2024 Sports Industry Outlook

Perspectives

2024 sports industry outlook

A scouting report of five major industry trends

As the global sports industry continues to navigate a period of massive transformation, our 2024 outlook explores five trends sports organizations are expected to face in the coming year. This includes the changing economics of sports, use cases for generative artificial intelligence (AI), the future of mega-events, investments in fan data, and the potential for a “new normal” in college athletics.

A new era of sports

Looking back one day, the five years after the coronavirus pandemic will be seen as a transformative period in the global sports industry. This period will be marked by significant changes in technological capabilities, as well as shifts in business and commercial models for sports leagues and teams.

Over the past few years, individual athletes have had unique impacts on the sports landscape—with many reaching “influencer” status, speaking openly about social issues, and changing the way fans can connect directly with their favorite sports stars. We’ve also seen sports fans themselves having a notable influence on how sports are consumed and monetized—and how sports are woven into the broader media and entertainment ecosystem.

As the global sports industry continues to navigate this period of massive transformation, our 2024 outlook will explore five trends sports organizations are expected to face in the coming year and the corresponding impacts.

Our 2024 outlook in brief:

  • The overall economics of the sports industry is expected to continue to be strong in 2024. However, the commercial model, which has been undergoing significant shifts in recent years, will likely continue to transform across both traditional and emerging revenue streams.
  • Moving forward, we expect to see many sports organizations and leagues put significant effort—and investment—into aggregating and managing their own extensive fan data programs and building proprietary fan databases.
  • Like data analytics and machine learning before it, generative AI will likely quickly permeate many aspects of sports. Over the course of the next 12–18 months, we expect to see a groundswell of innovative applications involving content generation and management, live sports coverage, player evaluation, sports betting, fan engagement, and back-office operations.
  • The Paris Games may be a proof point for the International Olympic Committee’s “New Norm” and may illustrate a new model for the future—and potential host countries and organizing committees around the world will be watching.
  • From the announcement of countless conference changes to several record-breaking name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals, the past few years in college athletics have been jam-packed with change. Will 2024 be the year we start to see a “new normal” set in? Or is more disruption on the way?

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

A closer look at this year’s trends

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