Sports industry is a people-centric industry, where the sentiments and emotions of the people matter a lot. Sports companies spend big and earn big. Still, despite the overall growth prospects of the industry, it has its shares of intrinsic problems. As the industry tries to cope with challenges, those in the business need good advice and guidance. It is here that astro-strategist Hirav Shah comes into picture. With years of experience in corporate and business world, apart from astrological expertise, Hirav Shah is the man one should approach to make sure they have sound advice

Sports were seen as a source of entertainment. This remains true even today, but it has emerged as a huge industry, thanks to the enormous interest that people have developed in various sporting activities. There was a time when cricket and football were much sought-after. Clubs were formed and season after season, these sports were played for the audiences.
Today, sports leagues are common in various sports. Of course, not all sports rake in big money, nevertheless, big sports make big money with followers all over the world.

The entire calendar for sporting events is ready year on year and the profits are multiplied by the sponsorship from various hi-end brands across industries.

Sports stars, their lifestyles and their entire life story has huge fan following on social media platforms and their every move is followed with religious precision. The charisma and character of sports stars also ups the enormous madness that surrounds sporting events.

In the West, big clubs require memberships and fans buy and collect a lot of memorabilia, which is a big part of the sporting industry business. And in case you wondered what the most popular sports are around the world, then here’s a quick list: soccer or football, tennis, hockey, badminton, volleyball, basketball, cricket, table tennis, baseball and golf. Of course, the list is not in terms of their popularity in order of one to ten.

The sports industry has been experiencing a boom and that is obvious from the fact that it is today worth $500 billion. On the whole, sports industry can be divided into two parts

a) Participatory sports that include community sports, sporting facilities such as golf clubs, marinas, gyms, personal training, fitness and recreation centres, etc.

b) Spectator sports that include clubs and sports teams, event revenue, media rights, sponsorship and merchandising.
But what is indeed surprising is that participatory sports account for 56 per cent of the market share.

Why does the sports industry matter?

The professional sports rake in nearly half of the $500 billion turnover and mean money at every step. For all those who follow major sports, it is pretty evident that big games need a lot of investment and have huge global audiences.
Let’s just have a glance of market share of the big games:

1) Association football/ soccer – 43%
2) American football – 13%
3) Baseball – 12%
4) Formula 1 – 7%
5) Basketball – 6%
6) Hockey – 4%
7) Tennis – 4%
8) Golf – 3%

Sports teams and club franchises account for a majority of profits in the spectator sport market with lots of money coming in from television rights, guest appearances of iconic stars and teams, sponsorship deals, merchandise and player trading.

According to the Forbes magazine, the following are the top 10 most profitable franchises in the world

1) Dallas Cowboys, $5 billion
2) New York Yankees, $4.6 billion
3) Real Madrid, $4.24 billion
4) Barcelona, $4.02 billion
5) New York Knicks, $4 billion
6) Manchester United, $3.81 billion
7) New England Patriorts, $3.8 billion
8) Los Angeles Lakers, $3.7 billion
9) Golden State Warriors, $3.5 billion
10) New York Giants, $3.3 billion

The growth of the sports industry is attributed to new and fast growing emerging markets and rapid urbanisation around the world. Presently, the US is the biggest market for the sports industry. This is followed by Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and other regions.
However, in the recent past, China and India have emerged as two of the biggest markets, providing ample opportunities for business expansion of the sports industry.

The Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are two other markets that are expected to grow real fast in the coming years. While US will continue to dominate the scene, South America is also expected to grow at the rate of 5.3%.
Reasons for the fast growth in sports market:

● There is an increased demand in emerging economies for sporting apparel and this coupled with participation of women in sports has also contributed in the area.

● Expansion of TV licensing into new digital technologies is one area that various companies are taking advantage of. This has widened the reach to global audiences and has opened new avenues for ad revenues. Meanwhile, the traditional media contribute to lucrative incomes.

● Sports clubs such as Real Madrid have come up with successful and innovative methods of branding and have made moves to expand into new and emerging markets, thereby creating new audiences.

● Last, but not the least, the concept of fitness is booking the world over. The new generation is health-conscious and this has led to an increase in participatory sports in emerging markets.

Growth of sports industry in coming years

a) The sports industry is expected to grow up to $614.1 billion by year 2022. There are certain factors that are bound to increase revenues from the sports industry such as a) development and growth of digital technology, new streaming services, mobile viewing, virtual reality, etc.
b) Given the expansion in digital betting and gambling, the sports betting industry is set to grow.
c) European football is gaining popularity in American markets.
d) Esports is growing in popularity and it is only expected to grow with strides in VR technology.

