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What the Sports Industry Has in Store This 2021

While there was a period in 2020 when there were only a few sports events to watch because of the pandemic, 2021 promises to be different. Sports is back and fans are surely excited to witness more action in different leagues.

Nikhil Kanaujia
Last updated: 05.02.2021
What the Sports Industry Has in Store This 2021 | Sports Social Blog

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2020 may have been one of the worst years that the sports industry has ever had. It was an eventful year because plenty of major sports leagues announced the postponement and cancelation of their scheduled events.

The most-followed leagues like the NBA, the English Premier League, the Indian Premier League, and the UEFA Euro 2020 were all canceled or postponed. Fortunately, they were all able to push through before the year ended.  However, the UEFA Euro 2020 is scheduled to take place this year instead.

While there was a period in 2020 when there were only a few sports events to watch because of the pandemic, 2021 promises to be different. Sports is back and fans are surely excited to witness more action in different leagues. The sports industry simply has a lot in store this year and here are some of the trends that we may see more.


Mobile Sports Betting

The sports betting segment was also negatively impacted by the pandemic. These two go hand-in-hand but the betting industry is more reliant on sports, of course. Since sports is back, the betting sector is already on its way to recovery.

Even if audiences are still prohibited in sports matches, fans are still placing their wagers. You can easily download a free and secure cricket betting app if you’re a fan of the IPL. There are plenty of betting apps to choose from if you’re a fan of any sports league.

With the rise of mobile gambling, you can only expect that more betting sites will release their native apps this year. Gambling companies are now focusing on the mobile market especially now that sports betting is also becoming more legal in many states in the US and other countries.

For the US, there are already over 20 states with legal mobile betting. States that still do not have this are already working on legalizing mobile betting like the state of New York. Currently, only in-person betting is legal in this state. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo who used to be direct about being against it is now considering it as they need more revenues.

Mobile betting is now becoming the preferred option of many and this is evident in how it is doing in the state of New Jersey. The state reported that around 80 to 90 percent of their sports betting handle is coming from the mobile sector.

Audience Enhancement

We may not see an audience in upcoming sports events any time soon and it’s for the safety of everybody. With this, there is now a competition in streaming live sports events. Of course, the better the quality of the stream is, the more people will avail subscriptions.

This is also where the availability of the 5G connection comes in. More and more places worldwide are starting to have this and this only means that transmission speeds will be way better. The latency and lagging of live streams should be less of a problem this year.

Many sports events have also found creative ways to include the audience in the matches despite the empty seats. Fans can now buy tickets for their seats for live events but instead of them going to the stadium or field, a life-size cutout of their image will be placed in the audience seats.

While that is already a fun experience for many, things may get better this year. There are already sports organizers who are implementing Virtual Reality (VR) technology to enhance the audience experience. They are already experimenting with stimulated and 360-degree environments which would make live match viewing a better experience at home. 

Rise of Esports

Esports are now becoming more and more popular. The absence of many professional sports events last year has given way to the rise of this segment. Esports has been steadily and slowly growing over the last few years, but the pandemic boosted its growth last year.

According to reports, esports viewership has increased to 51 percent by the end of 2020. Now, even if professional sports events are back, we can still expect that this year will be a good one for gaming companies and esports tournament organizers.

This could be a year when traditional sports franchises like FIFA establish effective business and broadcast models for their esports counterparts. There are just so many exciting tournaments to look forward to this year including the League of Legends World Championship in Wuhan, China, and the FIFA eWorld Cup 2021.


Overall, 2021 will be a better year for the sports industry. There may be sports events that will still have to be postponed because of the pandemic, but the majority of the major sports leagues around the world are already adapting to the new normal. Bio-secure bubbles and strict protocols are now implemented for uninterrupted sports events.

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