April 1, 2022
Published by
Mobii Systems
The bright future of data analytics in sports

Ever since data analytics came into the scene a few years ago, it has completely reshaped the way the sports industry works. 

To begin with, data helps teams identify fantastic players that could otherwise be overlooked by the overpowering presence of star players –and, it can do so even if the team runs on a tight budget. Injury prevention has also leveraged the power of real-time data since it is extremely useful for prompt analysis of a collision during a game that can provide better on-site treatment for players to avoid more complicated injuries. 

Viewership engagement also benefits from analyzing data, as leagues across the world can determine which is the best content to post and at what time to better serve their loyal fans. And it can even be useful for ticket selling and merchandising, as data from stadiums and stores can help predict shopping trends or target audiences with better marketing. 

It is no surprise, then, that the market for data in sports analysis is predicted to reach $4 billion this year and $5 billion in 2026. The next frontier will allow for even more interaction with the viewer, as they will have even more tools –wearables, smart stadiums, VR/AR glasses– to experience sports in a hybrid world.

A shift in who exploits this data is also expected to happen. While league owners, clubs, event organizers, and even national sports federations are mostly owners of the data today, players are increasingly challenging this reality. High-profile athletes are capitalizing on their own data and finding out through it how to better engage with an audience that is hungry for more content from them. 

However, a challenge will remain: how much data can be used, and who will ultimately be accountable for what happens with it when something goes wrong? While it is still an unanswerable question, it will be of uttermost importance to discuss as we move towards a future in which not using data in sports is not an option.

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