Forecasting for better finances in sports industry

■ Start by adopting mobile technologies at the supply and demand sides.
■ Combining different sports formats to keep the customers grooved to their screens.
■ Adding elements of entertainment to sport events, so that the new generation that craves for variety is satiated.
■ The best bet is to invest in emerging markets, mentioned above.
■ Offering competitive pricing for various events and merchandise.
■ It is a given, still it needs reiteration. Partner with big brands.
■ And last, but not the least, it’s important to offer goods and services to women spectators as they are growing and will make up a good share of the bigger pie.

Challenges in sporting industry

1) Millennials or Gen Z: The biggest problem for the sports industry is the new generation of youngsters. While the older generations loved to watch their sports in stadiums and arenas, today’s generation finds its panacea while watching sports from the comfort of their homes. Professional sporting groups such as NBA and NFL have made this more easier by starting their own channels and mobile applications. Naturally, one can guess why the millennials are slow at moving out and sitting in stadiums. This is one of the biggest challenges of the sports industry.

2) Technology: Another big challenge is keeping pace with technological advancements. In days of social media, the fans want each and every update right up on social media platforms. This is a lot of pressure on sports teams and companies as this needs dedicated commitment and time to keep the posts happening all day long. This also means that the sports stars also have to constantly interact with their audiences. In India, recently, a documentary was made on Pink Panthers, Abhishek Bachchan’s kabaddi team, exactly for the same reason. The whole idea was to keep the audiences emotionally connected to the team.
If the sports companies or athletes do not keep up with social media interactions, the fans are bound to be dissatisfied and may even end up following other games.

3) Gameday experiences: Another huge problem that sports industry faces is the gameday experience. This includes pregame shows, post game celebrations and halftime entertainment. Also, coming up with in-game entertainment is also equally strategic these days. Be it chants, kiss cam, t-shirt gun or anything that the marketing teams can come up, the show has to keep going. As mentioned above, if the spectators are less in stadiums, then it is difficult to find the necessary funds or sponsors for in-game entertainment. This is another big challenge.

4) Bad press: Bad press is good news for media houses. Any little mistake is highlighted to the skies and stories are churned day in and day out. Sports stars using cuss words, indulging in unruly behaviour or losing their cool on the field makes a good story for media. Such acts affect the game in total and audiences begin to build negative associations with such teams and sports personnel.
Also, when injuries happen, the sports companies are blamed for not doing enough research on possible problems and this could make some fans shift loyalties.
5) Uncertainties about future: Change is inevitable. Like all other industries, the sports industry is also on a constant quest to predict the next trend or fad. They want to up their game by figuring out the next big idea that will grab the attention of the audience. Though the future is tough to predict, given the times and the mentality of the millennials, sports companies are still striving to study trends to make sure that they remain popular in future. Then of course, one cannot predict how technology is going to change sports and in which direction investments have to be made.

Need for revenue forecasting and astro-strategist Hirav Shah’s expert advice

In this write-up, we have mentioned how much the sports industry is worth, its future and the challenges that the industry is facing. Despite huge players and huge companies being in fray, there is no guarantee that the industry will continue to run on traditional models. Transition is the key word for the sports industry.

One has to remember that IPL 2020 was played in isolated stadiums, with audiences watching the matches online or on their mobiles. So, is the case with various games and sports that once had huge audiences at stadiums.

Of course, the sports industry is trying to learn from changes and is trying to meet the changing demands, still the problems are real and the face of the sports industry in days to come is a big question mark for the entire industry.

When there is uncertainty in business, when there are doubts about the future and when there are questions about the future, then astro-strategist Hirav Shah is the person one needs to consult. Many would question what an astro-strategist has to do with sports, well, here’s the answer.

Hirav Shah is not your ordinary business consultant nor is he your next-door astrologer. He has been working with large, medium and small businesses for years and he has a natural gift of providing solutions for critical and key questions daunting a business head.

With years spent in business development and corporate consultancy, Hirav Shah draws upon his various experiences to give a good and well-thought out plan of action to his clients.

Then comes the big question about the need for astrology. Well, as it is now considered and has been a norm in Indian culture, astrology is a science in itself. But Hirav Shah is not about guiding a business head to make wise and timely decisions so that he or she sees profits or prospects of growth. There might be times when Hirav Shah could suggest a change in line, based on your astral chart.

But rest assured that Hirav Shah will come up with the best possible solutions for all your worries and will guide you to a safe and smooth future.