Brands such as Under Armour are now taking on Nike, GoPro is taking on Nikon. Google has created self-driving cars. Apple, once almost bankrupt, is now worth more than Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Belgium!
Professional sports are no different. Consider Mixed Martial Arts, underpinned by the UFC promotion, which has come to dominate combat sport.
Conversely, sports such as baseball are experiencing declines in its participation, with many are arguing that it could move from America’s pastime to a niche sport in the future.
In other words, in today’s always-evolving landscape, where the attention from the average consumer is more competitive and difficult than ever – the need to remain relevant and ahead of the curve is paramount.
Professional sports can end up like companies that have failed to see oncoming change (Kodak, Nintendo and Sony). Innovate or die.
In my opinion, there is no sport which does not understand this concept more than rugby union. Some of you may be surprised with this statement. After all, union seems to be undergoing tremendous growth worldwide.
The inclusion of Sevens in the Olympics seems to have been the catalyst for tremendous growth in countries such as the United States, China and Russia. Statistics are showing that more people are playing rugby than ever before.