PwC’s Sports Survey 2018 was conducted in May and June 2018, amongst sports industry leaders across 42 counties. It is complemented by data provided by a leading independent international sports marketing research agency, as well as desktop research. The results tell a story of uncertain conditions as we continue to evolve towards digital media consumption, leading us to question whether the industry may be somewhat lost in this transition.

Despite the accelerating change in the business models behind the exploitation of sports rights, however, respondents expect stable market growth driven by strong underlying demand for sports content. Simply put: sport still sells.  Beyond an overall assessment of industry growth and threats, this report features three areas singled out for deeper analysis:

  1. What the future of the sports media landscape will look like,
  2. How to drive ROI through sports sponsorship going forward, and
  3. How to approach the fast-growing space of esports

In broad terms, we hear that the transition towards the digital consumption of sports content is intensifying, causing more disruption than ever in the media space, that sponsors are behind the curve in understanding how to engage the millennial consumer, and that esports has become too commercially relevant to be ignored by traditional sports.

The main headlines/themes of PwC’s Sports Survey 2018 are:

  • The state of the sports industry
    • Market growth stable, with most optimism in Asia, least in Europe
    • Sports tech firms optimistic, broadcasters and leagues less so
    • Media and sponsorship rights to keep growing as models evolve
    • Esports overtakes football in growth potential
    • Threats abound from shifts in consumer behaviour
  • Sports media: out with the old, in with the new?
    • Sports content retains throne and goes digital in earnest
    • No consensus on rights values going forward
    • OTT entrants a key growth driver of rights value
    • Tech firms no longer on the sidelines, but which players will dominate tomorrow?
  • Sports sponsorship: driving ROI in the digital age
    • Sponsors behind the curve in the understanding shift in consumer behaviour
    • How to engage the millennial consumer
    • Personalised content is king
    • It is all about the fans
    • No consensus on tomorrow’s sponsorship values, but more stable than media rights
  • Esports: serious business
    • Living up to the hype
    • Is esports an Olympic sport?
    • Fan engagement kings
    • Esports can no longer be ignored, but how to proceed?

To download PwC’s Sports Survey 2018, click here.