Sebastián Lancestremère, Sports Business General Manager at Microsoft Corporation, participated in a Sport Business Management class session of The ESADE MBA to talk about innovation in the sports industry and how technology, business and product/service innovations are already changing the world of sports as we know it. After the masterclass, Lancestremère answered some questions for our blog:
In what new areas is the sports industry developing?
Today, digital platforms are the key behind the sport industry’s digital transformation, and we’re not talking about a simple CRM. We’re talking about new ways of engaging with fans by both feeding and stimulating their appetite for fresh content and a closer and more personal relationship with their favorite teams, players and events.
Team performance is also an area that’s growing a lot (with wearables, player tracking, predictive analytics). We can see this not only in professional sports but also in daily life. People want to measure everything to have more information about themselves, to find the way to improve every day. This technology, along with the use of big data to convert it into information and insights, is one of the top areas of development in the sports industry. Digital solutions are key to integrate all this information and to get added value and aggregate data.
And, of course, virtual, augmented and blended reality (the HoloLens experience) will give fans new and personalized experiences.
The sports business is growing every year. How is The Global Sports Innovation Center helping entrepreneurs develop their start-up projects in the sports industry? And established organizations?
On the one hand, the GSIC helps startups access Microsoft technology at no cost through the BizSpark program. It gives them the opportunity to use the software and Azure cloud for free and, at the same time, benefit from legal tips and training. On the other hand, the GSIC is bridging the gap between startups and big companies to help them validate their products and services. Some even end up becoming their clients.
Technology has changed the world of sports as we know it. What more changes do you think we’ll see over the short term? And over the long term?
We’ll see how the fan experience continues to change as technology evolves, with more personalized content, better experiences wherever fans are, access to the latest information and data about their favorite players, teams… personalized offers depending on their location and on their preferences. The experience will differ depending on if they’re in a stadium or if they like one or another player or team.
And, for the clubs, federations and leagues, there’ll be new revenue models. It won’t be a question of making stadiums bigger, but better in terms of services, exhibits, and information to leverage the fan experience.
By 2040, 40% of the global population will be digital natives and, as such, the products, services and experiences will have to evolve as we know them today.
Sports are also being played off the field. As an entertainment business where competition exists beyond a club or a league, understanding the concept of fans’/consumers’ share of content consumption and sports’ share of their wallets during their spare time is also key.