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Live sport 2.0 Capturing younger audiences with the creator economy

Report by Ben Woods
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20,000 foot view:  The funding model for live sports has created fissures between older viewers who can afford to pay a premium for live access and younger audiences who either cannot, or do not want to. While older generations are accustomed to paying for access to content, younger generations grew up in a world with accessible content galore. As a result, they place more emphasis on parting with money in return for unique and tailored experiences, rather than to simply access content. The opportunity here is in monetising fandom as well as engagement. Sports competitions can increase their fandom with younger audiences by offering free-to-air live sports coverage while finding profit in providing lean-in entertainment experiences that cater to the consumption habits of Gen Z. By offering social interactive features, gamification, and placing creators at the heart of the experience, new sports franchises shift away from the traditional broadcast environment alienating many younger viewers. They must forge new sports viewing experiences that leverage the power of the creator economy.

Key insights

               to            year olds are the dominant consumers of live sports video, making up            of all live sports viewers in            2022 
  • Only            of            sports video viewers are aged                       and            years old, while            of            fans and            of basketball fans            in this age range
  • New sports            targeting younger audiences should incorporate            and social media behaviours to            their offer more appealing
  • Sports gamers            for the use of livestreaming                       of NBA            players and            FIFA players watched YouTube Live            week during            2022, compared to                       consumer average
  • Sports gamers            on lean-in social media behaviours            as by commenting, liking, or            social content.            of NBA                       primarily engage in this behaviour,            to            of consumers in            2022
  • Sports embracing            such as boxing, have opened            a new growth market that            the potential to compete with            sports for fans
  • DAZN’s Misfits            in August 2022, featuring the            KSI, attracted nearly two million            viewers – of which            were            subscribers
  • The ad-supported            offer of YouTube and Twitch            a viable distribution option for            younger audience demographics 
  • New sports            should use livestreaming services to            fandom, but must ultimately switch            in-house livestreaming platforms if they            to unlock the full monetisation            of their audiences

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Apple TV+, DAZN, FIFA , Kings League, KSI, Madden NFL , Misfits, NBA            , Prime Video, Snapchat, Twitch, YouTube