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PwC Reveal The State Of The Sports Industry In 2021

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wC has released the PwC Sports Survey 2021, looking at the current state of the sports industry and how the industry can recover from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Key points from the survey include 80% of executives believing shifting media landscapes and growing expectations for sports’ societal roles are the sector’s key market forces, 63% of industry executives feel reduced exclusivity and increased number of buyers per territory will lead to higher media rights value, and 84% of respondents identified stakeholder pressure as the primary driver for sports organisations to engage in social and environmental sustainability.

The survey also revealed 73% of industry executives perceive the commercial success of rights owners’ use of fan data as disappointing or below expectations, while 70% of respondents identified gamifying physical sport as a greater opportunity than video gaming.

The 2021 edition of the survey was conducted by the Sports Business Advisory team between June and August 2021 and received 792 responses from 55 countries.

Each of the respondents occupy a senior/C-level position within their organisation, with 20.1% of respondents being employed at a sports federation, 14.1% at an agency, 13.7% at a team/club, 9.9.% at a technology company, 8.3% at a league/event organiser, 8.1% at a broadcaster/media company, 7.4% in academia/public sector, 2.7% at both a brand/sponsor or investment company, and 13% at other organisations.

PwC also revealed 46.5% of respondents know Europe’s sports market the best, 19.3% for Asia, 19.2% for North America, 6.2% for Australasia, 4.1% for the Middle East, 2.6% for South America, and 2.1% for Africa.

PwC sports business advisory head, David Dellea, said in the report: “In the uncertainties of the global pandemic, this 2021 edition addresses the arduous journey of sports organisations’ crisis recovery.”

“A process we all hope will forge a new reality for the world of sport, where it uses its unique power of inspiration to help create a better, brighter future.

“This is the path we wish to illustrate through this publication.

“Indeed, our findings reveal the imperative for sport to better confront today’s collective responsibilities.

“Sports organisations must frontally embrace societal challenges, using their influential platform not only to promote human well-being and environmental protection, but more concretely, play an active role in developing a stronger society.

“Instrumental in achieving a sustainable recover, our results also identify key areas of structural transformation for sports organisation, as well as the main prospects for future-proofing their commercial model.

“Ultimately, the reality of the world at large is now directly shaping the future of our industry, deepening and broadening change.

“This marks the launch of a challenging but exciting time, where multiple forces are converging towards rebuilding a better sports industry,” Dellea said.

The survey also identified over 40% of respondents believe financial sustainability is best achieved by controlling costs opposed to increasing revenues, while 83% of respondents agreed private investors boost the growth of the sports industry, despite 74% of executives being concerned the control may shift away from sports governance bodies with private investment.

The PwC Sports Survey 2021 was complemented by data provided by Facebook, Videocites, IRIS Intelligent Research in Sponsorship, HYPE Sports Innovation, and Parrot Analytics.

To view the survey results in their entirety, click here.