Sports brands are more online than ever. Digital expands the playing field for selling products and connecting with fans. But online presence and identity also bring risks.
Sport has embraced all things online. As leagues, teams, and apparel brands have built global followings, the fan experience has become increasingly digital. Leagues and clubs engage their loyal fanbases with digital content and e-commerce. Online stores and media channels are prime outlets, and virtual products, notably non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have been adopted to connect fans to their teams, idols, and memorable sporting moments.
Sport has embraced all things online and so have its fans – only around 1% of them will attend a professional game in person, so online presence is ever more critical.
It is the same game for sports apparel. Nike saw online revenues triple since 2019, 70% of sales at Castore come from their website, and Adidas made $22 million from NFT sales in one afternoon. Sport has always had heroes, and young fans in particular value individual icons. 76% of them follow online influencers and this generation is four times as likely as others to watch sports content unrelated to a game, keeping sports brands front of mind.