How is the Coronavirus is affecting sports

The current pandemic has affected everyone in some way or another and changed things. We don’t need to test positive to feel the effects of the current state of affairs. Our guest author Kevin N. Cochran has taken notice of the current state of affairs in the sports world, and he’s willing to share his insight with us.

COVID-19 had a devastating effect on sports events this year. We have seen its knock-on effects in play at the moment. The uncertainty as to when everything is returning to ‘normal’ is part of the frustrations of fans. With all the time that fans now have, sites like JackpotCity Canada may offer some distraction, but not ultimate relief.

The Reaches of Covid-19

The world of sports doesn’t just consist of teams, players, and fans. There’s a gentle balance that keeps everything together and encourages the flow. 

Access to the fans

The players and teams are the biggest draw for fans. With no games, the players and teams have found new ways to reach their fans and keep the lines of communication open. 

Leagues that have established direct distribution channels have relooked at the financial requirements for subscriptions during the pandemic. The fans can now access memorable games, documentaries, and other screenings free of charge.

Players have been more engaged on social media, streaming live with fans to answer questions and show off their training routines to stay fit. There has also been an increase in esports as a means of keeping the fans engaged and entertained.

In Asia, countries that have resumed sporting events have done so in empty stadiums. There is no way to say whether this is the foreseeable future of sporting events. Considering social distancing requirements and protocols to prevent the spread of the disease, we cannot rule it out.

The inclusion and immersion in the spirit of the game is part of what keeps fans coming back. If this is the way forward, teams will need to work harder to keep their fans immersed and connected.

The cost of it all

Experts like Kevin N. Cochran know that sports is a billion-dollar global industry. Broadcasting, advertising, and player contracts are part of the financial obligations that have been negotiated well in advance. 

Due to the virus, sports events are postponed or cancelled and given a punch to the industry’s gut. Tickets sales, vendors, and broadcasting cost for events such as the Wimbledon or the Summer Olympics is a significant income stream for all parties involved.

Leagues have been forced to cancel games and even the entire season, as in Korean basketball. The health of the players and fans is the priority. The financial implications on these pandemic events have led to renegotiations of contracts and agreements in place. 

Commercial revenue, sponsorships are income streams for both the players and the league. Some of these contracts may be relooked once play resumes considering the extended implications of lockdown and social distancing. 

Sports cancellations have a further impact on the employees and related industries that depend on these games and events. 

Trends

The impact on sports and standard protocol may not change, but the approach could change. We take a look at a few trends that have emerged heading into the ‘new normal.’

  • Esports

Teams and players have found that they can enjoy the interaction with the fans without being live on the field. This industry has seen growth over the last few years. That being said, we could be seeing much more investment going forward.

  • Closer to the fans

Players have vested so much time into their fans and have created a lasting connection. It looks to be around for some time to come. It is also a better way to control the narrative and remain engaged in the dialogue. 

  • Sports Betting

Leagues are looking to diversify their income streams, which is an excellent way to encourage interaction with the players while generating an income. 

  • Increase in direct-distribution and streaming

Fans have gotten comfortable with choosing what they watch from the playlists and diverse options available. Though broadcasting still has a place in the global sporting market, it may not have as big a say as before. 

  • Finding a new experience

Social distancing requirements make it hard for us to see a fully packed stadium soon.  Virtual reality is no new concept; however, for a fully immersive experience, fans may turn to VR as a way of feeling included in the spirit of the game. 

Sports are known the world over to bring people together and erase the line between classes, with fans waiting anxiously for their team to return to the field and their favourite player in all their glory. Everyone in sports is working hard to maintain their form and keep them entertained.

Though there is no clear indication that the games will have any long-lasting effects, we may need to keep an eye on the presentation. 

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