COVID-19 presents new challenges, but also new opportunities for sport industry professionals

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For Goodform’s most recent survey in partnership with iSportconnect, individuals working across the sport industry gave their views on challenges and opportunities at this unprecedented time. 86% of professionals perceived the impact of COVID-19 to be negative for them and their organisation, however, only 25% felt this impact would continue into 2021. Considering the prospect of a packed sporting calendar next year, many involved in the industry clearly share some optimism about the future of sport.

But what is the biggest challenge faced by the industry right now? The financial ramifications of lost broadcast revenue is the most recognised hurdle to overcome for professionals, with 68% picking it. Consequently, the proverb ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ has never been more fitting, as clubs, governing bodies and rights holders look for innovative ways to maintain engagement. Despite the resultant competition to the traditional broadcast format, only 33% believe that the pandemic will weaken the value of TV rights in the long-run.

The financial implications of lost sponsorship revenue is another major challenge in the sport industry, according to 49% of survey respondents. Consequently, 81% of these individuals highlighted the importance of data and evidence to support the benefits of partnerships. At a time of uncertainty for sport, this is just one example that positions research and insight as an essential step in strategic planning and revival.

Strategic planning was a standout route to finding success at this time with 66% of professionals spotlighting it, while increased focus on data and engagement was the second most recognised opportunity at 55%. These are some of the key opportunities explored in Goodform’s Guide to Growth document, designed to support sport organisations during challenging times. If you’d like to discuss the document and/or support and guidance at this time, please contact joe.kyle@goodformgroup.co.uk, Marketing Director, Goodform.

Interestingly, only 19% of survey respondents feel clubs, governing bodies and rights holders are maximising the current potential for fan engagement. This seems to be true as archived footage and sports involvement in the community were how our Sports Fan Panel most wanted to consume sport, whereas industry professionals agree that athlete content is instead most in demand. We explore the impact that COVID-19 has had on fans and the wider sporting world in our recent discussion from our Sports Fan Panel insights, available here.

We will continue to offer a 360 view of sport through our research and insights from fans and industry professionals – stay tuned!

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