Since its spread and resulting pandemic status, coronavirus has left no industry untouched, including the sporting industry. The cancellation of millions of sport events globally has had a domino effect on every aspect of the sporting industry; we examine these many impacts.
After live sporting events began to be canceled, there were several short-term impacts on the industry. With no events to broadcast or report, the number of staff needed at various networks experienced an immediate decrease. A similar effect was experienced by sporting venues that no longer had millions of sports fans to host and supply with food, drink, or team merchandise.
The impact of the COVID crisis on non-essential travel meant that there were no fans buying travel tickets or fuel to get to games, and also no hotel rooms being filled. Athletes of every sport suddenly found themselves unemployed and with no training opportunities, thanks to the closure of training centers. Even the Olympics, one of the biggest sporting events in the world, has now been postponed for one year.
As a result of so many cancellations occurring at once, the cash flow at every level of the industry was immediately halted.
Coronavirus will have a profound effect on how the sports industry as a whole will continue in the future. Investment in sports may be more diversified in the future to mitigate the impact of other instances of immediate and widespread shutdown.
The question of changing current operating models is very likely to arise, causing some organizations to implement planned changes sooner than expected and forcing adaptation in those organizations that previously had no changes planned.
The way in which fans engage with events endured many changes due to the virus, which has caused organizations to rethink how fans will engage with their preferred sports in the future. For example, instead of having to be in the stands to engage with their teams, fans will need to have access on different levels, such as streaming or live chat.
The broadcasting of sporting events today changed immediately when widespread quarantines were implemented. Homes became digital workplaces, and the future may see even better technology for the purposes of broadcasting from the home office.
Strategies That May Need to Be Considered
In addition to athletes having to participate in their sport without fans watching from the stands, there are other potential strategies that the sports industry may need to consider. The potential for another wave of coronavirus outbreaks is causing many to consider how they’ll prepare, resulting in the formation of contingency plans. Above all, the mutual support of organizations will make them stronger and more equipped to handle whatever the future holds.
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