The times where mainstream sports and their respective events would be the main focus on tv’s across the land has slowly began to take a declining blow with new generations coming up in the world. The millennial and Gen Z crowds are slowly taking control of what’s cool and what’s not and what is prime tv material, sports included. With social media, smartphones that can do almost everything and a growing hunger for new and exciting experiences, including a surge of interest from these crowds for activities like online betting on sports and other activities two questions pop up. What sports are clicking the right buttons with millennials and gen Z’s? And What is the sports industry doing to bring these new demographics back into their profitable side?
For Younger Generations Sports are getting old.
If you ask around, you might find that many people will talk wonders about the enjoyment of watching a game or any sporting event on a daily basis. Sports are exciting, they catch you and lure you into the world of competitiveness with the best part being, you don’t have to do anything, just sit back and enjoy. With younger generations, this is not the regular case anymore. According to the Washington Post, Gen Z’s and sports are not mixing properly. With millennials the issue at hand is not as strong, millennials still love their sports on a regular basis, not as much as adults in general but still more than Gen Z folks. The challenge of making sports attractive to younger crowds is being dealt with, for example with the legalization of sports betting, something shunned upon by previous generations but if true efforts are not made by sports leagues, media outlets and other mainstream sources they could be looking at an uphill battle moving forward.
While for officials and executives of teams this is treated off as a rebellious stage in life where younger crowds are slowly walking away from sports fandom to come back later on in life, this might end up backfiring on them. Studies have proven that if you cannot make a person a fan of any sports or team by the time they’re 18, the probabilities of it happening further down the line are slimming quickly.
Social Media To Thrive, Social Media To Survive.
If you ask someone from the Gen Z demographic to give you their favorite team and why you might run into an answerless question. But if you ask the same demographic about who their favorite athlete on social media is and there you will have a bounty of answers. Social media is where it’s at right now with younger crowds. Having a strong online presence is slowly becoming a requirement for mainstream athletes and teams looking to capture the attention of Gen Z fans.
Go on Tik Tok, the preferred online platform for Gen Z’s and you will see athletes of all walks of sports life, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, you name it giving these fans what they want. Gen Z’s are not only about what athletes can do on the field or on the court, they want to see the human too.
Sports teams and organizations from different leagues have taken notice and are strongly becoming more present in social media outlets in order to reel in these younger fanatic hopefuls. A well maneuvered social media strategy with refreshing and engaging content is where it’s at right now to be successful in a Gen Z and millennial world.
Conventional Sports? Nah. Esports? Yes, yes, yes!
Some time ago, nothing would beat the thrill of going out and getting down and dirty playing football with your buddies or bringing your skills to the basketball court to show who’s boss. Nowadays all the highlight reel moves and thrash talking are done online from the comfort of your home. With games like Madden and NBA 2K youngsters have found the perfect niche to practice sports and enjoy them without any real physical effort. And let’s not get into the COD, Fortnite and League of Legends world.
Esports have been slowly becoming one of the preferred options for millennials and Gen Z’s with studies showing that they are more popular than leagues such as MLB, NHL and MLS. One solution moving forward for conventional sports teams is to be able to merge both sides of the game, the physical and technological side. If sports want Gen Z’s and millennials on their side for the long run it’s time to make proper efforts.