The sports industry faces significant changes, which makes it vital to ensure maximum value can be realized from digital assets. But how?

The global sports industry is in the midst of a considerable transformation. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with a market that comprises an increasing proportion of tech-savvy millennials, is changing the way sport is consumed.

For this reason, increased attention is turning to the digital world for solutions. For example, a 2021 survey from PwC found that 70% of sports leaders felt connected tech is the greatest opportunity for physical sport.

In this article, we explore the challenges faced by the industry’s most lucrative revenue streams and discuss how the digital world – specifically digital assets – can not only help maximize existing income, but also create entirely new sources of revenue.

Traditional sports industry revenue streams

The sports industry has traditionally relied on a few main sources of income, and while these revenue streams are unlikely to stop, there are certainly challenges ahead.

Ticket sales

Income from ticket sales has historically provided a significant proportion of overall revenue for the sports industry. The global pandemic, however, dealt a huge blow.

With many events canceled, and those that did go ahead taking place in empty or partially filled stadiums, income generated from ticket sales simply disappeared.

A report from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) reveals that 88% of gate receipt revenues across its European soccer club members were wiped out in 2021 and consequently made up just 2% of overall revenue.

On a global scale, figures show that online ticket sales revenue for sporting events was down 60.6% at the height of the pandemic, dropping from $20.95bn in 2019 to $8.95bn in 2020.

While the same figures project that online ticket sales revenue will bounce back to $27.62bn in 2022, and resume steady growth in subsequent years, the fallout from the war in Ukraine could have further detrimental effects.