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Global sports marketing in 2022: fans are changing the game



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March 14, 2022 | 5 min read

Change is certainly nothing new, but its impact is seldom as sizable — or accelerated — as what the world has experienced over the past two years. For the sports industry, the return of fans at live events midway through 2021 was cheered by all, yet life has evolved too much during the pandemic for the sports industry to simply snap back to a mirror image of its pre-Covid self.

The tried and tested model of fandom has been challenged. As a result, fans have developed digital communities to drive connection with each other, their favorite athletes and their favorite teams. Fandom has shifted from large audiences physically together to more remote yet more engaged behavior. While ticket sales dipped, fans found new ways to build community: chatting, sharing, betting, and co-watching.

Behavior shifts and new experiences are broadening fan engagement

Behavior shifts and new experiences are broadening fan engagement

Nielsen's 2022 Global Sports Marketing Report examines the global consumer shifts over the last two years and their impact on sports sponsorship models and content distribution.

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In this report, you'll discover:

  • How the profileration of non-traditional media channels has forever changed the sports viewing landscape

  • Why fans want action — and progress — from brands

  • How crypto currencies are revolutionizing the sports industry, both in terms of fan engagement and revenue potential

  • Why shifts in media consumption are a balancing act of old and new

  • Key takeaways for brands and sports rights holders to get ahead of the game

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Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences — now and into the future.

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