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Has VR and AR Changed Sports and other industries and have you heard of Marteching?


The sports industry has been widely affected by COVID-19. With social distancing and other restrictions being imposed, major sporting leagues experienced huge losses particularly from ticket sales and merchandising.

Changing engagement and events

It is no surprise that sporting fans have changed the way they engage with teams and players because of the pandemic. Media owners and rights-holders are reaching their audiences in a totally different way. This has already caused new effects on advertising and more notably on subscription-based events. Despite all that has occurred, support for teams and players has not deterred that much. In some cases, it has increased even. Why is that, one might ask?

What have we learned from 2020?

Sports marketers are among the most creative and innovative if this is used to measure. Because major sporting events had to be postponed or abandoned even, media owners need to fill the void with new content. This does not spell the end of live sports, just a postponement to a later date.

  • Old ‘new’ content – Broadcasters have started using archive content. This has been evident in 2020 with live events taking a backseat. Think ‘The Last Dance’ from Netflix. If fans are unable to see the main show, they appreciate being able to see what’s behind the curtains.
  • More engaging programmes – Customers and viewers are now calling for content that is more engaging and of better quality. Until the sporting arenas open for business as usual, this trend is expected to continue
  • Streaming content – Big studios like Warner has moved on to streaming their content. It is time for sports too. This has already been done by major leagues like the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
  • VR and AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) content will take centerstage. As content providers are moving towards more immersive experience for viewers, VR and AR technologies will continue to grow and become better.

Moving forward, what does this mean?

Most football leagues have pursued their calendars as planned since quarter 3 of 2020 and this is expected to carry on well into 2021 and beyond. Fans will be happy to know that there will be a full sporting calendar from here on except in special situations. Like all the other content providers, viewers will now be more discerning and selective in what and when they want to watch. With the calendar in full force, marketers will now have to look into how they want to reach the audience.

Heard of Marteching? The way forward post-2020

Everyone hates 2020, or at least most people did. It has been one of the harshest years which has changed almost every industry imaginable. For marketers meanwhile, the world has been reshaped, almost entirely. What does it really mean for you then?

No more conventional marketing

One thing for sure, conventional marketing is gone forever! Unless you are living in a cave (or in a COVID-free world somewhere), customer behavior and marketing events have all but disappeared. Household consumption dropped significantly and businesses took their investments elsewhere. The discerning approach becomes common among businesses and more evidently among consumers. In other words, marketers now have a whole new set of opportunities and challenges to work with.

The new and unexplored marketing world

With COVID and lockdowns, uncertainties have created new and more powerful strategies. Martech (Marketing Technology) is one of them. Love it or loathe it, Martech is set to revolutionize the strategies from 2021 forth. If you are a marketer who has already gone into digital platforms or use digital innovations for your strategies, keep it up. But if you haven’t, then you better start.Among the ideas that might crop up:

  • Continuing the good work: Companies that have used technology in marketing will find that beyond 2020, they are on the right track. COVID-19 has forced companies to rely more on technology in marketing and if they have been doing this prior to that, then they should continue on. Those that have not ventured into Martech might find the future a bit more challenging than it seems.
  • Aligning business goals – It would be the best time to start looking at the objectives and trying to realize the goals in real-time. Never before has there been a time when data science is as prevalent as it is now.
  • Customer engagement – Martech platforms have become increasingly intelligent but full automation is still new to consumers. Marketers must now look at how it can be integrated and converged with the offline shopping experience.
  • Entertainment and edutainment – With Martech, brands can now involve more content. Customers who are locked down are now online, searching for content for entertainment and shopping. Marketers must seek to ride on this bandwagon.

What does it all mean?

Martech is just one of the facets that must be strongly considered as firms start moving forward into the post-COVID era. One thing for sure, consumer markets need to either move on or to co-exist with the virus. Marketers are fully aware of digital platforms and how it has changed their world. The markets are ready and mostly equipped for digital. Marteching is the way to go and it is timely now to do that because innovation is where the future is.


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