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Where Do You See Sports Heading In 2020?

When looking into glory trends of years past, there have been a number of defining moments that have changed the sporting industry. But how will today’s latest technology help influence and drive the future of sports coming into the 2020 season?

Video Assistant Referee (“VAR”) Technology

Take the implementation of and controversy of video assistant referee (VAR) technology in the Premier League or the constant debate surrounding its implementation, even with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.

Earlier this summer, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) issued a stark warning that VAR could take a decade to fully understand, after its controversial start to its use in the Premier League.

Back in August, Nuno Espirito Santo, the head coach for Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., better known as the Wolves, accused the technology of “ruining the spirit of the game” after a goal was disallowed. against Leicester. In response to this, the Premier League has enacted a new law for its 2019/2020 season, whereby “a goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental), and a player creating a goalscoring opportunity after having gained control of the ball using hand/arm (even if accidental), will no longer be allowed”.

e-Sports Is Here to Stay

For sports video-game players, titles such as FIFA, Madden, and NBA have become almost as entertaining, if not more, than watching your own team play on live television. Why?

E-sports has caught on to our millennial generation, with a number of the world’s best players going head-to-head in an immersive experience that stretches far beyond the football field.

FIFA eWorld Cup 2019

At the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019, 32 players competed for the title of FIFA eWorld Cup champion along with a butt-load of cash. These types of events allow players to meet the biggest names of the EA Sports FIFA such as Spencer Owen, Mike LaBelle, and others, experiencing decisive matches live in-person. An event like this can only increase participants and spectators.

Intel World Open

The trend will only continue to increase in size as we approach 2020 as the Intel World Open will be taking place paving way for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. This e-sports world cup is set to see 16 nations taking place in pre-qualifiers in early 2020 to compete for the chance to join the national team. There are then a set of online qualifiers in June to determine how will make it to the final event in July of 2020. With a prize pool of $500,000 split between both Street Fighter V and Rocket League, there is a lot at stake for those looking to be the best.

VR Capability

Ah, virtual reality. We have heard the term used non-stop throughout 2019, along with augmented reality (AR) technology, as we begin to see the video game industry along with other electronic games begin to implement its technology.

In addition to people viewing their favorite games using virtual reality platforms to have an immersive experience when watching the game, this technology is also helping to aid clubs in their training regimes.

Strategically speaking, using VR-technology to place players in potential scenarios, can help them think through live-situations better come the actual match. Understanding the reality that this technology is not designed to replace the fast-paced nature of the game.

It’s all about that “competitive edge,” because we all want to be the best at what we do. There’s no reason while a team is traveling for a tournament or away from their home venue, that they cannot be “training.” Virtual reality and augmented reality can help keep that discipline.

Most recently, NFL stars have begun to implement this popular form of training, using STRIVR technology. STRIVR, a VR company based in Menlo Park specializes in employee and athlete training and learning modules.

Since its launch in 2015, it has raised more than $21 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Companies such as Walmart and Verizon have been jumping on board with VR training tech as well.

Walmart is no stranger to the world of virtual reality, as it introduced VR to the retail space back in 2017 by using the tech to upgrade manager training at its 200 Walmart Academies nationwide. Since, its been partnered with STRIVR, which has been an essential part of the company’s learning and development journey.

Last year, Verizon announced that it would be partnering with STRIVR to train employees across the U.S. on how to prepare for different robbery scenarios, through VR.

Ultimately, it’s about improving human performance–using immersive experiences to change individual behavior for the better, the company said in its press-release about its partnership with Walmart.

The Power Of Engagement

Fantasy football has had a major impact on viewership figures in recent years as players are rewarded points based on the performance of individual players.

Fantasy football has brought together fans of all demographics, backgrounds, and experience together within one platform. The Fantasy Premiere League has helped to boost viewership figures, adding to the marketing strategy of major sporting tournaments across the globe.

By offering outstanding prizes as well as the chance to receive bragging rights over your friends, this is a trend that is set to increase in popularity in 2020. In addition to the use of fantasy football, a number of bookies are presenting football fans the change to make big bucks off of picking the winning team.

Though finding value in sports betting can be difficult, there is no denying that bookies’ and their going rates contribute to viewing figures increasing as a result. Though this is completely dependent upon the game that you are running a bet on, trying your luck during a major tournament helps to make game play all the more interesting.

The Power of YouTube

In addition to the implementation of a fantasy football league, there is also YouTube marketing tactics that are helping to boost engagement.

Whether this is a live steam of a specific game, or it is a short advertisement featuring one of the star players, this is the perfect way to market a match and boost viewing numbers. With the total viewing hours averaging about 3.25 billion, this is a huge amount of potential for content marketing as there is an average of 30 million visitors per year that you can begin to tap into.

Success does not come overnight, but learning and understanding how advertisements work in the gaming and sports industry is an effective tool that very few have learned to conquer, ethically.

Streaming Is Evolving

If you aren’t streaming SOMETHING these days, you seriously need to leave the stone age and enter into the reality of today’s digital age. Aside from its glaring popularity in TV and media, streaming has become a major part of the gaming industry. If you have no idea what we are talking about, you better look up platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming and then come back and finish this article.

Then take a look at online gaming stars like Tfue, Faze Clan and Ninja. Watching influencers and highly competitive figures such as them has become an extremely popular way of enjoying sporting events or people playing in e-sports tournaments, but could this be the new way of watching sports games when compared to watching it on television.

With a number of sporting glory trends influencing the market, there is no denying that sport is about to see a number of significant changes just in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.