“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?” With the passing of another year, we have turned the page from 2019 to 2020, and with that, we enter into a brand new decade. Looking back over the past 10 years we can see how dramatically the world has changed, and how those changes have impacted our industries. Fans are increasingly digital savvy, mobile-first, and experience-driven. We’ve seen the rise of new social networks, new fan behaviours, and the added importance of personal privacy and data protection. In anticipation of an exciting decade ahead with plenty more changes to come, Tradable Bits has compiled our list of predictions for the next 10 years.


Nathan

Nathan

The increased popularity of VR/AR headset systems and at-home usage will open up new space for advertisers. Businesses will be able to advertise to fans on a similar scale to social media through interactive VR ads and experiences.

Alicia

Alicia

Data transparency will be more important than ever. We’ve seen the impacts already of the data and privacy fallout from 2018. Fans want to know where their data is being used and how to control what’s shared. We will see increased security on social platforms, added layers of protection for digital citizens, and more “right to erasure” enforcement.

Lenny

Lenny

Fan engagement in North America will now start to catch up with the world in the gambling space. The major drawback will be a slow rollout at the Federal level so legalization will lag behind the industry demand. While fans’ attention spans are shortening, the power of prop betting within a game could lead to a major gambling company winning and bidding for rights to broadcast games - which they would likely offer for free (or very cheap) to capture an audience to wager during games. The leagues will continue to get a piece of the action as they license their data as the “single source of truth” for betting lines.

Ticket sales aren’t going to be so easy in the future. The younger generations don’t consume games the same way as we see today. Attention spans aren’t the same, fans want to consume the game in snack-size content. This means non-football sports that have 40-80+ home games will need other compelling reasons to attend live events, particularly on weekdays or for those teams with distant venues. General admission mingling areas rather than assigned seating sections will become increasingly common. Game presentation and in-venue fan activations will have to rise to a new level to bring fans to the game for FOMO and social-media content opportunities.

Ronan

Ronan

Fans will be able to purchase seats for events that you can attend via VR. Teams and event organizers will sell the same “premium” view seat to thousands of fans for a fraction of the current cost. Opportunities for fans to attend games, festivals, concerts, and more from around the world will open the doors for a truly global fanbase. For example, fans unable to currently afford travel to attend Premier League games in Europe will be able to buy a VR ticket and enjoy the action from the comfort of their home in North America.

Tom

Tom

During this decade, we have seen female coaches join the ranks of mens professional sports teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. However, no female has been promoted to head coach in one of the big five leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, MLB). In the next decade, we will see a female head coach. My prediction is that Becky Hammond, currently an assistant coach on the San Antonio Spurs, will take that title.

As ticketing has advanced from printed to digital this decade, the next step will be facial recognition for ticketing. A fan will be able to walk into a concert venue or sports arena with a simple scan of their face. Facial recognition could also improve venue security.

Margaret

Margaret

As the demand for online engagement and digital-first activations grows, we will see an increase in the live streaming of sports and music events. Fans from around the world will be able to engage in real-time online with their favourite teams, artists, and entertainers.

Dmitry

Dmitry

The Primary and Secondary ticketing markets will amalgamate and ticket sales will be transparently visible to the end-user. This will occur either by legislation or at the request of the industry in response to growing trends.

Event broadcasting will become one of the primary ways in which we consume content and the cost will be covered by ticket sales. In essence, physical participation won't be mandatory to be able to enjoy any sport or event experience.

Selena

Selena

RFID bracelets will be more heavily incorporated into on-site activations providing additional value for fans who attend live events. Fans will be encouraged to enter to win a VIP meet and greet or enter to win a ticket to next year's event only through an in-person RFID scan. This will lead to more contactless payments and “no-wallet-needed” events.

Michael

Michael

Native format advertising will become acceptable both in the gaming and broadcasting industries. We'll see branded billboards in GTA-like video games and interactive personalized cameras to follow your favorite match from anywhere. We’ll also see an increase in the viability of digital live events, similar to the Marshmello X Fortnite concert hosted in 2019.

Fan engagement will become even more mobile-focused and fans will be able to actively interact with the team, artist, or entertainer while in attendance, or even watching at home (or on the go). Every free second of attention span will be filled with data-intensive activities such as voting, playing, betting and more.

