A Look Ahead


The start of a new year is always an opportune time to consider what the immediate future holds. That topic as it relates to the sports-event industry was center stage at TEAMS ’14, which featured a panel discussion led by SportsTravel Editor Jason Gewirtz with the leaders of some of the most successful sports organizations in the country. Will Dean of Tough Mudder, David Abeles of Competitor Group, Sean Eggert of Red Bull North America and Frank Supovitz, formerly the senior vice-president of events for the NFL, weighed in on what they see as the most significant trends for the coming year. One trend they all agreed on is the need for event organizers at all levels to innovate. In fact, Will Dean noted that Tough Mudder has a full-time staffer with the title of “manager of event innovation,” which takes that focus to an entirely new level.

Judging by the attendee conversations at TEAMS, it is clear that sports organizations need to constantly be considering how they can evolve. That’s due in part to a landscape where the very nature of attendance at sporting events is changing thanks to spectators watching their smartphones as much as the action on the field or court. Here are several other trends that those in the sports-event industry should keep their eye on in the year ahead:

Professional sports. As the television-viewing experience improves, watch how professional leagues work to improve the fan experience at their live events. Even the NFL—whose games comprised 34 of the 35 most-watched TV shows of any kind this past fall—is concerned about keeping fans coming through the turnstiles.

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