Thanks largely to digital innovation, being a sports fan has never been so emotionally charged, or fun, as it is today.
Fans no longer just watch. They participate, analyze, critique, deconstruct, fantasize and connect with their favorite players and teams in real time. They watch with friends, regardless of where they are physically located, thanks to new mobile and social technologies that make it easier than ever to connect virtually. They share reaction and highlights instantly, despite teams’ and leagues’ persistent attempts to control retransmission rights. Players are no longer forced to rely on traditional media outlets and press agents to connect with their fans. With new technologies and readily available social media channels, the players themselves have become their own broadcast channels, and fans can easily reach out to them.
The balance of player, team, fans, and media has shifted. The dynamic has become transparent and fluid. Players have more control of their brand, while fans can follow a player’s every move and analyze (sometimes overanalyze) his on-court performances and off-court antics. Meanwhile, new statistical measures like sabermetrics are helping to redefine the value of a player’s impact on a team and, in turn, how he is appreciated by fans (or not).
In this presentation, we’ll explore specific examples of how sports fandom has changed and share a vision of where it’s headed in the future thanks to MOBILE and SOCIAL innovations.
9th–13th March 2012