It is no secret that sport has long been a major contributor to human evolution, contributing massively to economic, social, physical and emotional development. This has been demonstrated on a global scale for quite some time now, as sport has continued to catalyze inclusion and empowerment for those who previously struggled to find a voice. Sport is one of the few things on this planet that can bring people together, irrelevant to age, race, gender, religion etc. However, during a time where we are locked-down and physically distanced, it has been difficult to see how sport can continue to function in such a way. Thankfully, the very existence of sport is rooted in overcoming challenges, and this time will be no different.
Lets go back to the end of 2019, a time when the 2020 sporting events calendar looked fruitful and exciting. We had the Olympics, Wimbledon and the NBA to look forward to, as well as a summer filled with football, golf, formula 1 and cricket to satisfy our sporting cravings. Then news broke out of the virus and within just a few months, the sports arena fell silent. To add to injury, gyms, swimming pools, studios and parks all started shutting their doors, completely removing any possibility to spectate or participate.
While the measures put in place are necessary, the impact has been dramatic. Economically, the industry has taken a thorough beating and is still trying to find a way back up off the canvas. Just think about it, an event like the Olympics has incredibly positive long lasting effects to a host nation, as well as the world as a whole. So when you take it away, hotels are empty, restaurants are empty, stadiums empty, but most importantly, our sense of passion is empty.
Sport helps to create and exemplify a nation’s character. Sport helps to direct a nation’s youth on a path of opportunity, health and to overcome. Sport helps to make the world, a community.
Sport is like open-source software, a platform where people contribute creativity and problem solving, applying it to improve athletic performance and consumer experience. Current times calls upon the sporting federations of the world to find a way of making sport thrive in the, ‘new normal’. We are excited to see what this brings. New ways of showcasing sporting events will give rise to immersive digital experiences. The sports wheel consisting of athletes, businesses, sponsors and the media will have to find new ways to engage fans. The formerly out-of-reach sports clubs will have to create domestic-based health programs that increase inclusion and exercise participation.
Sport has been and will continue to be at the forefront of human evolution and we are excited for what it can bring. We are ready and waiting with shoes and sports equipment ready for the moment sport writes it’s most crucial come-back story in recent times. Get ready!