What’s Next?

By Keysha Hogan

No matter how leagues fall apart and reorganize or how technology and science influence the games one thing will always hold true: Cash is King. And as long as that holds true, then the destiny of professional sports lies squarely with you. Social media combined with a little outrage and hard cash are quickly becoming a pathway for fans to speak directly to league commissioners and demand the changes they want to see. The recent NFL referee lockout and the ending of the BCS are just two examples of how you have helped tip the scales in the decision making process. Every year the leagues open up more and more of themselves to you. Shows like HBO’s Hard Knocks, NBC’s The Contender, MTV’s Two-A-Days and cable’s ever-expanding list of sports focused channels are an ambitious attempt to show you every second of behind the scenes action available.

Getting scores texted to your phone was once the calling card of the obsessed sports fan. Now you can use every screen in your house to follow the teams and games that matter to you. With MLB.com’s At Bat app you can track every pitch, and the KYCK app can help you follow any international soccer club from the comfort of your home. I saw plenty of you standing your ground on Black Friday to get a TV with fantasy football and Facebook apps so you can manage your team, talk trash and monopolize the living room all at once.

Soon you’ll be able to view sporting events from any vantage point in the stadium, and toggle between the player’s view point and fan-cams in the stands. From home you might be able to track the speed and heart rate of your favorite athletes as tiny sensors are embedded into their clothing. How amazing would it have been to see Olympian Usain Bolt’s biometrics flashing across the screen as he destroyed the world record?!

In the coming years, when the market becomes saturated with backstage access, networks and leagues will start figuring out new ways to captivate your minds and wallets. This summer the MLB’s All-Star Game added a new element to the All-Star voting. In the last four hours of balloting, fans could tweet their vote with a designated hash tag and have it count towards the total ballot count.

Imagine in the future teams using Twitter during the games to make decisions in the second half. Think Romo needs a rest? Well then just hop on Twitter and use #BenchRomo. Think Ron Washington’s lineups need tweaking? Tweet #WashedOutLineUp. Better yet, get your followers to do the same and build a small cyber army to sway any game in real time.

All of this technology and innovation only serves to improve the experience for you. Over the years devices and apps will change and fade away, but the constant goal is to create loyal bonds that keep you tied to the sports you love to watch.


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