The Growth of Sport Business, Declining?

This is from Talking Tickets my weekly newsletter on the business of live entertainment. Get it here!

3. Growth of sports business is predicted to slow:

This is built off of a report from PwC that looks at sports business each year in markets outside of the USA and there is a lot to get through in the report

The headline is that sports business looks like it might slow down over the next few years. 

We are seeing the real impact of the coronavirus show up and the numbers are brutal. FC Barcelona reported losing over $100 million in revenue this year, specifically attributed to the pandemic. 

I’ve highlighted the challenges that the AFL, the NRL, the FA in England, and many other leagues and teams around the world are coping with right now. 

Early in the pandemic, I mentioned how an executive I know mentioned that “if we are being honest with ourselves, we never really recovered after the financial crisis, but the numbers will tell you we did.” 

That’s an interesting idea to hold in mind now. 

If the business of sports does slow or even slip a bit, there will be severe implications. 

I’ve been going on and on about business models lately, but here is another example of the need to rethink your business model and regain your focus. 

If you are in a position where you think growth is slowing or sliding, here are some action steps to take right now. 

  • Rethink what your fans and the market needs from you. 
  • Do a little research into how folks are engaging with you and what the market for sports looks like. 
  • Go through your segmenting, targeting, and positioning. These are things you should be looking at each year anyway. 
  • Reset your goals and objectives now based on the reality of the situation you are dealing with. 

After that, we can talk about taking action. 

But really this is the time to get back to the basics of marketing strategy with focusing on the market’s needs, researching the market in the context of the changes brought on by the pandemic, revisiting your STP, and resetting your goals to deal with the world we exist in. 

As we’ve discussed throughout this pandemic, we are dealing with a minimum of three significant crisis points:

  • Mental
  • Health
  • Financial

To expect that nothing is going to change and that you can go back to the way things were is ludicrous.

So my best bit of advice for everyone is to get your mind right and focus your attention on scenario planning. But not just for the best-case scenario. You also need to look at the likely scenario and the worst-case scenario. As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, the best-case scenario has yet to make an appearance and the worst-case scenario has shown up far too often as the likeliest scenario.

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