THE FUTURE OF SPORTS

celek_brent

Got a little Captain in you?

Picture this: It’s the eve of a new century, 2099. You’re settling back on a comfy floating sofa, watching the countdown of the 21st Century’s greatest athletes on ESPN14. You have a beer in hand. (As long as there are sports, there will always be beer.)

But what else will there be? Will you be watching virtual TV; hologram players and coaches in your living room plugged in through the jack in the back of your skull. Or, some other mind-blowing experience that’s still a twinkle in the eye of Bill Gates Jr.? What will be the national pastime? Football?  Women’s soccer? NASCAR with souped-up hover crafts, and courses that span the entire U.S.? Combat Tiddlywinks? Will some sports and stadiums go away all-together due to no one ever leaving their homes again?

In March of this year, Forbes wrote an article discussing what the sports world may look like in 15 years: “In 2025, athletes will be better, more teams will have their own networks, and some leagues will be truly global.”

Fans can expect future athletes to bigger, faster and more durable. According to sports fitness experts, “advances in training will allow athletes to safely strengthen traditional trouble spots, reducing rehab time for common maladies like high ankle sprains and torn ACLs to half what they were in the-mid 1990s.”  Maybe performance enhancing drugs will be mandatory instead of banned.

From an economic and media standpoint leagues will start going down the path that the YES Network did for the New York Yankees – each league (and eventually each individual team) will find media space for them to solely own and monetize.  At that point, traditional sports outlets like CBS and ESPN will have to find different ways to keep their audience – elevated behind the scenes access, more consumer interactive highlights, all things Fantasy Sports.

Over the next decade the familiar outlets will need to reinvent themselves.  Will we have to pay-per-view anytime we want to watch our hometown teams?  How long until it’s ok for brands to start owning individual players before they even enter college. This touchdown dance brought to you by Captain Morgan.  Wait, that already happened. Shoot. http://blog.domedia.com/2009/11/17/captain-morgan-goes-for-a-touchdown/

With the expansion and globalization of American professional leagues, could we see a National League baseball game between teams from Mexico City and Tokyo? Or an NBA game between Paris and London?  Maybe we’ll take up Cricket. Maybe not. It’s nuts to think that you may have to wake up one Tuesday morning at 3AM to watch your childhood team take the court or field for a regular season game half way around the world.  My Chicago Bears and Bulls can barely win a game in our own backyard, I can’t stand the idea of my teams getting smacked around somewhere in the middle of Europe. But then again, we can always count on the French surrendering, right?

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Written by Kevin Collins
Kevin Collins

January 22nd, 2010 at 4:33 pm

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