The world is changing — and so is the world of sports. Sure, we’re seeing new sports become more popular (we’ve named a few below), but we also seeing new ways to organize sporting events. As event professionals in the domain of sports, here are a few things to keep in mind.
The triple bottom line
Not just allocated to sport, event professionals are increasingly becoming aware of how events impact the communities that they are visiting. Naturally, this means making environmentally conscious decisions, but also involves the consideration of how events — including sports events — can create social impact. What type of legacy can be built? How can we improve the community in which our events take place? We talk more about this our introductory article to hosting sustainable events.
The fusion of concepts
A sporting event doesn’t need to be only a sporting event. It can be a merging of sport, art, culture, education, and much more. The sky is the limit, really. For example, Montréal events such as Jackalope and Psicobloc blend urban sports with live DJs, amazing street food, and other festive social events. Sporting events are becoming massive urban festivals, and there are big opportunities for a destination to highlight its local flair.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen steady inclines in the participation rates of urban sports such as skateboarding and bouldering, and new sports such as teqball and squaball. This mainly has to do with demographic changes, as Generation Z is seemingly less interested in traditional sports. Non-traditional sports — such as adventure sports, e-sports, and spin-offs of existing sports — are currently growing faster than traditional ones.
Sport is for everyone, but there is still much that needs to be done to improve accessibility. Studies provide evidence to show that people living with disability participate far less in organized sport compared with non-disabled individuals. Sport event professionals will continue to address this issue. Inclusive sport programs will increasingly offer the opportunity for everyone to not just interact with sport, but also get the chance to belong to a team.
Technology is here
Increasingly, technology is being integrated into sports and sporting events. This could range from mobile-based ticketing (already happening) to cameras attached to athletes (starting to happen) to Artificial Intelligence altering stadiums into deep learning organic creatures (the future of sporting events). Organizations with decent budgets are wise to hire tech specialists to optimize both the athlete and audience experiences.
For more information about planning sports events in Montréal, reach out to Véronique Riopel (Manager, Sports Market): firstname.lastname@example.org
Read this next: Montréal: Global capital of urban sports