Andrew

Andrew

There will be an increase in the usage of AR and holographic visuals at music and sporting events as this tech becomes more affordable and mainstream. Artists, teams, and festivals will continue to compete for attention and will use the intersection of technology and entertainment to attract fans. The Baltimore Ravens recently shook the sports world with their in-stadium Raven mixed-reality effect.

We’ll see an increased emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility, and the opportunities for teams, festivals, and artists to give back to the community will increase. Initiatives like Rock the Ocean at Tortuga Music Festival will become more mainstream as fans look to spend their dollars on entertainment with impact.

Alex

Alex

The gaming industry is going to switch from multiple-segmented platforms to an all in one multi-device streaming service. With the introduction of new technology like Stadia, it will make gaming more accessible, as well as a low barrier to entry for streaming. This means new opportunities for micro-influencers in the streaming world. Streaming will switch from mainly gaming towards a lifestyle vlogger based engagement.

E-Sports events will continue to expand with companies like Redbull, Tencent, Visa and other big companies wanting to advertise to gamers. These events will also become a mixture of a music festival, and a sports event, showcasing live music, food, and teams facing each other on a big stage. The largest markets for this will be predominantly in China, Japan, and South Korea.

Sam

Sam

If the current trend continues, we will see TikTok break into the Top 3 social media platforms. TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps in 2019 and has over 800 million downloads worldwide. Many teams and artists have already capitalized on the popularity of TikTok and have begun creating unique content for the platform. See our 5 recommended sports teams to follow on TikTok.

Teams that are actively growing their international audiences will reap the rewards in the next decade as competition for attention heats up in North America. As fans’ attention spans are pulled in multiple directions it will become increasingly important for teams (and artists/festivals) to attract an international audience to support new revenue streams. Online streaming, merchandise sales, and overseas games/tournaments will continue to allow teams to showcase their product to distant fanbases, while advances in AR will bring fans closer to the teams they love, regardless of where they live.

Andersen

Andersen

Continuing the trend of VR and AR. These technologies will truely bring fans into the action for sports and entertainment. This will be particularly impactful for e-sports, where fans can be put directly in the playing field or have other unique spectator viewpoints. In a digital-only playing field, game makers will be able to create AR experiential opportunities natively into the games, unlike traditional sports and entertainment venues.

Leo

Leo

More companies will realize the value and power that ByteDance (TikTok parent company) is getting from AI, and will mimic this to enhance their own platforms and algorithms. We'll see direct copying, potentially in the form of challenges (like when IG replicated Snapchat Stories), and also refinement to the back end to fine-tune news feed (slot machine) algorithms. This will result in a tighter feedback loop on social networking sites, which means that advertisers who can identify specific behaviours related to their product will win-out over advertisers who apply older, broader strategies.

Government intervention in social networking will increase, but lawmakers' lack of understanding will mean regulation lags behind innovation. New tools, such as AI and Machine Learning, will help advertisers win the data gathering vs regulating arms race. On top of that, techniques that help advertisers integrate their data across platforms and take control of their customers' data will flourish as advertising platforms become more constricted by the government.

Jhana

Jhana

Mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp & WeChat will continue to grow in global popularity. These communication apps will be two of the largest advertising networks in the world in the future as they become more ingrained in the daily life of fans around the world.

Darshan

Darshan

As AR continues to grow in popularity we will see it take shape in commercial spaces. As the technology becomes more accessible and widely-used, brands and organizations will begin to adopt this into their daily practices.

We will see continued innovation in screen technology that will start to play a bigger role in at-home theatres. In-home entertainment will continue to grow in popularity. The desire for a pleasing home aesthetic and diversification of products will drive a truly see-through "window" that turns to TV content displays when powered on.

"Ok Google, make me a cup of coffee". Our friendly AI Assistants will be integrated into our daily lives, and be built into nearly all new electronic products. You will be able to summon your favourite assistant everywhere. No longer will Alexa be confined to a speaker on the shelf, you will be able to call Alexa from your mobile, headphones, TV, appliances, automobile, and more.


Excited about what the next decade has in store for fan marketing? Us too! Contact Tradable Bits today to discuss how we can help future-proof your marketing plan and help keep you ahead of the curve.

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