Future of the Fan Experience (Sponsored by Opta US)

Today’s sports fan experience begins with a love for a team or player which quickly extends to ticketing, merchandise, game experience, in-home viewing, and all forms of fan interaction across media mediums. Ticketing has evolved from inventory management to a technology-infused, pricing-driven, experience-focused integrated platform. Meanwhile, over the past five years the sports merchandise business has grown to $20 billion and corporate sponsorship spending jumped 21%. As fans want to “show their pride,” the business of sports apparel has evolved to player-specific, game-worn, and personalized merchandise experience, and athletes have cashed in on this market with ever more lucrative endorsement deals, headlined by the lifetime deal LeBron James recently signed with Nike. While there is a limit on who can attend games, there is no limit on who can own the merchandise. From sports teams to leagues to partners, all parties are altering their strategies to engage and capture today’s fan. Meet the masterminds who are leading the innovations at preeminent brands for engaging fans and who are redefining the fan experience.

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