The AST Wrap-up: digitalisation keeps sport ahead of the curve

There’s never a dull moment in the world of sports business. DAZN move one step closer to becoming ‘The Netflix of Sports’, the sky is the limit for fan engagement, The NBA stays innovative via mobile gaming, AC Milan explores new opportunities with Apple Music, and Saudi Arabia remains a major player for global sports events.

DAZN expand international outreach

Global streaming service DAZN announces its Over-The-Top platform will be expanding in 200 territories in December. The service will host back-to-back boxing events for £1.99 on the first weekend of December. 

The UK-based company ironically haven’t launched in home territory just yet. However, their expansion is set to captivate audience engagement across North America and Europe. Their efforts have predominantly been based on revolutionising consumption methods for combat sport, which has seen them build partnerships with Matchroom Boxing USA, Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions. 

UK Sports fans have been crying out for DAZN to launch on home soil, for the combat sports world, it will be interesting to see the impact this will make on PPV numbers in boxing and MMA. 

Fan engagement for sports media firms reaches new levels

Sports solutions and data firm, Sportrader, launches a new live data intelligence for sports media firms to optimise fan engagement. The features consist of real-time stats on athlete milestones, in-game insights and game betting splits. 

The impact is groundbreaking with the ability to alert a consumer when a player is about to break a record which will entice them to tune into multiple media channels. 

The initiative aims to follow the’ personalised’ approach for mass-sports fans by targeting them with live-data to engage them in a new era of technological activations. 

The NBA hone their efforts towards mobile gaming 

The National Basketball Association (NBA) have joined forces with Korean games developer Netmarble to establish a new mobile game to attract audiences across the Western region. The NBA players Union and the Kung Fu Factory are also involved in this scheme.

The NBA find themselves in good hands with Netmarble as they played a notable role in working with brands such as Marvel future fight and Lineage 2: Revolution. There’s no official title for the NBA’s mobile game just yet.  

The top basketball tournament is choosing the right time to exploit the mobile gaming market, considering its growth during the pandemic. Mobile game downloads are forecasted to increase by 35.7% year-on-year at the end of 2020. 

AC Milan personalise their fan experience through Apple Music

Italian giants AC Milan have recently signed up to music platform Apple Music to bring Milan fans two exclusive music playlists to optimise fan engagement. The two playlists are inspired by the players and are accessible through the club’s social media channels which focus on match days and the Women’s team. 

The joint-venture intends to provide fans with a personalised insight of players pre and post-match routines during different phases of the game, from songs that get the players pumped and ready pre-match to tracks which are played during post-match events. 

Milan has also recently partnered with Google to boost their fan engagement strategy. AC Milan is making every attempt to stay ahead of the digital sports curve by utilising technological activations to keep their fans engaged off the pitch, rather than purely relying on match-day content. 

Formula One looks to bring the Grand Prix to Saudi Arabia next season

Formula One has devised a provisional schedule for their 2021 championship which finds The Land of the Two Holy Mosques on the roster. The event could be worth £50m per season, and it’s forecasted to be delivered as a street race in Jeddah. This initiative builds up the excitement for project Qiddiya, an entertainment campaign which will see a brand new race track built in the nation by 2023.

Saudi have proven to be serious contenders across the major sport event landscape, from hosting AJ vs Ruiz 2 last year, delivering the Dakar Rally earlier this year while they look to host their first-ever LET golf event this month. The Kingdom’s commitment to accommodating world-class events has been perceived as a ‘sportswashing’ attempt due to the nations piracy concerns, human rights and systematic issues.

Regardless of the Kingdom’s history, Saudi is undergoing a phase of societal development throughout its Vision 2030 framework, which finds sport as an integral factor in improving the nation’s economy. It’s positive to see the power that sport can bring to enhancing global change.


That’s a wrap! Will DAZN entirely revolutionise the combat sports broadcasting landscape? What impact will sports media companies produce with new fan engagement data? How powerful will the NBA’s mobile gaming incentive be to broadening their fanbase? Does AC Milan’s partnership with Apple Music share an important message to the football industry? And, would you like to see Saudi Arabia on the final roster of Formula One’s 2021 championship?

Published by Ashwyn Lall

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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