In search of prosperity from boomers to alphas – what technology will shape the future of winter sports?

In search of prosperity from boomers to alphas – what technology will shape the future of winter sports? There are 135 million skiers worldwide who pursue their hobby at around 2,000 ski resorts. In addition, millions of people regularly strap on their skates and go ice skating, play ice hockey, or curling. In 67 countries … Continued

In search of prosperity from boomers to alphas – what technology will shape the future of winter sports?

There are 135 million skiers worldwide who pursue their hobby at around 2,000 ski resorts. In addition, millions of people regularly strap on their skates and go ice skating, play ice hockey, or curling. In 67 countries around the world, winter sports can be practiced outdoors, and if indoor arenas and facilities are included, there are around 100 countries. 

But what are the biggest challenges for winter sports, and snow sports in particular? Winters are getting warmer and warmer, glaciers are melting, less and less snow is falling, mostly at higher and higher altitudes, and this is shortening the season for many ski resorts. So how can we create sustainable ways to increase the duration and length of ski seasons and visits without further impacting nature, counteract global warming, and keep the environmental footprint as neutral as possible. 

Winter sports are a niche and yet extremely attractive to those who practice them. In addition to climate and sustainability, there are other challenges facing the sport. The next generations from Y to A. From the 1950ies onwards winter sports began to rise and globalization did the rest to accelerate the business side. The baby boomer generation was the winter sports generation par excellence. But they are getting older and will gradually disappear in the next 10-15 years from the slopes. So it’s a matter of becoming attractive to the younger generations at a time when they in particular are very vigilant about sustainability, meaningfulness, and the common good. The industry is facing a big challenge because the retention rate of beginners is also just 20%. Where can we increase comfort and give new winter athletes a sense of inclusion and keep them warm and cozy? 

Health-related matters surrounding winter sports are another problem; how do we reduce the high number of accidents? What innovations can be made to better educate skiers to minimize the risk of injuries, and how can winter sports people, in general, be protected from getting hurt? 

To win new active winter sports fans, one has to be inventive and creative. You need to develop services and offer a healthy lifestyle. You need to trigger their aspiration and imagination. Also here, new technologies could offer a solution. 

But it is not only people who do the sport itself, which need to be attracted. Hundreds of million people watch every year the top athletes in the world at various races, leagues, and championships. Also here, the baby boomer generation is important, but Gen X to Alpha needs to be attracted as well, and each one is special in itself. And we know that this is a tough challenge for traditional sports to do so. How can we incorporate gamification, multi-dimensional streamings paired with content? You will only win new audiences if you offer them something special if you’re always at the forefront of innovation. How do we increase remote operations on the broadcaster side? What could broadcasting entail in the future? How do we attract live audiences from home and include them into the live-action onsite? 

People love great stories, they love heroes and look up to them. They inspire. Role models and heroes must not only be visible, they must also be engaging. Which tools and possibilities could make winter sports athletes and teams attractive? How can we gather and visualize in a meaningful and informative way the data collected? How can competitions be made captivating and entertaining? How can we reinvent the judging and timing of sporting events? What OTT possibilities are there, and how can individual demands be met in the future? 

This is why we do the first global Winter Sports Accelerator Program. Let’s find solutions for the winter sports industry to make it better, more attractive, sustainable, and safe. The winter is waiting. If you’re a Sports Tech Startup interested in joining, you can Apply Here.

About Marisa

Marisa Reich contains 15+ years of international experience in sports marketing, management, and communications. She has previously worked as the Head of Events and Culture at Infront Sports & Media AG. She is also the chair of She Sports Switzerland, a nonprofit organization supporting women and men in the sports industry and championing an equitable and diverse work environment. Marisa will be the Program Director of our Wintersports Vertical and will be fulfilling this role just like she always does, with passion and full positive energy!

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