The sports industry received a rude awakening in 2020.
The spread of a virus forced the hand of multiple sports leagues and companies. They shut down overnight to deal with the situation. There was no date set on when they would reopen. Many thought entire seasons would be lost.
However, leagues and sports companies dug deep to innovate. Some re-invented the wheel on their digital offerings. Even others chose to relaunch amidst the pandemic in path-breaking bi-bubbles.
The resilience shown was nothing less than spectacular. It was characteristic of the resilience shown by sportspersons or teams in tough situations.
What was common among the efforts to bring sport “back to normal”, was the willingness to innovate and the ability to learn.
As we step into 2022, there is a possibility of a new challenge.
Innovation, learning and sports education have once again come to the forefront of sports.
This means that you dear reader, who either wishes to work in sport or already works in sport, will have to equip yourself with new skill sets. These skills will not only ensure better placement in sport but also a long fulfilling career.
Now, remember, none of the skills mentioned below are new.
They are all skills that exist in the sports industry.
However, we at Sporjo believe that if you develop one or more of the below five skill sets, you will be employable or find employment in the sports industry in 2022.
The five skills in no particular order are:
Online content saw a massive uptick in consumption in the past two years. While lockdowns sent many of us to our screens, it put some of us in front of the lens.
Creators were making sports videos on everything from highlights reels to videos comparing two top players, to an analysis of game strategy employed by teams.
To put this into context, nearly 500 hours of content is uploaded onto YouTube every hour, and its Premium service subscribers grew by nearly 100% - from 18 million to 30 million - in 2020.
Or take Instagram where its 1 billion+ users spend an average of 30 minutes per day.
Even Netflix got in on the action; its two sports documentaries - The Last Dance and Formula 1: Drive to Survive - rate as the most-watched sports documentaries. The Last Dance, alone, garnered 23.8 million views in just its first month on Netflix.
Our Sporjo content creation course and mentorship puts you on a platform with some of the best content minds in Indian sport. It is tailor-made to help you learn, execute, and apply actionable knowledge into your current or future job.
Digital Technology & media
Digital media is not going anywhere.
If anything, its importance was further stressed, and innovation was further driven with the onset of suspended league and bio bubbles.
Sports teams and companies are looking to find better and more innovative ways to optimize and maximize their fanbases.
Right from deeper engagement on social media platforms, to using technology for more innovative content formats - e.g. Instagram reels, Facebook stories, or Twitter spaces - sports clubs and companies are building digital properties and teams to take advantage of the digital evolution.
Take for instance Facebook’s evolution into Meta and the launch of the Metaverse, sports companies such as Nike, are already creating offerings available exclusively in the Metaverse.
Or, in another instance, the growth of the Non-Fungible Token or NFT has become an alternate source of income for many athletes, sports clubs and companies.
Being a digital-first company, we at Sporjo have an acute understanding of why and how digital will play a big part in the growth of the sports industry in India.
Sports Data & analytics
Sports analytics only continues to grow, and many believe the peak is a long way off.
Teams are tracking and analyzing data on everything including but not restricted to team movement on the field, performance over the season, statistics and probabilities of using one strategy over the other.
Players are also getting savvier with data. They want to track their vitals before, during and after practice or games, want to track their performance against certain opponents or in certain circumstances to even correct their form.
We have put together a panel of the country’s top data scientists and analysts. Sporjo’s panel will help you understand, learn, and practically apply skills that will make you employable. Companies that wish to grow using applied data and analytics are constantly on the lookout for the right and qualified candidates.
Operations have been the backbone of sports events since day one.
A great operations team leads to a great sports event.
With the onset of the “new normal” sports operations has evolved.
For instance, a bio-bubble where players, team staff, and operations staff all have to work together, but with minimal contact with each other is a complex operation that modern-day sport had not encountered before.
Similarly, e-sports events where attendance numbers are often unprecedented, or the setting up of computers, devices and screens instead of courts or fields, is a new, but rapidly rising phenomenon.
Operations roles evolve as technology evolves. Sporjo’s panel of seasoned operations personnel, some of whom bring over 20 years of experience, has put together a deep, all-encompassing training program.
It addresses both the basic principles of operations no matter what the situation or which sport, and also the evolution of operations, the technology now used and new roles that have resulted as a result of that evolution.
The importance of health cannot be stressed any harder.
In sport too, athletes are even more mindful of what they put into their bodies (sports nutrition), how they train (sports strength & conditioning), the best practices for recovery (sports physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and how they can build a formidable mindset (sports psychology)
With an emphasis on healthy bodies and healthier minds, the sports industry is investing billions of dollars into keeping athletes and staff safe and healthy.
For context, The group that owns the NBA team San Antonio Spurs recently opened a sports science and health centre costing half a billion dollars; the centre will be “an international sports medicine centre”. In 2020 alone, according to Crunchbase, nearly $1.5 billion of VC funding went to sports technology, science and data tracking companies. This year, two sports science companies hit big valuation numbers: fitness band WHOOP reached $3.6 billion dollars in valuation on a $200 million dollar fundraise, while therapy device maker Hyperice which raised a private round and is believed to have crossed the $1 billion valuation mark.
Humanics, a Sporjo partner, provides comprehensive courses and real-world practical experiential learning for those interested in continuing or pursuing a career in sports sciences in India.
To learn more about educating yourself in sport, getting placement in the right sports job, and understanding how Sporjo can help you get there, visit us at Sporjo.com today.