The global value of the sports industry that was once estimated at $756 billion per year, is now experiencing a financial loss. Recorded $119 b revenue in 2019, is now at a standstill at $ 73.7 b amidst the 2020 pandemic crisis.
The significance of sports can be assessed from the fact that it is considered as a key tool in order to enhance cooperation and foster sportsmanship amongst the communities that encompass the diverse economies of our contemporary period. Furthermore, it is an essential source of livelihood for millions, and a key contributor to boost the economy and the social welfare of a state.
As per the WHO, “150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week is essential in strengthening the immune, a prerequisite for good health.” However, due to the measures taken by the governments worldwide might be a doorway towards a sedentary lifestyle, perhaps, causing adverse effects on the health.
Several campaigns such as ‘Pass the Message’, an initiative by the FIFA in collaboration with the WHO, have been implemented to raise awareness amongst the masses in both the developed and developing economies. However, on the contrary, such campaigns have left a dent on the anticipated revenue of the football industry. Recently, FC Barcelona announced a hefty loss of almost $239 million due to the ongoing pandemic, due to which all the investments are now at a standstill.
As per the reports, the pre-COVID-19 projections were that the sports industry would yield total revenue of $135 billion, however, could only touch the figure of $73.7 billion during the year 2020.
A series of sports tournaments have either been rescheduled or canceled due to the pandemic, that has levied more expenses on the industry such as- NBC, has invested almost $1.2 billion solely on digital advertising for the Olympics that will now be held in 2021. Advertising on televisions, broadcasting, etc cost almost $20 billion to the global sports sponsorship dealers, and approximately $17 billion has been invested for the live events.
It is also reported that the new sport sponsorship announcements experienced a steep downfall of 40% during the past few months.
The Lockdown measures taken by the governments in order to curb the pandemic has pestered the stakeholders- to act immediately and to re-strategize their investment plan for the temporary and for the long-term future of the struggling industry, perhaps, a crucial need of the hour. Furthermore, it becomes crucial for the sports marketing aspirants to adapt, device, and up-skill their technological capabilities to beat the pandemic. In midst of the chaos, the necessity to develop engaging digital content such as match predictions, reports, live-interaction with the athletes are a few steps that are now being adopted by the stakeholders.
The positive aspect is that the undaunted zeal of the sports fanatics worldwide has not been dampened by the pandemic, furthermore, it has been noticed that there is an increase in the reader/fan engagement regarding the digital content related to the sports. Interactive Live-streaming sessions with their favorite athletes and the personalization of some of the events have further given a boost to the engagement amongst the fans.
Therefore, the burning question of the hour is that the strategies that are being implemented at the current juncture will also tailor the requirements of a post-pandemic period? Though it is a question that only time can answer, we can certainly ensure that we are prepared to navigate even through the unprecedented circumstances sin colossal repercussions.