The Sports Global Market Report 2021 reveals that the global sports market is expected to grow to $599.9 billion by 2025 at an 8 percent CAGR. It’s a lucrative landscape that invites plenty of attention from college athletes and young entrepreneurs alike. However, the odds of becoming a professional athlete aren’t stacked in your favor, even if you play a sport in college.
Ways Of Building A Business In The Sports Industry
Don’t let the numbers deter you from exploring opportunities in sports. You can carve out your niche in the industry even without becoming a professional player. All you need is to find a viable niche and let your entrepreneurial abilities create a profitable business out of it. To help you get started, here are three innovative ways of building a business in the sports industry.
Identify A Problem (And Move Fast)
Customers don’t spend on products and spend on benefits; they don’t spend on a service. They spend on convenience. Make sure you figure out a strong value proposition before moving to the next phase of setting up your sports business.
Unless your business solves an actual problem and provides customers tangible value, you can’t sustain it in the long run. However, sometimes, your target audience might not know they have a problem until you offer a solution. Additionally, laws and policies are constantly evolving, so you have to stay flexible and move fast.
For instance, think about Vantage Sports, an online marketplace where aspiring college athletes can connect with high-caliber college athletes. Until recently, student-athletes couldn't monetize their name, image, or likeness (NIL). However, a new NIL policy changed college sports forever, and Vantage Sports swiftly moved in to claim the top spot in what is looking to become an ample space soon.
“Our platform enables aspiring athletes to connect with experienced college athletes. By connecting with established student-athletes, young athletes can benefit from the most up-to-date knowledge of college athletes,” Patrick Johnson, CEO of Vantage Sports, explained. “We aim to help aspiring athletes by offering an affordable and flexible option while also offering college athletes an opportunity to capitalize on their skills,” Johnson added.
With the NIL policy change and Vantage Sports capitalizing on it, aspiring athletes now have a more beginner-friendly and affordable alternative to getting training than similar private clubs, camps, or training services. Additionally, they can easily benefit from the knowledge and experience of established student-athletes.
On the other hand, student-athletes can use the platform to profit from their name, image, or likeness. This makes the platform a win-win for aspiring and current college athletes, and it shows that being agile and capitalizing on new situations pays off.
Users are spending more time online than ever before, and this offers a fresh piece of land that’s ready for sowing by innovative entrepreneurs. With emerging technologies like AI, the scope to innovate is limitless. Sure, setting up an eCommerce store is one way to go. However, there’s more money to be made when you offer something that no one else does.
That’s what On decided to do in 2020. The Swiss company launched Cyclon, the world’s first subscription-based service that brings completely recyclable shoes to runners. In an interview, David Allemann, the co-founder, explains that the company’s service’s market potential is extraordinary.
“The running market is huge, and we are only at the beginning. There is so much potential there. At the same time, due to a natural process, On shoes are also being worn on an everyday basis as a sneaker. We also offer a variety of products if you’re more into speed hiking and discovering nature at its purest.”
Runners can subscribe to the shoe service, use the shoes, and return them to get a newer version. When a subscriber returns sportswear, it’s recycled, and the materials are used for creating new products.
Digital sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and the trend is likely to continue in the future. Whether you already have a differentiated product, or you hope to provide a predominantly offline service virtually, a digital business can be an excellent choice. Plus, if you’re setting up a new business — doing it online can make your business more agile and asset-light while still allowing you to reach a much larger audience than a brick-and-mortar operation.
Create A Course Or Become A Sports Content Creator
Courses are a great way to generate passive income. If your goal is to capitalize on the growth of the sports industry while still retaining your current income sources, creating a course can help you do just that. From teaching athletes how to manage their health to sports analytics, you can teach online a range of things.
You could also become a sports content creator and help sports brands scale. However, you can even go further and draw inspiration from Content Stadium. The content creation platform helps sports brands create content to engage their fans.
“All sports organizations should try to get out of their comfort zones, reaching out to where the fans are. They should segment their communications for different channels to reach the different target groups with the right content,” Jasper Swelheim, Content Stadium chief executive, explained in an interview with SportsPro.
Content Stadium creates graphics for sports brands and offers a suite of solutions that go along with them. It offers templates to activate sponsorships and engage the audience in real-time during live events. It also allows the importing of data with a single click into your designs, so you don’t have to input the numbers manually.
Take The First Step
Starting a business can feel overwhelming. The first step is usually the most difficult, and having a plan goes a long way in easing anxiety down the road. If you’re planning to start a business in the sports industry, now is a great time to benefit from the industry’s growth spurt.