The professional sports industry is very dynamic. It’s easy to see many changes happening at all times, and the situation is no different in 2020.
This year, the market may face several changes in its core dynamics. They will affect how people consume sports and how companies related to it run their operations. Sports betting is becoming more legal, and therefore more popular. COVID-19 is slowing everything down, too, but esports is on the rise as a result.
Sports betting will become more widely legalized
It’s no secret that online gambling is becoming a popular trend. Companies such as Casinoeuro are growing a lot due to how more regions are allowing gambling. This affects sports as well, because sports betting is going legal in more regions than ever before.
According to the American Gaming Association, at least 18 states in the U.S. have their own legislation for sports betting. Over five years ago, only Nevada allowed it.
What happens in the U. S. affects Canada, so this is one of the clearest sports trends in 2020. More regions in Canada will also allow for sports betting in the future. Also, some U. S.-based casinos may accept more Canadian players, too, if the legislation gets more liberal over time.
Kevin N. Cochran, an expert in casinos and sports marketing trends, affirms that we’ll see many changes in the market soon. According to him, the stigma of sports betting, an activity historically linked to criminal activities, is fading away. This will prompt legislators all over the world to amend their laws and regulate this profitable activity.
Everything slows down because of the COVID-19 outbreak
Unfortunately, not every one of the sports trends in 2020 is positive. The COVID-19 outbreak took the world by surprise.
The worst sanitary crisis in around a hundred years has basically shut down sports in many regions of the world, Canada included. Unlike the United States, Canada is not focused on the return of sports before the pandemic is contained. The government is cautious because large gatherings of people help the disease to spread quickly.
As time passes, some restrictions ease, but it’s safe to say that several major competitions will remain cancelled and that this is just the beginning. Sport fans will have to find other ways to get entertainment; only countries that were not so heavily affected by the pandemic will be able to run any competitions safely.
Most competitions are expected to return before the end of 2020 or at least in 2021. Yet, it’s safe to say that the industry will feel the impact of these restrictions and that companies in the professional sports industry will lose a large chunk of their revenue.
Esports is getting more popular
Fortunately, some areas of the sports entertainment industry got to thrive during the crisis. The main one is esports, mostly because its competitions were not so strongly affected by global problems.
Reports indicate that the global revenue of the area will grow by 15% this year, and audiences will grow by 11%. Revenue is set to move from $950 million to $1.1 billion this year. It’s a strong contrast when compared to its most traditional counterpart.
With more people staying at home and hungry for sports, the number of them who decided to give esports a chance is getting higher. Companies such as Twitch, a popular streaming website, know that; as a result, they are investing in growth during these troubled times.
Some changes can be seen even in sports betting. A few years ago, you would not see many options to bet on Overwatch or Counter-Strike games. Today, you can find it in most operators. Some are still not offering them, but they will certainly see their revenues drop, too.
Part of the reason for the change is that these companies need games, and esports can be played at a safe distance. It’s the perfect chance for this segment of the sports community to carve its place in the market and secure a brighter future.
These trends in the sports entertainment industry are some of the most essential to keep in mind this year. 2020 will be a very atypical year for this industry, mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are positive trends, though, such as the rise of esports and the legalization of sports betting.