectors that have been affected. The commercial sector is basically more about advertising the partners involved and sponsoring the events, the broadcasting sector is mainly for media rights while the revenue during the match day is basically all about selling tickets and hospitality. As you can see, without major sports events, these three sectors cannot earn their income.
In general, sports monetize through the broadcasts but the income generated is always distributed among the clubs that have participated. So, shutting down the stadiums and pushing forward the matches has led to the inability of the leagues to meet their various commitments. If this impact prolongs, it means if there are no games, there will be no deals on TV. This, in turn, means no income from the matchday, and that means the clubs die.
What Are The Remedies?
There is no other way to survive this than to find new ways of engaging consumers. Since there haven’t been live sport games for a while, the industry has been looking for deeper and more engaging content to keep the consumers at bay. For instance, they are broadcasting things like sports documentaries, archived content, niche competitions and more, to ensure consumers stick with them.
Another remedy with the intention of keeping consumers watching is making payment options more versatile. This is basically for consumers who are looking for sports content. The sports and TV networks are coming up with solutions that will help to ensure they do not lose their consumers.
Some of the changes the industry has adopted to survive might be there to stay. The professional sport leagues are coming up with long-term solutions that might not change even if the pandemic strikes again. It is a difficult time for the industry but the new strategies will help it to emerge stronger and more established than before.