iSportconnect Insights: Sports Industry not using technology effectively, say experts

In the latest iSportconnect Insights survey, Goodform surveyed nearly 150 professionals from the world of sports business on the biggest challenges faced digitally. One of the most startling statistics to emerge from this new report is that only 31% of people within the industry believe that tech is being used effectively to enhance fan experiences. However, in contrast, 59% of people from the world of sport believe it is being used beneficially to improve athlete performance.

Another notable statistic to come from Insights is that a fifth of people within the sports business industry see piracy and the illegal use of rights as a factor in influencing the value of media rights. But, of those who participated, 71% declared customised content as the most important factor for driving next-level fan engagement going forward, showing the need for better use of technological advancements.

Launched in March 2019, iSportconnect insights has been designed to shape industry discussion and to provide quality market intelligence about the trends driving the sports business – directly from those working at the heart of the industry.

 “We know that the business of sports is a hotbed of innovation in the tech area, but the new Insights reports highlights that the business can still be doing more with the new tools that are being made available,” said iSportconnect COO Ray James. “We are all on a learning curve in these exciting times.”

For more information or to receive the full report, please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Strategy Director, Goodform: alexandra.kyrke-smith@goodformgroup.co.uk.

iSportconnect insights have since launched another survey focusing on sponsorship trends in sport. You can take part in this survey by following the link here.

VAR so far: How have fans’ views changed?

With the 2019/20 Premier League season well underway, our latest Sports Fan Panel assessed the impact of VAR technology on the Premier League, comparing fans’ views before the season started; to their views now. The results show how fans perceive the technology to be faring in its inaugural season in the Premier League.

In the first survey, 50% of fans thought that VAR would have a positive impact on the Premier League (22% negative). However, after four game weeks, our follow-up survey found that just 31% of respondents felt that VAR has had a positive impact (34% negative) – suggesting that it hasn’t had the impact that fans were expecting.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have revealed that there have been 475 incidents checked by VAR in 80 Premier League games. The most recent decision to be overturned by VAR is that of Jordan Ayew’s goal against West Ham United, the fourth overturned decision to award a goal this season. It is understood that referees are satisfied with VAR’s introduction in the Premier League, but what are the views of the fans attending the matches or watching on the TV?

Fans in the stadium

Of those who have attended a match where VAR has been used, 42% believe that it had a negative impact on the game, with 74% stating that they did not receive enough information and 61% stating that the decision took too long. The latter was identified as a main concern in the first survey, when 85% of fans were worried that VAR would take too long to make a decision. In order to ensure fans are aware of why a decision is being reviewed, 70% of fans believe that showing the incident on the big screen would help to provide fans with more information.

Fans watching on TV

In contrast, of those who have watched a game on TV where VAR has been used, views are split on the impact it has had on the game – 45% of fans believe that it has had a negative impact and 45% believe it had a positive impact. In comparison to those fans in a stadium, 60% believe that they were given enough information, but 63% still think that the decision took too long to be made. To improve the technology and ensure all fans know what is going on during a review, 78% of fans believe that audio of the referee talking to the VAR assistants would help to improve the fan experience.

As we progress through the season, each VAR review could be the difference between clinching that final Champions League spot or avoiding relegation. Should there be more review areas to ensure every contentious moment in a match is reviewed? VAR has been introduced with just four review areas so far: goals, penalty decisions and direct red cards. However, when asked which other areas should be reviewed, fans felt that violent conduct and diving should also be reviewed.

It’s early days yet, and it remains to be seen how VAR will fare as the season draws on. Our Sports Fan Panel will return at the end of the season to see how perceptions of VAR technology have evolved and whether fans’ opinions have changed.

Formula 1 and Goodform shortlisted at the MRS awards 2019

The Market Research Society have announced their prestigious shortlist for the 2019 MRS Awards – with Goodform and Formula 1 making the shortlist for their global fan community, F1 Fan Voice.

The Market Research Society is the UK’s professional body for research, insight and analytics, with their awards recognising best practice in market research across all sectors. F1 Fan Voice is one of just four entries shortlisted for “Best Business Impact – Global” at the annual awards, with this category recognising clients or organisations that use research to make a real and lasting impact on their global business and operations.

The shortlist includes:

  • BBC World Service
  • Condé Nast
  • Formula 1 & Goodform
  • Shell & Kantar

The MRS Awards celebrate research’s ability to drive innovation, inspire change and deliver results – and the celebration for the Awards will take place on Monday 2nd December 2019.

For more information on the F1 Fan Voice and the value it adds to Formula 1, click here.

For more information on the awards and the other companies that made the shortlist, click here.