Sport as a standalone activity ceased to exist a very long time ago. The blending of sport and entertainment, known as “sportainment,” is the current trend. On the one hand, “sportainment” represents a significant trend or process that is changing the industry’s boundaries and is consistent with Schumpeter’s idea of “creative destruction”. Let us dig into the reality of sportainment. Read the complete details of What Is Sportainment? Read About A New Dimension of Sports below.
What Is Sportainment? A New Dimension of Sports
What is Sportainment?
In the twenty-first century, the sport has emerged as one of the central issues in (almost) everyone’s life, whether you are a passionate supporter of a football team, a professional athlete of the highest caliber, the head of a sports association, or even “just” someone who keeps up with the daily news about sports business.
Aside from that, sports can be connected to nearly every element of life. The sports industry is no longer just about the match and the players. The industry has shifted into a variety of new frontiers in technology, commerce, and social media.
One of the most effective and influential communication tools in the world today is the sport, which has also evolved into a type of mass entertainment on a global scale. International sporting events provide the capacity and opportunity to reach large populations worldwide. High-performance athletes have expanded their reach selling themselves to the informed public. They thus develop into potent ambassadors, spokespersons, and role models. The word “sportainment” was used to describe the growing significance of the entertaining sports sector.
History Of Sportainment
A few thousand years ago, a man picked up a rock while standing on the naked earth. He had no shoes. He awkwardly jiggled the rock in his hand to determine its mass. He cocked his head, shot the rock, and took aim. The rock missed its mark and fell to the ground without harm. The man halted after picking up another stone and spitting on it while grunting violently and kicking the ground with his bare feet. The world altered in those few little seconds. And, the sport was born.
At some point in the early 20th century, another individual took the lead. He had a slightly ridiculous appearance and walked with stiffness. The man softly brought Motion films to life. The man’s name was Charlie Chaplin. Everybody laughed when they saw him. He sparked feelings and a demand. Chaplin kept the party’s life busy. He was an entertainer.
What was once seen as a sport is hardly recognizable today as sports evolve. Men organized their competitions, put on clothing to compete in, added sandals and eventually shoes, and tied or cut their hair back in contrast to the rock-throwing caveman. Sports change along with how the world’s trends change.
The sports revolution appeared to have finished not so long ago. Uniforms with vivid colors were introduced. Sport entered the 20th century fully thanks to equipment advancements and field improvements including the bent hockey stick, artificial turf, and increased and improved protection.
This was a sport. Sport and man have transformed into a joyful celebration of human achievement. The sport was the joyful celebration of human excellence, as these men and women, as well as numerous more, and their teams, were shining examples.
The entertainment boom was a result of market pressure fueled by the entertainment audience’s simultaneous need to feel and escape. The motion picture business expanded swiftly, starting with Chaplin and his million-dollar deal. Alfred Hitchcock made us feel afraid, while Mary Poppins made us happy. Our capacity for feeling was expanded and let loose. The entertainment sector kept expanding and offering more opportunities for escape and adventure.
We are now on the next plateau. The opium of the people is no longer only sports. Professional sports have reacted by interpreting consumer expectations and the competition they confront for the attention and money of the public. This is “sportainment” – the fusion of entertainment and sport.
Sportainment – Facing a new dimension of sports
In the twenty-first century, sports as entertainment or entertaining sports are the new facets of sports culture. Sports have attracted more and more attention throughout the years, even those who were not interested in sports. Another obvious fact is that not all sports coverage is accurate or linked to the sport. The definition of “sportainment,” its components, and how it relates to entertainment are all thoroughly discussed and studied in the sections that follow.
The term’s definition—sportainment—seems to go beyond the obvious: the fusion of sports and entertainment.
The current aspect of sport behavior is represented by two separate styles:
(1) Sports and players in the contemporary entertainment industry benefit
(2) Prolonged coverage of sporting events in the media
According to international sports news and media reporting, it appears that sports organizations, sports clubs, or even individual athletes sell both their talent and their private lives to a global audience of viewers. On the one hand, sport in contemporary life places more and more emphasis on being a component of the entertainment sector. However, due to their potential for entertainment, the media focuses more and more on events, people, and subjects associated with sports. As a result, in recent years, both the supply and demand for sport and entertainment have expanded.
Athletes are currently attempting to establish a prominent position outside of the sports area and more overtly in the entertainment section. Athletes who collaborate with entertainment journalism have a better chance of success and a second source of revenue. As a result, an athlete’s performance is not given as much attention as their lifestyle, fates, and personal affairs.
A high media presence that masks a temporary decline in performance may be a benefit for the athlete. By bolstering their presence in the entertainment part of the media, athletes may feel some relief from the strain they face daily. In addition, many sportsmen profit from extensive, entertaining media coverage since it allows them to perform for a large audience. Particularly yellow-press magazines do not prioritize reporting on breaking news. As a result, photo shoots or home stories can be planned and produced.
