We asked 100 sports brands’ top execs – what are their biggest pain points?

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The 12 most common pain points and mistakes of the top sports brands, and a guide on how to solve them –

The sports tech world is growing on a rapid scale. Every sports brand wants to get BIGGER and staying in the game has become their top priority. 

With this in mind, me and my team spent the last few months meeting with the sports industry’s top brands, and discussing with them what their biggest pain points are. We worked tirelessly to put together a list of the most common answers we received.

Below are the 12 most common pain points that the TOP sports brands are currently struggling with
, and innovative solutions that solve them!

How many of these questions does your brand relate to? 

Let me know in the comments below.

1. How do I put my audience first, and still maintain high revenue?

One of the biggest challenges that brands face is finding the middle ground between listening to the fans’ needs and maintaining high revenue and profitability. 

To solve this challenge, we believe 2 things should be taken into consideration when investing in a new fan engagement innovative product that has entered the market.

  1. the product must meet the fans’ demand ( Innovation, Gamification, and Improved connection with the brand).
  2. the product must be highly profitable for the brand (an additional stream of revenue from audience and fans). 

Startups that help solve this challenge: MYFavorito, FANSAVES, FansXR

2. What do I need to do so that my brand doesn’t fall behind during the Web 3.0 revolution?

The Web 3.0 revolution is a world full of opportunities. but it is also a world full of uncertainty. The challenge of entering a field full of uncertainty is a common obstacle that all of the brands are sharing these days. 

If you have been following our activities in the past year, you may have noticed that helping Brands, Investors and Startups thrive during the Web 3.0 revolution is one of our main focuses. 

One of the solutions that we provide our brands with is a free consultation session with our web 3.0 expert, Guillermo Heredia, in order to go through your personal challenges and see how we can help solve them.

3. How can I attract the Gen Z audience?

Last week, my team created a poll on our linkedin account asking sports brands to choose their most critical pain-point. Nearly half of the brands (47%) answered that attracting the Gen Z audience is the most critical pain point out of them all.

Studying the Gen Z generation is an essential step in order to start attracting them. If you have a little Gen Z at home, try asking them business questions about your brand and you will be shocked to notice how much knowledge they have. 

There are several researches about the Gen Z generation you can find on the internet, here is a great one to start with. In a nutshell, the Gen Z generation are attracted to brands that are accessible, social and fun.

Startups that help solve this challenge: ItsMyne, ShibaFriend.

4. How do I optimize and improve my fans’ user experience?

Sports Fans are the brand’s number one asset.

Without fans, some may say that sport brands would never exist. It is the special relationship with the fans that creates the sports moments we all wait for. And like every strong relationship, taking care of the small details is essential for the long term growth and connection. 

Here are 4 quick ideas of how to improve your fans experience:

  • Create a contactless commerce for your brand’s merchandise.
  • Implement crowd analytics safety sensors in your arena.
  • Create Digital and NFT ticketing for your events.
  • Build Gamified elements in your brand’s digital networks.

Taking care of your fans has always got to be at the top priority of your brand in order to win in the long run.

Startups that help solve this challenge: CollectID, XenaVision, OnePlan

5. How can I test new Web 3.0 Solutions without damaging my Brand’s image?

Finding the right balance between improving our technology at a fast speed and keeping our brand’s image is indeed a challenge. 

In order to implement this in the Web 3.0 era, we suggest 3 tips:

  1. Implement a new technology only after you have asked for advice from at least 3 industry experts about the solution you are willing to implement. 
  2. When working on a new solution in Web 3.0, read books, articles and research about the specific solution you are interested in.
  3. Work only with Startups, Brands and Partners that you trust and you know that they have experience creating solutions for similar brands in your field.

Using these tips, you will minimize the risk while improving your technology and staying in the game.

Startups that help solve this challenge: Medalio

6. What are the best ways to leverage my digital assets?

As sport brands, your digital assets might be digital tickets, digital collectables, a VR digital version of your stadium, digital signatures of athletes, digital merchandise and more.

