7 Digital Trends for the Sports Business in 2024 (applicable to other industries)

In a landscape dominated by technological evolution, we dissect 7 key digital trends that will define the sports industry in 2024 based on a trend study by IMG, a global sports & culture company. From the adoption of AI to the reshaping of social dynamics, anticipate an exploration of the transformative forces at play. Scanning possible applications to other industries we are part of.

TREND 1 / Web3 shakes down, machine learning powers up

The sometimes ethereal realm of web3 and metaverse takes a pragmatic turn in 2024. Very important to be up to date with the emergence of practical applications, powered by machine learning and large language models, ushering in a transformative era for the sports industry.

80% of people surveyed in a study by MIT, Amazon Web Services and Thoughtworks think that generative artificial intelligence can change their organizations.

TREND 2 / AI: Cut, create, cultivate

Generative artificial intelligence (GAI) takes center stage as we examine its unprecedented adoption in the past year. Exploring the transformative power of tools like ChatGPT, reaching millions within days. In 2024, anticipate sports organizations leveraging AI to unlock efficiencies, innovate content formats, and identify commercial opportunities within vast datasets.

75% Increase in members worldwide adding terms like ‘GAI’, ‘ChatGPT’ and ‘Prompt Engineering’ on their Linkedin professional profiles.

TREND 3 / Stop saying ‘social media’

The concept of 'social media' undergoes a profound shift in 2024. Understanding the transition from a social graph to an interest graph, redefining the way we connect with content. In this era, the phrase 'social media' becomes obsolete, paving the way for a new approach to digital publishing aligned with evolving consumer behaviors.

TREND 4 / Here comes the money: Women’s sport monetizes through digital

A global shift in the commercial landscape of women's sports unfolds in 2024. Analyzing the delicate balance between increased investment and media coverage, emphasizing the need to keep sports accessible. Anticipating a crucial conversion as engagement translates into tangible dollars, reshaping the narrative for women's sports.

103% more viewers tuned in to the NCAA final between 2023 Iowa and LSU compared to 2022.

TREND 5 / Your stadium will get smarter

Fan and commercial partner expectations drive the trend of 'smart stadia' in 2024. The integration of technology to enhance the stadium experience is crucial, emphasizing the potential for reduced overhead costs, increased revenue, and deeper fan connections. The vision of 'Internet of Things' becomes a reality, provided venue owners invest in the right tech infrastructure.

22% annual growth, Ericsson anticipates the global smart stadium market expanding between 2022 and 2027.

TREND 6 / Personalization becomes business critical

In an era where personalized experiences are no longer a luxury but an expectation, sports must adapt to changing consumer needs. As audiences diversify, especially with the attention of Gen Z and Gen Alpha, the focus on tailored experiences becomes business critical for sustaining viewer engagement.

TREND 7 / The rise of the megainfluencer

The year 2023 witnessed the impactful moves of megainfluencers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Taylor Swift in the sports world. Redefining the concept of real influence, questioning how these megainfluencers can eclipse the impact of years of work by micro and macro influencers in a matter of months.

650% increase in Saudi Pro League’s revenue after Cristiano Ronaldo joined.


We envision a landscape for 2024 where innovation and sport converge one step further. From the disruptive power of AI to the monetization of women's sport, the future promises a dynamic and engaging journey for the business of sport. Let's continue to decode the narratives that define this transformative era with an objective and analytical perspective and look for ways to extrapolate know-how to other sectors.