AR is establishing itself in specific areas of sports. For example, the AR line of scrimmage in the NFL was premiered by ESPN in 1998. New and innovative AR use cases are regularly being announced, which will pave the way for widespread AR adoption in the industry, as evidenced by Manchester City Football Club announcing plans to create a virtual stadium in the metaverse in February 2022. Research and innovation by big teams will trickle down to smaller sports teams and federations.
Fan experiences in broadcasting and mobile devices offer the most lucrative and accessible opportunities for AR integration. AR graphics in broadcasting creates a more engaging and insightful analysis of events, while AR on personal devices is a novel marketing introduction, increasing fan engagement.
As media competition intensifies for sports rights with the rise of over-the-top (OTT) platforms, broadcasters will invest in more sophisticated technology to attract or keep contracts and engage with fans. For example, Sky Sports invested in AR-driven avatars of players competing in The Hundred cricket tournament, enhancing analysis and fan engagement. AR on mobile is also an accessible platform for marketing sports and engaging with a younger audience. TikTok has partnered with sports federations, such as the Confederation of African Football, and Rugby Six Nations, creating AR social media filters for fan engagement.
- The global AR software market is projected to rise exponentially over the rest of this decade. In 2020 AR software was worth $6bn globally, and by 2030, GlobalData forecasts the AR software market will be worth $100bn.
- AR adoption in the sports industry is specific, but increasing, and fan engagement will drive AR in broadcasting and on mobile devices.
- Tech sponsorships and partnerships will advance AR in sport. In 2021, telecommunication operators accounted for $420.56M of sports sponsorships deals and IT services companies spent $205.85M.
- Improved infrastructure from tech sponsorships and partnerships will advance AR in sport, however smaller sports federations will miss out on large-scale technological partnerships and investment. For example, Verizon is the official 5G partner of the National Hockey League (NHL) and is trialing its 5G network for in- stadium AR experiences on mobile.
- Leading sports federations and teams adopting AR are the NFL, NHL, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Manchester City Football Club.
- Leading sponsors and vendors supporting AR in sport are Verizon, Sony, Douyin (TikTok), Brainstorm, and Vizrt AR
Reasons to Buy
- Market size and grown forecasts of the AR software market
- Primary research case studies with the Director of Cricket and NFL at Sky Sports, sports marketing agency CSM, and AR broadcasting vendor Brainstorm, who was responsible for the AR virtual set during the BBC coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
- Comprehensive lists and analysis of AR related sports deals and partnerships over the last two years
- Alternative datasets and analysis showing AR patent and job trends in the sport sector
- Comprehensive analysis of challenges facing the sports industry, and impact assessment of how AR can resolve these challenges.
- Augmented Reality value chain and in depth descriptions of key technologies, like semiconductors, memory chips, motion-tracking, batteries, machine vision, platforms, apps and content, and more.