COVID19 – Innovation: Time for consolidation.
The effects of the recession of 2008 still have an impact on the mindsets of the management of sports clubs and institutions who during and after the COVID crisis will certainly show more resistance to invest resources in R&D…
The effects of the recession of 2008 still have an impact on the mindsets of the management of sports clubs and institutions who during and after the COVID crisis will certainly show more resistance to invest resources in R&D. This is something we cannot help and that we will see replicated during this crisis. The management of clubs and sports institutions with no innovation strategy implemented and where the innovation supply chain is not consolidated, especially in these very uncertain times, will tend to cut financing and to be reluctant to implement any innovation with no immediate use. They call it ‘prioritisation’.
However, crisis times are a good opportunity for consolidation. Innovation is nothing else than a way to solve problems and create value in new ways. Probably, and it is understandable, the priority right now is not in the innovation to solve future problems but to consolidate what it has been developed in the good times of the economy to create a solid foundation that will not only solve present problems by implementing real-world tools but also to introduce and reinforce the cultural change required for innovation. The traditional streams of revenue are challenged by the coronavirus crisis forcing the industry to find new streams of revenue and to implement monetisation models that were underused so it is time to show that the investment made was worth it.
It is time to think about how we are going to engage fans in, very likely, empty stadiums. Do we need to create something for that or we just need to implement the already existent “gamified” viewerships, that introduce the fan into the comments of the match and the statistical analysis? Shall we work in the creation of new immersive technologies or increase our efforts in consolidating the implementation of the ones that we already have to enable the fans to experience games live without having to be physically present? Some of you will ask: why not both at the same time? The answer you will get is only one word: “Prioritisation”.
After the COVID crisis, one of the undeniable outcomes is going to be the application of more strict hygiene and distance measures in the venues. We will likely see a move to packaged food instead of the traditional homemade hotdog, escalators instead of elevators, automatic doors, contactless payments, or ticketing. Systems that, while are already developed, haven’t been used widely in sports venues and that are going to give a huge competitive advantage to the ones who decide to implement them.
The economic damage of the crisis is going to be more than considerable and many industries and startups will have to rethink their innovation strategies and the use of human resources to make them, if not less ‘creative’, more pragmatic, as it is time for innovation to consolidate and give some room to the actual implementation of the technology that will establish the basis for creating, shortly, the path to new unicorns.
Most importantly, take care of your family, your friends, and stay healthy!
Head of Business Development LaLiga, Russia
NB: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of HYPE Sports Innovation