Industry leaders voice that developing fan-driven strategies around its major sporting events on a global scale is key to success.
Sport industry chiefs voiced that the digital age of technology will continue to boost the future of global sports, in comments made at the Qatar Economic Forum in Lusail on Wednesday.
“Streaming is the game changer when it comes to sports,” said Donn Davis the founder, chairman, and co-owner of the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
Davis, who was joined by industry commanders like Sandrine Nzeukou, the founder of Tessa, expressed that the fate of sports lies in the hands of fan engagement.
When asked if emerging technologies like artificial intelligence will have a say in reserving the potential of sports tendencies, Davis gave a brief no and advised that attention should be on the audience.
“What wins in sports is the ahh features, not this futuristic stuff,” the American venture capitalist stated.
Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Socios, expressed similar thoughts on the future of sports, calling it the only industry in the world not to be disrupted.
“Sports is one of the last things that haven’t been distributed in the industries.. the game isn’t going to change, but the way we consume it, we can change it,” Dreyfus voiced.
As the principal lead at Tessa, Africa’s first full-service sports marketing firm, Nzeukou articulated that change is happening in the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent.
“What has happened in the last few years has been significant, NBA, NFL, PFL, Formula 1,” Nzeukou said, listing emerging sports in Africa.
However, for Africans to be bound to the growth of sports, Nzeukou addressed that mobile data prices must climb down.
“On the African continent, it comes to data, it costs alot throughout Africa, and when it climbs down, there will be an influx of fans,” Nzeukou conveyed at the ‘Game Changer: Transforming Sports for a Digital World’ panel in Qatar
The business of sports
Meanwhile, a separate panel discussing the business of sports at the Qatar Economic Forum on Wednesday explained that the simplicity of a game allows for international audiences to remain hooked.
Chief Executive Officer of the ONE Championship Chatri Sityodtong said he anticipates sports like basketball, football and martial arts to continue expanding worldwide.
“Basketball and soccer will dominate due to the simplicity,” said Sityodtong.
Meanwhile, the co-owner of the Boston Celtics of the NBA league Stephen Pagliuca pointed to transparency in sports that helps gain loyal audiences, highlighting how athletes in the NBA are respected and paid their dues as they are their own entities.
Such sentiment was shared by Dynasty Equity’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Don Cornwell who said: “Players are a real brand that allows them to be a marketing machine which leads them to the team and the league.
“Fans are more engaged than ever because of the mechanism of getting the team through Twitter and Facebook and now sports gambling in the United States,” Cornwell added.