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2020 Sports Industry Outlook

Breaking down the latest sports market trends

Will the sports industry be filled with golden opportunities during an Olympic year? Deloitte’s US sports leader Pete Giorgio gives his play-by-play of the biggest trends shaping up for 2020.

The biggest trends on the sports scene

In our annual outlook, we're predicting the trends that we believe will dominate and disrupt the sports industry over the next 12 months. As we look toward 2020, we believe that five trends will have the biggest impact on athletes, team and league executives, and players across the sports ecosystem:

  1. The rise of women's sports
  2. The continued evolution of esports
  3. Legalized sports betting
  4. College athletes maximizing their short-term value, and
  5. 5G and sports in the cloud

Listen to the podcast and see why 2020 promises to be another fast-paced year of thrills, controversies, and surprises throughout the sports industry.

Let’s talk sports industry trends

We believe these topics are going to affect the business of sports, both on and off the field, over the next 12 months. But invariably, new stories, trends, and themes will emerge that further disrupt the industry, derail the game plan for executives, and delight us as sports fans. Please tweet #DeloitteSports to share the sports trends or opportunities that are on your mind in 2020.

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USA Basketball, “Carol Callan Elected FIBA Americas President,” June 15, 2019.
Daniel Villarreal, “There are at least 30 lesbian & bi women playing in the 2019 Women’s World Cup,” LGBTQ Nation, June 15, 2019.
Chris Arkenberg, Doug Van Dyke, JD Tengberg, and Nathan Baltuskonis, “eSports graduates to the big leagues,” Deloitte Insights, July 23, 2018.
Kevin Westcott, Jeff Loucks, et al., “Digital media trends: Video gaming goes mainstream,” Deloitte Insights, June 10, 2019.
Sam Loveridge, Lucas Sullivan, and Alyssa Mercante, “Everything we know about Google Stadia: price, how it works, and what games you can play on it,” GamesRadar+, December 10, 2019.
American Gaming Association, “Map: Sports Betting in the United States,” January 15, 2020.
Colin Dwyer, “NCAA Plans To Allow College Athletes To Get Paid for Use of Their Names, Images,” NPR, October 29, 2019.
Alan Blinder, “N.C.A.A. Athletes Could Be Paid Under New California Law,” New York Times, September 30, 2019.
Michael McCann, “In denying O’Bannon case, Supreme Court leaves future of amateurism in limbo,”, October 3, 2016.
10 Sam Cooper, “NFLPA partners with rights group to help college athletes receive name, image, likeness compensation,” Yahoo! Sports, October 28, 2019.
11 Frank Cittadino, “Four Predictions For Edge Computing In 2019,” Forbes, January 17, 2019.
12 Mike Dano, “Editor’s Corner—Real-time, high-speed sports betting is the best use case for 5G,” FierceWireless, June 1, 2018.
13 Aaron Pressman, “Which NFL Stadiums Will Get 5G Connections Next,” Fortune, September 5, 2019.
14 Karen Roby, “5G and sports: Study reveals younger audiences will pay more for a better experience,” TechRepublic, July 15, 2019.
15 Ericsson, “Ericsson Mobility report: Mobile traffic by application category,” November 2018.

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

Copyright © 2020 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.

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