At the beginning of the year, Havas fielded its latest Prosumer study, “Sports Forward,” to better understand the role sports play on both an individual and societal level and analyze their evolution in this era of digitalization. Our latest prosumer study finds sports are no longer simply a pastime or way to see whether an individual or team can outplay/outrun/outlast the competition. They are far more fundamental than that.
Some people may be quick to dismiss sport as a mere hobby, but the newly released study proves they play a far more essential role than that. They contribute to physical fitness and public health, imbue participants with important values and life skills, and are a critical component of our social fabric, bringing together communities and nations. 92% of Prosumers consider sports have the power to change lives. With an expected market value of $614.1 billion by 2022, the global sports industry undeniably offers tremendous opportunity for brands across sectors.
For this report, Havas surveyed 12,521 adults in 28 countries to explore the fundamental role sports play across the globe. From instilling inner-strength and resilience in children, to uniting communities and preserving the physical and mental health of populations, “Sports Forward” found that sports have the indisputable power to make a meaningful difference.
“More than 8 in 10 prosumers believe professional leagues and federations have an obligation to uphold values and ethics within their sports.”
Sports are transformational: 92% say that sports have the power to change lives and almost all respondents agreed it is a way for children to learn teamwork, self-confidence, and perseverance.
Sports are a geopolitical weapon (and salve): Two-thirds of Prosumers believe the success of a nation’s team or star athlete can help a country stand out on the world stage, while 8 in 10 believe sports can even serve as a tool for peace within nations as well as between them.
Fans deserve compensation for loyalty: Two-thirds of Prosumers believe fans should be able to interact with athletes regularly, while 8 in 10 Prosumers believe sports brands have an obligation to provide fans with in-person experiences that money can’t buy. Interestingly, 4 in 10 Prosumers are convinced that most sports coverage in the future will come from fans rather than from media professionals.
Sports are at the heart of our health: 9 in 10 Prosumers globally agree that people who play sports are more likely to stay healthy. This benefit is especially critical in an era in which rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease are skyrocketing and in the context of a global pandemic that has put everyone’s health at risk.
Sports need to be reinvented: More than 8 in 10 Prosumers believe professional leagues and federations have an obligation to uphold values and ethics within their sports. 78% of Prosumers believe media coverage of female athletes is the best way to change perceptions of women and diffuse stereotypes, while 61% of Prosumers believe that sports brands should create athletic apparel that’s more inclusive of all religions.
Sports are the cornerstone of social cohesion: More than half the sample consider sports the best way for people to socialize—with exceptionally high levels of agreement in Serbia (76%) and the Czech Republic (72%).
The future of sports: 51% of Prosumers believe that in the future, countries that excel at artificial intelligence and data analysis will have the best athletes, while 86% believe sports brands or sponsors have a responsibility to consistently innovate to improve people’s performance.
Esports are vital for successful brands: 53% of Prosumers think sports brands that are investing in Esports are more innovative and appealing, while 43% would engage more with sports clubs that create their own Esports teams.
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