Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the sports industry

The effects of COVID-19 continue to flow through the world’s health, educational, financial, and commercial institutions, and the sports ecosystem is no different. Matches and competitions are being cancelled or postponed, disrupting governing bodies, organisers, teams and athletes — as well as the non-stop live sports content we have come to expect. Owners, broadcasters, and sponsors are trying to navigate the impacts and implications of event cancellations and modifications.

Many questions have arisen from the situation. How do you simultaneously manage fan expectations, minimise operational disruption, and plan for a future that, in both the short and long term, may not look anything like the past? Can new technologies and channels help engage fans during suspended or modified league operations? With the pandemic looking likely to be with us for some time, the entire sports ecosystem will need new ways to deal with threats to financial and business continuity arising from disrupted cash flows, legal and insurance challenges, and possible impacts on longer-term attendances and engagement.

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