Sport Online 2016

How sport exists in a world of connectivity

Sport Online 2016

This report has been designed to take stock of how sport, a premium and much-prized live entertainment form of content at a time of unparalleled flux and fragmentation across the media world, thrives in this online age. Through a combination of Repucom insights and perspectives from across the industry, we’ve painted a picture of how rights holders, brands, athletes and sports broadcasters can make the most of the wealth of new opportunities available to them.

Included is a special section on eSports, charting the rise of professional gaming tournaments but also examining its ‘growing pains’ as it moves to a mainstream and commercial activity. There’s also a section dedicated to the changing sports broadcast market that is seeing the emergence of new players keen to invest in live sport but now bristling with technology and expertise. The long-time leader of this new breed is Major League Baseball Advanced Media, who have pioneered direct pathways to fans for rights holders.

The global picture of online usage

Sport Online Internet statistics Repucom

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E-Sports Special | Preview

The last 12 months has seen eSports – the professional organisation of gaming tournaments – increasingly seep into the mainstream. The sports industry and wider world has sat up and taken notice.

NEW LEAGUES

A joint venture between IMG, which also acquired several eSports companies including a talent agency in 2015, and Turner will see the creation of a new league, ELEAGUE, broadcast in primetime on TBS this year. 15 teams will compete for a prize pot of $1.2 million.

DEDICATED ARENAS

eSports promoter Gfinity reconstituted a Vue cinema in west London to create the UK’s first eSports arena, which opened in February 2015, following Major League Gaming’s similar tactics in the US and China. At the same time, existing indoor arenas around the world, from modern multi-purpose venues to the likes of London’s Royal Opera House, are now regularly hosting eSports tournaments.

SPONSORSHIP

DraftKings, HTC and Betfair were among the brands signing up to sponsor leagues, events or individual eSports teams for the first time in 2015, while brands like Red Bull (a dedicated eSports website) and Coca-Cola (launching an online eSports show and a sponsor of League of Legends since 2013) have also expanded their involvement.

Online Sport - Preview of the report