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  • Sports should leverage AR for improved fan engagement

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    Augmented Reality (AR) can help sports companies tackle current challenges by creating more engaging and insightful viewing experiences, while the overall AR market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% from $22 billion in 2022 to $100 billion in 2030.

    GlobalData’s latest Thematic Intelligence report, “Augmented Reality in Sport,” reveals how fan experiences offer the most lucrative and accessible opportunities for AR integration.

    Jordan Strzelecki, Associate Thematic Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, said: “AR graphics in broadcasting create a more engaging and insightful analysis of events. AR on mobile devices is a novel marketing introduction that can increase fan engagement. As media competition intensifies for sports rights with the rise of over-the-top (OTT) platforms, broadcasters must invest in more sophisticated technology to attract or keep contracts and engage with fans. For example, Sky Sports launched a new mixed-reality studio in August 2023 for Premier League Monday Night Football and US Tennis Open coverage, enriching viewing experiences with advanced AR graphics.”

    Broadcasters are increasingly providing AR-enhanced alternative broadcasts of sports events to tailor coverage to specific audiences. Stadium-based AR mobile experiences are also available, aiming to enhance live viewing.

    Strzelecki continued: “New and innovative AR use cases are regularly being announced. In October 2023, AT&T and Gallaudet University debuted the first 5G AR helmet for deaf American football players. The proliferation of 5G will lead to widespread and more advanced AR adoption among major sports entities.”

    Strzelecki concluded: “However, smaller sports federations and clubs will miss out on large-scale technological investment and partnerships. Brands will focus financial resources on teams and leagues with large fan bases and footprints, as they allow them to reach the most people. While brands may still partner with less successful organizations, most sponsorship spend will be directed towards larger properties.”

    Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien