By now, we’re all feeling the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still in lockdown, not quite back to the office, and by no means back to sporting events, gyms and team sports (although now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel). The global pandemic has made its way through the majority of industries, but how exactly has it made its mark on the sporting industry?
In 2018, the industry was estimated to be worth $471billion, with things only looking upwards. Coronavirus has brought many of the sporting industries to a halt, impacting many parts of the chain, from the players, the leagues and teams, all the way through the channels, venues and broadcasters that cover the events. On the flipside, home workout equipment has boomed! Has anyone else struggled to get their hand on equipment?
Although lockdown has seen a significant rise in home workouts, more runners than you can imagine outside our doors, and a steady increase in the sales of home gym equipment, local gyms and leisure centres and taken a hit with a lack of visitors, extending the trail of chaos that COVID-19 is leaving behind.
Social Impact on the Sporting Industry
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has had an effect on the mental health of athletes, coaches, support staff and fans, but it’s also meant that we’ve missed the opportunity to connect with our friends and family the way we usually would with exercise. It’s likely that you missed your workout buddies or the local team you played for had to cancel all training sessions and tournaments.
With usual routines slung out the window, we’ve had to adapt to our own spaces and bring the gym to us. In some cases, this has meant that our mental health has been impacted pretty heavily, with the need to keep moving and leave the house for that 1 hour of exercise becoming more and more desirable. During the initial lockdown, we had the sunshine and the dry, warm parks to accommodate us. But the most recent winter lockdown meant shorter days, less daylight and the post-Christmas slog (not to mention the fact that we might not have been able to spend the holidays with our loved ones). The motivation levels were low and we had to find new ways to encourage ourselves to keep moving.
But I can guarantee, when this is all over, we will all be hugging our workout buddies a little tighter, and appreciate them that little bit more than we did before. After a year of isolation, when life does resume, gym classes and workout groups will be booming. And boy, we cannot wait.
Economic Impact on the Sporting Industry
The financial impact on this multi-billion dollar industry was clear, accompanied by many grassroots sporting associations taking a real hit in the pandemic. The clubhouses you usually spend money in after the games, the small amateur teams and non-profit clubs that rely on your small monthly contributions to keep going have probably had to suspend their activities.
Social distancing measures have also seen a severe impact on large scale sporting events. The events we know and love had all been called off as contact was limited in an attempt to stop the spread of Coronavirus, seeing a major change in sporting calendars across the industry.
The game itself aside, stadiums weren’t able to fill their capacities due to social distancing requirements, thus, when sporting events were finally able to go ahead again, we were faced with cardboard cut out fans in the stalls and the sound of artificial crowd noises through our TVs. What strange time we are living in!
The Positive Impact of COVID-19 on the Sporting Industry
Enough with that doom and gloom. The Coronavirus pandemic has also had a widely positive effect on the sporting industry in ways that no one could have imagined. More people than ever before are realising the valuable mental health benefits of sports. Benefits many of us in the sporting industry have known and been preaching about all along. The number of people that are turning their hand to new hobbies in the wake of gym closures is something we can all celebrate and take into our post-covid lives. Just think about how many new Kayakers, Paddle Boarders, Cyclists, Hikers, Runners you have been seeing over the past year?
Whilst 2020 has had an impact on the sports industry, with the number of new sports enthusiasts, we are expecting a big comeback the day gyms, classes and events reopen. Is anyone else counting down the days?
We will see you at the finish line!