Players In The Sports Market Are Implementing Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR) To Enhance End Users’ Experience

5 Aug, 2019

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are increasingly being used in the sports industry, starting from the integration of VR in training sessions of sports professionals to the enhancement of end users experience. The global sports market, valued at $489 billion in 2018, consists of the sales of sports services and related goods by entities that provide live sporting events before a paying audience or entities that operate golf courses and country clubs, skiing facilities, marinas, fitness and recreational sports centers, and bowling centers.

AR is a technology that uses a transparent screen or a projection technology to overlay digital information or virtual images in the real world around users. AR turns the surrounding environment into a digital interface by placing virtual objects in the real world. AR is one of the emerging technologies that has attracted the attention of the sporting world to enhance the performance of the supply side and enhance the experience of end users at the demand side. The first company that pioneered the use of AR in the sports industry was Blippar, during the 2015 England Rugby World Cup. During the tournament, the Blippar app enabled ticket holders to scan their tickets to provide them with access to content such as match previews, stadium information, and views from their stand seat.

VR is a technology that uses multi-projected environments to create realistic images, sounds and other sensations in combination with physical properties that replicate the physical presence of a user in an imaginary environment. The use of VR technology in sports increases the adoption of participatory sports and enhances spectators’ viewing experiences, driving the demand for sports. Sports organizers are implementing virtual reality technology to improve the spectators’ experience in sporting events. Virtual reality generates images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a physical presence in an imaginary environment. Clubs and teams are experimenting with simulated and 360-degree environments to enhance the match viewing experience of the spectators by allowing them to have a virtual walkthrough of the stadium or the race track and view the match at different angles. For instance, the NBA game between the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs was broadcasted in VR.

The global sports market reached a value of nearly $489 billion in 2018, having grown at an annual growth rate of more than 4% since 2014, and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of almost 6% to nearly $614 billion by 2022. Factors such as increasing sports sponsorships, growing popularity of esports, economic growth, an increase in the number of Internet accessible devices and the emergence of multiple sports channels to capture viewership will drive the growth of the global sports market.