There are two main components while leveraging your digital assets.

First, present your assets in an accessible marketplace. Offer an easy access to the assets with a dynamic experience. If your users easily find and access your assets, they’ll come back.

Second, To benefit from your assets, make sure you fully understand what your assets are first; classify and categorize them. Make sure your profiling is triggered based on that data.

Startups that help solve this challenge:  NFTone

7. How can I become the sole owner of my fans’ data?

Last month, my team and I published an article named “Web 3.0- making the world a better place”. One of the benefits that I wrote about was that due to the high security of the blockchain technology, the full data power could potentially return to the brands and communities, and they could become sole owners of their fans data.

Startups that help solve this challenge: Full Venue

8. What actions are needed to incorporate 5G activation into my arena?

5G connectivity is enabling exciting tech innovations and developments in everything from gaming to education, and it’s only the beginning.

In sport stadiums this could be implemented using a 5G Multi-View, where fans can view different camera angles, watch replays, and see AR overlays of player stats on 5G-enabled phones.

Startups that help solve this challenge: Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband Service.

9. I want to create the future fan experience, where do I start?

Becoming a sports brand that is shaping the future is an essential step towards growth and innovation, but taking the first step is always the hardest step.

After knowing what technology you are interested in, the first step is already behind you. The next step would be to find a startup that can implement this technology as a POC. This will give both you and the startup time to try the technology before making any big commitments.

There are many startups in our ecosystem that are building the future of fan experience with innovative products.

Startups that help solve this challenge: FansXR, Mylads, Condense Reality

10. How do I stand out with a new creative format?  And how do I develop it?

What can we learn from the Netflix and F1 partnership?

Prior to 2019, it was fair to assess that Formula 1 was a struggling sport and in financial turmoil. Many headlines surrounding the sport covered issues of an aging fanbase, lack of representation in the United States, and even questions on whether or not the sport was dying.

As soon as the first season was released in 2019, all of the discouraging headlines disappeared and the F1 industry entered a new era. As the younger generation began to connect with the racers, many fans began to learn about the sport and F1’s revenue opportunities had just begun.Creating a series on Netflix for your fans is only one of the many ways to increase fan engagement, there are many other ways to increase fan engagement in creative ways.

Startups that help solve this challenge: Bleachr, Fanfest

11. How do I incorporate the new AI generated/enhanced training tools?

Many new startups are dominating the field of AI generated training tools, from body cameras and wearables to AI software tools that help improve the game.When connected to a HYPE startup, you have the opportunity of creating a pilot with many of our diverse startups, this will give you the opportunity to try the new technology before jumping into a commercial agreement.

Startups that help solve this challenge: MindFly.

12. What’s the best way to grow my brand using Esports & Gamification?

Gamification marketing is one of the best strategies in order to grow and maintain your fanbase. Unlike different industries, using this strategy in the sports world is very common and easy to implement. Here are 3 gamification ideas you can implement today:

  1. Creating brand reward points for the fans activities.
  2. Partnering and collaboration opportunities with Esport brands.
  3. Create user friendly Esport games for your brand.

Startups that help solve this challenge: Sizzle, Gamifly

These were the 12 main questions we received from the top sports brands in the field.

Many other questions may arise, like, what are the new sponsorship formats in the Web3.0 industry? How can I use CSR to leverage my brand objectives? How can I personalize every single fans’ experience to be custom-made for them?

Finding concrete solutions to these questions is one of the main focuses of our team at HYPE S.I.

Are you a startup looking to solve these challenges, get started HERE.

If you are a brand interested in curing some of your major pain points and innovating forward during the Web 3.0 revolution, reach out to us at ma*****@hy******************.com

Stay tuned.

Amir Raveh HYPE S.I

Research: Daniel Rabinowitz , Yonatan larkin


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    Feb 25, 2024

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    Jun 2, 2022

    X-LEAGUE can relate to questions 1 and 3 for gaming operators