New Data for a New Normal


Around 150 million Americans will tune in to The Super Bowl this Sunday, with countless more millions worldwide making the match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers one of the most watched yearly sporting events on television, according to Nielsen Television measurement.  But just like almost every other aspect of our lives, this year’s big game cannot escape the challenges that have been created by the Covid-19 Pandemic.  In many ways, Super Bowl LV will be a look into the future-scape that lies ahead for teams and leagues to create new revenue opportunities. 

While much of the lost revenue from the lack of fans attending games live will never be re-couped, teams, leagues and universities have to hit the reset button and moved forward. Super Bowl LV will be unique from a variety of different perspectives.  As an example, according to data from The National Retail Federation, spending on gameday staples like food/beverages, decorations and licensed apparel are projected to be down  22%.  While gambling and streaming will increase. 

However, how many of these changes will become permanent aspects in the changing consumer interaction and consumption of The Super Bowl and other major sporting events?  Understanding these changes will lay the groundwork for overcoming many of the challenges that lie ahead for future sports business, sports marketing and general business students as they move past school on to their careers.


Fig 1: Sports Gambling by Sport broken down by generations.

Fig 2: Sports that consumers increased their level of gambling by generation.


The best way to get a handle on the “New Normal” for professional, college and amateur sports is to understand the nature of the new habits being formed right now and the sentiments that will continue to drive sports fans in a Post Pandemic world.  In the new 2021 SBRnet Sports Fan study that will be released shortly on SBRnet’s Sports Market Analytics data platform, we see first-hand how the new normal will serve as the roadmap for how leagues and teams will be forced to examine new sponsorship and revenue opportunities being created by streaming media, social media, fantasy sports and legalized sports gambling.  The 2021 SBRnet Sports Fan study soon to be released, provides the first comprehensive look at this new landscape.  Students can better understand how these teams will be able to create new revenue opportunities and take advantage of the new normal for sports. 

Much of this will serve as a key to team valuations and sponsor acquisition.  Below is an example of how fans of the various sports will continue to adapt by accepting the new normal and the new ways they will consume sports and interact with their favorite sports teams through legalized and outside the lines sports gambling.  Digging a bit further, we see how sports fans of the various generations will impact these numbers.  The 2021 SBRnet Sports Fan Study is available exclusively to SBRnet/Sports Market Analytics subscribers.  If any of your students or instructors would like to have access to the raw data, please reach out to us and we can make that happen.  In addition, we are always available to take part in a live presentation of specific data for classroom and independent learning applications.

Posted: 2/2/2021 8:36:18 AM

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