The (Gen Z) Elephant in the Room:

Read Time: 5 min.

The (Gen Z) Elephant in the Room:

The AI factor and the Cutting-Edge GEN Z Platforms for 2024

Have you ever stopped to see how today’s preferences of our youngest and most digitally native generation yet, Gen Z, are reshaping the sports industry? If you’re part of a sports club in 2024, it’s time to get deeper insights into these minds. Let’s explore three groundbreaking platforms that are set to revolutionize the way sports clubs engage with their audience. Are you ready for this game-changing journey?

1. The Gen Z Sports Landscape: A Digital Shift

How well do you understand Gen Z’s relationship with sports? Recent data reveals some fascinating trends that might surprise you:

  • Live Sports: Only 25% of Gen Z sees watching live sports as a key part of fandom. Does this signal a shift in how we define a ‘fan’?
  • Event Attendance: It’s startling, but nearly half of Gen Z has never been to a professional sports event. Why do you think this is?
  • Digital Dominance: Gen Z leans heavily towards digital platforms for sports engagement. Short-form content is their jam! Does this mean traditional live sports viewing is on the decline?
  • Social Media as a News Source: Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are the new sports newsrooms for Gen Z. How can sports clubs leverage this?

Gen Z is not just your regular audience, they crave interactivity, personalization, and authenticity.

They want to be heard, seen, and valued, values that appeal heavily in any product aimed at Gen Z. They’re not just passive spectators; they’re active participants in the things they love. This is a generation that expects sports brands to stand for something beyond commerce, to be tech-savvy, and to foster a sense of community. So, for the million-dollar question – What is the game plan?

2. A Digital Utopia for Gen Z Fans: The Ultimate Sports Club App

If you could create a mobile app that’s centered around Gen Z, what would you include? Think beyond just club updates and push notifications – envision a virtual fan zone brimming with energy and engagement. For perspective, here are the components that would make up this ’ultimate sports club app’ and what it could look like:

3D Avatars & AR/VR: Fans trying on merchandise virtually with their personalized avatars, exploring stadiums in augmented reality – sounds like sci-fi, but it could be your reality. Sandbox VR, as an example, is a company already deep in the space of AR & VR.

A Global Community: A robust communication tool that unites fans worldwide, under the banner of your club. Putting the million voices behind your brand under a unified feeling of belonging and patriotism.

Fan Recognition & Rewards: By integrating social media shoutouts and providing a competitive gaming system, brands and clubs can keep fan engagement sky-high. Sceenic is a good example of a platform on which fans can share meaningful experiences together.

The Creator Economy: By embracing fan and player-created content, you can let your fans be the storytellers and influencers, makers of their own story.

Predictive & Reward Systems: What if your app could predict game outcomes and reward fans? Exciting, right? Domino Data Labs are a good example of what the right applications of this technology can mean.

3. Tech Trends to Revolutionize Sports Clubs in 2024

1 – The Creator Economy’s Potential

Revamp your app to include a ‘creator’s central’. This is where fans can create, share, and monetize their content. Collaborations with influencers and players are always a great way to start, this can open new avenues for sponsorships with notable partners and fan engagement.

2 – Web3/Blockchain and Gaming

Blend the excitement of gaming with the security and innovation of blockchain. A world where fans are rewarded for their engagement is not as far-fetched as one might imagine, where blockchain technology enhances the fan experience through secure ticketing or exclusive digital collectibles. Implementations of Blockchain can be seen by SoluLabs and SportBuff around gamification. The possibilities are endless!

The AI Factor

1 – Personalization with AI and AR/VR

The future heavily relies on who is able to deliver personalized content directly to their audience. Imagine using AI to understand each fan’s unique preferences and delivering content that resonates with them, as touched on in an earlier topic this is exactly how Gen Z likes to be ‘courted’. Add a sprinkle of AR/VR for immersive experiences like virtual stadium tours and you’ve got a real recipe for long term engagement. It’s all about continuous innovation and user feedback. Dynamic Yield is a good example of a company offering end-to-end customer experience personalization with the implementation of AI. Contentwise is also another good example of a solution that helps businesses captivate customers at scale with AI-powered digital experience technology

2 – Fairer Judging

Computer vision and sensor technology assist match officials in making accurate calls with minimal human error. AI-powered systems can analyze judging decisions for consistency and identify potential biases. Examples of this implementation can be seen by the Hawk-Eye in Tennis that uses cameras and software to track the ball and determine if it was in or out. A similar application is seen with the use of Goal Line Technology in soccer with sensors that detect if the ball crossed the goal line.

3 – Predicting Player Performance and Injury Prevention

With AI, deep learning algorithms analyze vast amounts of player data (movement, biomechanics, historical performance) to predict future performance, potential for injury, and even optimal training strategies. Tools like Statcast in baseball and ProVision by Stats Perform offer in-depth insights for players, coaches, and fans.

Conclusion – Embrace Innovation or Risk Being Left Behind

The message is clear: sports teams must innovate to resonate with the largest demographic in town, Gen Z. It’s not just about keeping up or simply trying to stay above the water; it’s about leading the way in key areas such as fan engagement and monetization to positively impact your bottom line. As we stand at the forefront of this digital transformation with emerging technologies such as AI, remember that this is a journey you need not take alone.

So, after everything you’ve heard about the impact of AI, the benefits and relevance of cultivating a strong Gen Z audience – what is your gameplan for 2024?

By the way, we are opening the 2nd round of an exclusive AI in Sports Workshop with practical sessions delivered by the World Class Speakers.

If you would like to receive the full Brochure – Share with me your details below

With Love for Sports and Innovation

Co-authored by: Amir Raveh and Ashish Ponugupati


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