Advancements in technology since the turn of the century have transformed how many sectors operate within the sports industry.
Technological innovations have powered a massive rise in revenues in numerous sports, helping them become truly global enterprises.
These developments have been especially crucial to the sports sector in Australia, allowing it to be become more globally focused than was previously the case.
Popular competitions such as the National Rugby League (NRL) now have a massive following worldwide thanks to the utilisation of different digital technologies.
Global interest in Australian horse racing has also increased on the back of technologies such as live streaming, online sports betting and other innovations.
Several other sports are in the same boat, highlighting how technology is a key driver behind growth in the Australian sports sector.
With technology continue to evolve rapidly, we look at some of the key trends we believe will help to shape sports in Australia over the next few years.
Multi-Functional Platforms Will Become the Norm
Before the internet arrived on the scene, the world of sport had clearly defined boundaries regarding the provision of ancillary services.
For example, broadcasters focused purely on covering the action live, while newspapers reported on events once they had been completed.
If fans wanted to wager on sports, their choices were limited to visiting land-based venues such as horse racing tracks or betting shops.
Digital technology has transformed the landscape by being a vehicle for the successful creation of multi-functional platforms offering several different services.
Many sports broadcasters now have associated websites offering written news and features, while integrated access to sportsbooks is increasingly becoming the norm.
This effectively makes them a one-stop shop for all things sports, which is gradually making specialisms a thing of the past.
We anticipate this trend will continue apace in Australia, particularly given the financial muscle of some of the big brands in the sports sector.
Sports Betting Apps to Diversify Their Offering
Online betting has become increasingly embedded within the sports industry, with the practice now firmly established as a 24/7/265 operation.
It was previously the case that punters who wagered on sports were largely confined to betting on events which took place within their own jurisdiction.
Fast forward to today and fans can now bet on events across the world. Based in Australia and want to wager on the English Premier League? No problem!
The top Australian betting apps offer odds and markets on sports taking place across the world, thus allowing punters to wager whenever and wherever they want.
With the technology still evolving, sports betting app operators are continually adding more features to their platforms to enhance the user experience.
Diversification will become the name of the game in this area over the next few years as operators seek to broaden the horizons of the events they cover and the betting features on their apps.
Micro bet builders are among the features which will be introduced as app technology becomes more sophisticated, which will help fire in-play wagering into another stratosphere.
Social Media Presents Sports with a Challenge
While social media has become fully integrated into the sports industry in recent years, the current landscape creates an uncertain environment for everyone in the sector.
That point is particularly pertinent for sports in countries such as Australia, who rely heavily on social media to connect with their global audiences.
While popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok offer a stable environment for sharing content and fan engagement, the same cannot be said for Twitter at the moment.
Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the platform has not gone smoothly, with the entrepreneur seemingly hell-bent on driving it into the ground.
His rebranding of Twitter to X received widespread derision, while several other questionable decisions have forced millions of users to quit the platform.
However, alternative options such as Mastodon, Threads and Bluesky are yet to prove they can become a viable alternative to the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The sports industry will undoubtedly be key to what happens in the social media space, and it will be intriguing to watch how this unfolds over the next few years.