The world of sports is shrinking
From NFL to NCAA football, we find this true throughout all sports. In fact, this past weekend, the college football season kicked-off across the world. Australia hosted their first college football game since 1987 and is expanding the market for international teams and games. Organizers had a crowd of over 60,000 for Friday’s Sydney Cup game, which pitted Cal and Hawaii against each other.
Why have we seen such a wide proliferation of sports across the globe?
It provides ways for teams to expose their organization to different markets. The obvious reason? Having more fans to sell more merchandise and gear, but where leagues, schools, teams, and advertisers see the real benefit is TV rights. Since 2007, NFL has hosted 14 games in London and some have suggested that these games are a test for the viability of a European franchise. The NFL keeps selling out Wembley Stadium, so it seems to be very viable. The Raiders and the Texans will play a game in Mexico City this November and there are even reports that the NFL has plans for the Rams and 49ers to play in China during the 2018 season.
Technology has also made a significant impact to the landscape of sports, making things much easier and more lucrative. In 2016, International Series NFL games will be broadcasted on 4 different networks, the NFL Network, ESPN, Fox, and CBS. Sports and social media have also become intertwined, which helps the proliferation because every team league sports association has a Twitter account. Twitter is viewed by many as the best place to get your sports updates. According to Navigate Research, sports fans are 67% more likely to use Twitter to enhance their viewing experience, compared to any non-sport fan. During 2013, 50% of tweets regarding TV in the United States, a total of 492 million tweets, were about sporting events.
As technology helps make things more relative to us, we start to see new opportunities for athletes. Some high school basketball players elect to play overseas instead of going to college for a year. Emanuel Mudley, ranked by some as the number two prospect in the country, elected to sign a multi-million-dollar contract to play for Guangdong Southern Tigers in China. “Honestly, to challenge me as a basketball player,” Mudley said, “But I’m not saying I’m better than everybody in college, but I felt that it gave me a better chance than college would have given me to play in the NBA.” After the interview, his original season in China, he was selected with the 7th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, now a few million dollars richer, by the Denver Nuggets.
As we see the increase of sports through technology, and of course TV growth, we will see the dollars, and we will also see the world become closer.
By: David Meltzer