Technology is transforming every sector, and the sports industry in Africa is no exception. With the rise of the internet and its rapid growth, sports organizations in Africa are now able to reach a wider audience, engage with fans in new ways, and improve the performance of athletes with technology playing a significant role in driving this transformation.
Some African entrepreneurs have also provided several initiatives that would give room for more financial value and structure for the African sports industry.
This technological innovation in the sport industry has caused a significant increase in the sector with vast potential to do more. In this article, we will explore some ways technology is transforming the sports industry in Africa.
Improved fan engagement
The use of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and so on has given African sports organizations opportunities to engage with fans in real-time. This has transformed the way fans interact with their favorite teams and athletes, as they can now follow them closely and get updates on their activities.
For example, in Nigeria, the English Premier League team Arsenal FC partnered with MTN to launch a mobile app that allows fans to access the latest news, watch live games, and interact with other fans. The deal is centred around the mutual benefits of Arsenal expanding its commercial interests in prime territory and MTN gaining exclusive content to deliver to their subscriber base.
Increased access to information
Technology has made it possible for sports enthusiasts in Africa to have easy access to information about sports events happening around the world. With the availability of the internet, people can now watch live games, follow live scores, and read about sports news from different parts of the world.
Live streaming platforms like youtube, facebook as well several sports websites including several mobile apps which have given people access to increased information.
Advanced training and analysis tools
Technology has also transformed the way athletes are trained in Africa. It gives coaches access to advanced training tools such as video analysis software, fitness tracking devices, and performance analytics tools. This has led to better training regimes and improved performance for athletes.
The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) use of advanced analysis tools is an example of how technology has invaded the sport sector. With these tools the institute detects the use of performance-enhancing drugs among athletes. They use a range of techniques, including urine and blood analysis, to detect banned substances in athletes’ bodies.
Technology has transformed the revenue streams for sports organizations in Africa. The use of digital marketing tools has given sports organizations the opportunity to reach a wider audience and attract more sponsors, thus generating revenues. Also, the rise of online streaming platforms has created new revenue streams for sports organizations, as they can now sell broadcasting rights to online platforms.
The rise of electronic sports (Esports) in Africa has also transformed the sports industry in Africa with a growing number of players, teams, and leagues participating in online gaming tournaments
This has exposed African countries to begin to embrace competitive gaming. This has created new opportunities for gamers, coaches, and event organizers in Africa. Through Esports, technology has allowed athletes to compete in virtual sports, such as football, basketball, and racing, using technology and gaming consoles.