2023 sports industry outlook

A scouting report of five major industry trends

The growth and transformation of the sports industry is forcing organizations to take a more sophisticated approach—one that makes the industry more attractive for investors, more immersive for fans, and more supportive of athletes. To make sure this happens, it’s important for sports organizations to look ahead for possible events and actions that can change how the future unfolds.

New opportunities to connect with fans

In this global golden age of sports, 2023 is expected to bring organizations and athletes more chances than ever to deeply connect with their fans. This includes engaging through some important international events, such as the Cricket World Cup (India), Rugby World Cup (France), and the FIFA Women’s World Cup (Australia and New Zealand). This year will also see new media deals and more innovations from streaming providers as their influence grows.

In a challenging economic environment, sports will likely still be seen as an attractive option for investment, with investors endeavoring to take a responsible and sustainable approach. Technology will continue to infuse every aspect of sports, empowering athletes and creating a more immersive experience for fans at live events and at home. In general, 2023 will be about making the most of these near-term opportunities while managing associated risks with the longer term in mind.

Our 2023 outlook in brief:

  • The blending of physical and digital experiences will move from proving concepts to creating new functionality and better experiences.
  • With the possibility of new sports betting restrictions emerging around the world, there will be a greater emphasis on risk management and responsibility as the industry seeks more growth and profitability.
  • Interest and involvement by private equity investment in sports will continue to grow. How will sports organizations respond to new types of investors and their expectations? How will investors act during a potential economic downturn?
  • After a breakthrough year, women’s professional sports are in a strong position to further advance in 2023, but additional work is necessary to improve awareness, expand sponsorship, and grow media rights valuations and investment.
  • College athletics in the United States are undergoing unparalleled change. It will be a challenge to balance the extraordinary opportunity with responsibility to student-athletes, schools, fans, partners, and alumni.

Download the full report to learn more about the impacts of sports industry trends, key actions to take, and critical questions to ask.


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