The United States' entire sports industry is valued at roughly $422 billion and employs about one in every 100 citizens. As the world of athletic entertainment grows and evolves, fans are finding new ways to keep up with the latest games, news, and trends of their favorite teams. The unprecedented power of mobile platforms, social media, and viewing technology has rapidly altered the way we consume sports media. Here are six ways savvy sports fans are using technology to follow their favorite teams.
Image via Flickr by Beth and Christian
As if following individual teams wasn't thrilling enough, fans began putting together their own fantasy teams and leagues for every sport imaginable. Fantasy players love to pit athletes against each other in unusual or impossible scenarios to see what the outcome would be. Fantasy leagues develop an entirely new dimension to the everyday fan's weekly schedule. Some players dive so deep into their speculations that they've created a dynamic new media environment somewhere between sports gambling and the stock market.
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association reported that a little more than 33.5 million people in the United States (and 3.1 million in Canada) played some fantasy sport online in 2013.
Sports Video Games
Offside on Fifa 10 (via chrissatchwell)
Virtual sports games have been around for at least 30 years now, but every iteration of the major staple franchises continues to bring a new level of uncanny realism. Players use these simulators to immerse themselves in the various roles surrounding their favorite team. They can control a single player for an entire game, bounce around different play-makers, or even call the shots from the sideline as a coach or coordinator of their favorite team. Some developers are even tailoring in-game player mechanics to show a given athlete's performance in real time.
Social Media apps (via Jason A. Howie)
Social media changed not only the way we communicate with each other, but how sports fans discuss athletic events. A study published in Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal suggested nearly three in four fans regularly used a social media network in relation to sports in 2013. These networks offer a space for fans around the globe to discuss their favorite teams. The franchises themselves also use social media to keep the fans dedicated and engaged by providing statistics, news updates, studies, giveaways, exclusive interviews, and more.
New Walmart / New Smyrna Beach FL (via Rusty Clark)
Every year, television broadcasters are looking for ways to provide the most realistic, immersive experiences to sports fans everywhere. With the rise of High Definition television, we're able to see every minute detail of a game, from exhausted players' sweat beads to controversial play calls under review. Special offers from verizonfiosdeals.com give fans the chance to follow nearly every major sporting event in beautiful, glorious high-definition. It's the next best thing to having front row tickets to see your favorite teams.
Man using iPad (via C. Regina)
The abundance of cheap, affordable mobile technology gives sports fans the opportunity to track their favorite teams wherever they happen to be. There was a time not long ago when television was the only way a fan could watch games without actually being there. Now, thanks to mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones, people can watch live events, look up stats, make fantasy decisions, and discuss the game with fellow fans from practically any place with an available internet connections or data coverage. According to Sports News Media, over one in three fans use mobile technology to follow their favorite teams.
LG전자 챔스리그 결승전 시네마 3D 행사 (via LGEPR)
3D technology has been around for a while, but now it's really starting to catch on as an affordable piece of household media entertainment. Luckily, DirecTV has 3D television packages available for sports fans to see games in literally a whole new dimension.
Sports fans are always looking for new ways to engage with the teams they love to follow. As technology continues to grow and develop, fans will be closer to the action than ever before.