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In What Ways is Emerging Technology Bringing Sports Closer to the Fans?

The most popular sports have traditionally thrived because of their widespread appeal to a large group of fans. While fans haven’t always been able to get as close to the action as they’d like, some of the most exciting types of new technology look like they’re going to be changing how we enjoy sports from now on.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

The idea of sitting and home but feeling that you’re in the thick of the action makes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) among the most thrilling types of new technology for sports fans. This technology can be the basis of realistic games where you take the role of a player, or it could let you enjoy watching your team even more.

If you think the idea of sports in the metaverse is a long way away, you might be surprised to find that it’s a lot closer than you imagined. One good example comes from the way that the NBA teamed up with MeetKai earlier this year to provide fans with a metaverse experience that let basketball fans engage with teams and players in the buildup to the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Live Streaming of Games

The live streaming of games could merge with the previous point over time, as VR and AR change the way we watch sports. However, for the moment, it’s all about watching games on your chosen device in a way that suits your lifestyle. As the options for streaming sports increase, the number of people who join in is sure to increase too.

Super Bowl LVIII set a new record as the most-watched program in history thanks to the average of 123.4 million viewers who saw the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25 to 22. As part of this huge audience, it also became the most-streamed Super Bowl in history, with Paramount+ leading the way in this respect.

Expect to see more streamed games and events in the coming years. With internet penetration and smartphone ownership levels rising all over the planet, an increasingly global audience of sports fans will get the chance to see the action as it takes place.

Live Sports Betting

Now that it’s so easy to stream live games, it’s no surprise to see that live betting is also growing impressively in popularity. This is a way of wagering during a game, rather than the traditional approach of placing a bet before it begins. It adds to the excitement of watching a game, as you try to predict what might happen next and win money by getting it right.

Live sports betting is now offered in many parts of the world and covers all the main sports. This sports betting site reveals the latest odds in sports such as basketball, ice hockey, football, and more. Leagues and cups from across the world are included, meaning that fans can always find something to wager on. The chance to cash out early is another benefit that can’t be overlooked, as this option allows you to close a winning bet early and lock in a profit.

The typical approach of pre-game betting isn’t going to go away, but in-play wagering offers a viable alternative that might be perfect for some fans who enjoy placing bets while they watch a live stream. This increased diversification should ensure that sports betting reaches an ever-wider audience in the future.

The Blockchain

It seems to be a long time since we first heard that the blockchain was going to change the world by disrupting many different industries, including finance. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin are the most visible signs of the blockchain making inroads into our daily lives and changing how we think about money, plans are afoot to use the blockchain for sports fans too.

The peer-to-peer aspect of the blockchain is perhaps the most crucial aspect of this technology for the world of sports. This is what allows fans to interact directly with clubs and players. To date, the tech has been used for interesting developments like loyalty programs, NFT-based merchandise, and more. However, it feels as though we’ve only scratched the surface and that there’s a lot more to come before long.

The overall aim of the blockchain in sports is to increase fan engagement while boosting trust levels. If it works well, everyone should be a winner, as the teams increase their revenue, while their fans feel that they’re playing a bigger part in the overall success. It could prove to be the start of a new era for fans, or it could simply provide an alternative for some hard-core fans who want to build a deeper relationship with their teams.

It’s worth bearing in mind that none of these developments are likely to change the essence of watching sports. They simply provide new ways of doing so that suit our modern lifestyles and interests, while making the most of the exciting new types of technology.