The Business of Sport


In Sports Marketing this week, students looked at business-driven and consumer-driven factors that are given as reasons for growth in sports and how these factors may change in the next 15-20 years.

By Cameron Scott


There are many reasons and factors for the tremendous growth seen in sports recently.  There are business-driven factors such as the growth of sports media, increased interest in sport sponsorship, and inclusion in economic development planning.  Media is one of the factors that has totally transformed and has redefined its influence in sports over the last decade.  Today, with Twitter and Instagram among platforms, sports fans can be a part of, follow and stay connected to the lives of their favorite players and teams more than ever before.  This directly increases fan affinity.  Sports sponsorships have increased in interest and have essentially become a monopoly of their own.  The largest area where this can be seen is in college football, especially with year-end bowl games.  Sponsorship prices consistently increase, yet there are still companies waiting at the NCAA’s doorstep to become the official sponsors of a bowl game.  These are just a couple of examples of how business-driven factors have influenced growth in sports.

Along with business-driven factors, there are customer-driven factors that have an effect on growth in sports.  Customer-driven factors include: increased emphasis on leisure activities, introduction of new sports, increased interest in women’s sports, and increased interest in personal fitness.  A great way to keep a customer base happy is to give them something new and it always seems that there are new sports, games, or activities that are being introduced.  A new game that is gaining steam here in the Metro Detroit area is fowling (a combination of bowling and football).  Also, an increased interest in women’s sports is something that is necessary in today’s culture.  Ronda Roussey has taken media by storm and has taken women’s MMA fighting to new heights.  She has become the face of the UFC brand in the matter of a few months.  Personally, I find it very encouraging to see this increased interest in women’s sports because it shows that women have the ability to be competitive.  These are just a couple of examples of how customer-driven factors have influenced growth in sports.

Business and customer-driven factors will certainly change in the next 15-20 years.  I am curious to see if media in sports plateaus or continues to increase its influence on fan-athlete interaction and fan experience.  Also, I would not be surprised to see many women playing in the four major professional sport leagues within the same time frame.  This is certainly a possibility and I am curious to see if society is ready.   My hope is that we are.

*The above post does not represent the opinion or stance of the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies nor does it represent the opinion of Wayne State University*


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