A driver of advancement: Sports and the innovation economy

One of the major economic doctrines is innovation economics. It basically about entrepreneurship and innovation going hand in hand when to drive the economy forward. It is easy to see companies such as Google and Apple as the primary examples that embody this principle. They are world-famous brands, making billions of dollars every year and influencing the world about new ways to do business or express ideas. However, another seemingly inconspicuous giant can be said the same of the latter two. Hiding in plain sight is the sports industry.


Image source: sporttechie.com


In a single game alone, tens to hundreds of thousands of fans flock together to stadiums in order to watch their favorite team bring home their much anticipated win (or get heartbroken for their loss). Revenue could easily reach millions of dollars for a single night. Then there’s nationwide and worldwide TV broadcasts, with contracts reaching up to millions of dollars as well. Commercial promotions, merchandise sales, even player salaries leading to monetary movement easily amounting to the billions. In the US alone, the sports industry is expected to reach $73.5 billion by 2019. That is a lot of money!


Image source: theatlantic.com


When taking into consideration the media market, one can easily observe that competition is something that runs deep within their veins. With one company trying to up the other, advancements and innovations in the industry come about. One classic example is the yellow line in football. TV stations place a yellow line whenever a first-down occurs. This makes it easier for the folks at home to follow the play. It’s revolutionary for it is the first mass implementation of augmented-reality. This technology then evolved to down-and-distance info and digital advertisements on the field. One can expect more for the rivalry isn’t going to die down anytime soon.


Image source: samsung.com


Other innovations driven or bolstered by sports include  HDTV (action requires details and such requirement was crucial to shooting games in high-definition), the NASCAR FanVision (a hand-held controller that puts spectators in the driver’s seat, giving them the opportunity to watch multiple in-car cameras), scoreboards (from simple digital displays to high interactive ones), and of course, the various Olympic or World Cup innovations (it seems that in every edition of these major sports events, new technologies are being introduced).