Gamification is one of the most common terms used in sports marketing today. But what exactly is gamification? Gamification refers to the process of adding game-like qualities to an activity, such as sports. The idea is by making an activity like sports more engaging and entertaining, people will be more likely to participate. Gamification in sports can motivate individuals to stay more active within sports communities and create more engagement with sports content by consumers.
However, gamification doesn’t just offer advantages to sports marketing. In many ways, gamification is starting to change how we think of sports entirely, and what sports will look like in the future. This is particularly true as younger individuals become more and more tied to a digitized and connected world. Here are three ways in which gamification is changing the landscape of sports entertainment as we know it.
Gamification Attracts Younger Fans To Sports
One of the most important developments that gamification has led to for sports is increasing the engagement of younger individuals. Today, children and teenagers are growing up in a post-digitalized world, where instant access to media and fast-paced entertainment is the norm. For these audiences, traditional sports matches can be viewed as long and boring, leading to less youth engagement. Gamification of sports helps to increase engagement among younger audiences by helping to make sports more accessible and desirable for the fast-paced reality that children and teenagers are living in today.
By adopting sports into mediums such as computer games, younger individuals are able to access the excitement of sports in a condensed and more action-oriented way, leading to greater interest when watching or playing physical sports. Additionally, by adding game elements to the practice of sports, younger participants are able to identify familiar and fun elements within sports and are more likely to participate.
Gamification Helps To Improve Performance
In addition to helping improve engagement and participation among younger sports fans, gamification can also help to encourage athletes and sports participants to push themselves more and more, improving performance. Wearables such as Fitbit watches and fitness trackers measure activity and performance and allow athletes to view their improvements in real time, providing fantastic motivators to continue practicing and improving. Additionally, the inclusion of social elements such as a leaderboard with friends offers further incentive to continue practicing and has allowed the development of more social communities within sports.
Gamification Makes Sports More Global
Finally, the gamification and digitization of sports are helping to make sports competitions more global, allowing athletes from around the world to compete with each other and drawing in more international audiences. Technological connectivity ignores the physical distances and geography that have always hindered international sports traditionally. Different digital sports platforms allow individual athletes such as cyclists to use exercise machines and connective technology to race and compete with each other from opposite sides of the globe. By allowing for greater global connection and engagement, the gamification of sports is allowing the field to grow and expand both participants and audiences around the world.