4 Predictions for the Sports Industry 2023

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4 Predictions for the Sports Industry 2023

We asked our ecosystem startups, mentors, board members, and brands to share their top 5 predictions for the sports industry this year. Here is what they shared.

#1 – 2023, the year of the streaming

Sebastien Audox Canal+ HYPE Sports Innovation Board
Sébastien Audoux – Head of Sports Digital, CANAL+

The Apple deal with the MLS was probably the most important sports rights deal of 2022, until Google/Youtube deal for the NFL sunday ticket. With those two giants finally spending big money on rights, Amazon doubling down on live sports almost everywhere and NBA streaming rights looming on the horizon, 2023 will certainly a big year for live sports streaming everywhere. Most rights owners are also looking at D2C streaming options or increasing their efforts in the space. What used to be a defensive position is becoming more and more an offensive solution to drive fan engagement 24/7. Oh and I almost forgot to mention DAZN acquiring Eleven and looking more than ever like the Netflix of sports, until Netflix get into sports ?

Sebastien has 25 years in the sports media industry with an editorial background and most recently leading the sports digital side for Canal+ in France.

#2 – Major sports league will experiment with NFT tickets

Brian Zwerner - Founder & VC
Brian Zwerner – Founder & VC

NFT ticketing for sports is coming in 2023. A major league in the US or Europe will try putting their tickets on chain. They will be tradable on a marketplace with a royalty going back to the league. They will serve as collectibles after the event. The experiment will go well, and others will follow in 2024.

Brian runs a sports tech VC group called Beyond The Game Network for the last four years.

#3 – Digital Assistant Coaches will be piloted

Stephen Mikolajczak, Brand Strategy & Messaging Principal.
HYPE Startup Mentor
Stephen Mikolajczak, Brand Strategy

Three major factors are converging that will make this trend a reality:

1. Accessibility of new data: Well beyond traditional numerical data like stats, percentages, probabilities, even the more recent biometric data. New data will be used, coming in the form of visual data from video & photography, audio files, and data in text form rapidly being aggregated and analyzed for more powerful insights.

2. Advanced software: Using AI and Machine Learning technology that can quickly ingest and make sense of all the above data to reason, deicide, and recommend actions in an automated fashion is now available and already scaling in companies across the globe.

3. Organizational maturity: Teams are now more comfortable embracing technology and forging an even deeper partnership with it. You see the continued wave of “new school” coaches appreciating the value and leveraging technology, front office executives understanding and investing in technology to transform and grow their enterprise, and skills in-house from their data & tech departments who know how to build and deploy these solutions.

Stephen has 3+ years in the sporting goods industry as a branding and marketing professional and has been mentoring SportsTech start-ups over the past 5+ years, exposed to a variety of emerging technologies in 6+ years (and counting) with IBM.

#4 – Play-and-earn games will spread in emerging markets.

Chamara Peiris, ceo & Founder - Next Digital Innovations
Chamara Peiris, ceo & Founder – Next Digital Innovations

Games are great at motivating players to play because of their intrinsic value. People enjoy them, and they enter a mental state of “flow” when they get really engaged with games. That’s intrinsic value. Extrinsic value is something like getting paid to play games. In the Philippines, hundreds of thousands of players took advantage of this “play-to-earn” game to make more than triple the minimum wage in a country that had 40% unemployment during the pandemic.

Chamara is the Founder and CEO of Leeg, an early stage play to earn multiplayer mobile gaming platform. Recently selected into the HYPE 3.0 GVA Program.

We’re committed to driving the sports industry forward through. If you would like to join the above founders in our ecosystem and become a HYPE Startup, you can begin the 1-minute application process Apply Here.

Do you have a #sportsindustry prediction that wasn’t mentioned? let us know in the comments!

Special Thanks to Sebastien, Brian, Stephen and Chamara for your predictions!


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