In contrast to mainstream sports reporting, bad events are less emphasized in entertainment media coverage. Instead, a picture-perfect universe is created. The likelihood of negative headlines in entertainment periodicals is lower than it is for sporting reporting. On the other hand, a strong thematization of the individual can be much more carefully planned and choreographed in the entertainment industry.
The greatest clubs aspire to be more than just a prosperous football team; they also want to be a profitable global business. At the outset of this development that merges sport and entertainment, a few of the technology fields include the incorporation of virtual reality, content production, and eSports into a club’s design plan.
Some affluent clubs have responded to these market demands by setting up internal media subsidiaries, complete with their platforms and OTTs, to take control of their media content and develop a digital portfolio. For instance, FC Bayern Munich’s FCB Digital & Media Lab and, more recently, Barça Studios. Clubs that are successful on social media increase the value of their brand globally, which results in greater sales and new revenue streams.
Sportainment is a response to the market to the rising public need for more escapism, more human quality, and the desire of spectators to feel the experience. Professional sports no longer have the power to captivate audiences with claims of higher human achievement, and entertainment offers no fresh escape or sensation. Sportainment is the culmination of various realities that no longer live up to the expectations of our audiences.
There are issues with the blending of entertainment and athletics. Sport has helped to socialize our youth and has taught them about discipline, teamwork, relationships, courage, and play.
Transforming into Commercial Enterprises
Football clubs have been focusing less on football-related issues and making commercial investments to diversify and professionalize their revenue sources. Particularly, clubs are hiring a rising number of business executives, marketing specialists, and data analysts who may not understand football but are experts in commerce, entertainment, and communication. The aforementioned media centers are a prime illustration of the expanding job options for commercial football gurus. These business experts provide a different perspective than the typical football employee, and as a result, they are currently in high demand.
The benefit of commercialization for a football team is having more money to spend on signing the best players available. According to the Deloitte Football Money League, the top 20 football clubs generated $9.25 billion in total revenue in 2018; 40% of that amount came from commercial sources. Without having to sell players, paying big transfer fees is made possible by generating commercial money. As a result, the football club’s reputation improves and its fan base grows. This enables the squad to produce its greatest performances on the pitch. By combining sports and entertainment, this business investment establishes a cycle of growth that is sustainable.
The eSports Expansion
The world’s top sports groups are diversifying into eSports to gain market share before the rest of the industry sees the enormous potential of this new business. The data backs up these clubs’ assertion that investing in eSports is a smart business move. Over the last two years, the industry’s revenue has increased by 38% to $905 million, and estimates from Goldman Sachs and PwC indicate that by 2022, that figure will rise by another $1.58 billion to $2.96 billion.
By collaborating with eSports organizations, marketers that previously would have been less interested in a relationship with the club are now more likely to support the team. With a manufacturer of gaming headsets and audio equipment called Turtle Beach, Manchester City FC has inked an agreement tailored to the eSports sector. This is a prime example of a collaboration that, in the past, wouldn’t have been viable financially without an associated eSports team.
Virtual Reality Integration
The football industry is used to serving as the public’s introduction to new technologies. The emergence of television and the ability to watch live games on mobile devices are just two examples of how new frontiers are continuously being pushed that alter how fans consume the “beautiful game.” Virtual reality is such a frontier next. The inability to give matchday experiences to supporters who cannot get to the stadium is a barrier for clubs looking to grow internationally. Clubs have historically tried to close this gap by traveling abroad for preseason matches to present their players to a global audience. However, by bringing the stadium to the fan, virtual reality might offer a quicker, more effective solution to this conundrum.
Data Analytics, Social Media and Content Production
Football clubs are adopting a variety of technical investments, including virtual reality. Clubs are starting to match the brands they deal with to the interests of their fan base by investing in social media data analytics. Organizations like Zoomph, Flye, and Blinkfire Analytics offer clubs sophisticated analyses of the characteristics, preferences, and levels of interaction of their fans. Through this method, sponsors get the most out of their connections with the club, and the club gains from creating business relationships that are specific to their fan base. As a result, by demonstrating to the partnering firm that it can reach and engage with its target audience, the club can sell its brand for a greater price.
The 90 minutes on the pitch will always be essential to a club’s success in business, but to be a full-fledged football professional, one must be prepared to offer the club advice on non-football-related issues.
For the modern football professional to become significantly more useful in the entertainment industry, they must develop their skills in the areas of business, eSports, virtual reality, and digital creation. The future is already here, with social media and digital content leading us down uncharted paths that only the most inventive people will know how to explore. The internet and television were just the beginning.