The global sports technology market, valued at USD 17.9 billion in 2021, is projected to reach USD 40.2 billion by 2026. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5% from 2021 to 2026. Professional sports bodies, in recent years, from football, to cricket to tennis and basketball have adopted new technologies such as sports data analytics, smart stadiums, wearable devices and digital signage to enhance team performance, engage fans and provide smart infrastructures.
A strong emphasis on audience engagement and entertainment activities, with digital transformation of stadiums, is anticipated to push the demand for technology-driven services in the sports arena. Moreover, experts believe the industry is experiencing a paradigm shift due to increasing investments by various organizations in adopting the latest technologies for monitoring players’ performance and engaging fans among other activities.
A good example is FIFA in 2018 approved the use of wearable during the live game to track players’ performance. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also embraced various technologies like Spidercam, DRS, Snickometer and Hawkeye.
Sports analytics to grow significantly
Sports analytics play an important role in the functioning of sports organizations. Previously, it was carried out by coaches and experts during practice and training sessions and live matches and tournaments. Advancements in sports technologies have enabled sports organizations to make improved decisions related to their teams and business operations. Moreover, the increasing adoption of social media platforms by fans for blogging and posting reviews is also expected to drive the demand for sports analytics across the world. Leagues are the primary users of sports analytics solutions – baseball, basketball leagues have the highest adoption rate of these solutions, particularly for selecting players. And recently, several clubs in ice hockey have started investing in analytics and the American Football remains an influential market.
With the explosion of health assessment solutions, driven by fitness bands and other wearable devices, the growing volume of data to be analyzed has increased drastically. In addition, the availability of cost-effective and high-end computing solutions, and the increased demand for analytics of complex data streaming is expected to growth the growth of the market.
Advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data have triggered the demand in sports analytics. ML algorithms can recommend players for certain positions depending upon their performances on home grounds, overseas performances, game conditions and opponents they are facing. Deep neural networks and support vector machine models can help team managers in formulating winning combinations and gauging their probabilities. Furthermore, big data analytics can help effectively in driving team efficiency and increasing revenues through various sources, such as merchandise, ticket sales, media rights and sponsorships.
Overall, analytical data has given a new dimension to the sports betting and fantasy gaming industries.