Sportech for fan engagement: a more than $M40,000 market

Feb 20, 2024

The Emerging Sportech Opportunity


In the sports economy, fans play a vital role in driving the popularity of professional sports among our society. The fans’ engagement and spending time and money are the main drivers that make sports a thriving business that will continue to grow in the coming years. We published the report “Digital Fans. European Sportech Market Analysis 2024 – 2028”, in which we evaluate and delve into the impact of digital products in the European sports market.

Digital sports entertainment consumption will exceed €7,000M in Europe this year, leading Spain to be the fourth European country in digital sports entertainment spending with €494M in 2024, a figure that will reach €781M in the next five years. This nearly 60% growth in turnover in just five years underlines the importance and economic impact of the sports industry in the digital age.

Growing consistently and at high speed in Europe, digital sports entertainment has seen the number of active sports fans on the continent exceed 441 million by 2028, with soccer, basketball, tennis, and cycling as the most followed sports. The countries where the number of active sports fans is expected to grow the most in the coming years are Turkey, Ireland, Sweden, and Norway. By 2024, Spain will reach 25.5 million active sports fans, a target that represents 4% of the European community.

According to our data, the digital sports entertainment industry will continue to climb at a rate of 14% over the next four years to reach 12,303M€. In the ranking, the United Kingdom leads with 2,176M€ spent on digital sports entertainment, including ticketing and fan engagement, followed by Germany, France, Spain and Italy.



‘Ticketing’ drives the global digital marketplace

Globally, digital ticketing to sports events will generate a market value of almost 40,000M€ by the end of this year, reaching more than 65,000M€ by 2028. Nearly 1,330 million digital ticketing transactions are expected to be reported globally this year, rising to 2,138 million over the next five years.

Fan engagement in the sports industry also shows a very significant progression, with a year-on-year rate of 19%, rising from over 13,000M€ to almost 28,000M€ in 2028 globally. According to our report, European fans are set to increase their digital spending on official brands, and consumption on digital sports platforms will increase significantly over the next four years, from ticketing to entertainment and authorized purchases.


“The challenge facing the sports industry is to define a business model for emerging audiences. Sports properties realize the value and growth of the mobile channel due to the accessibility, penetration, and simplicity of a payment platform. We are in an attractive moment where sports organizations want to get closer to the fan and monetize through the most interactive device we’ve ever had.”

Cyrille Thivat, CEO of Telecoming



But is there life beyond ticketing? More than ever. Excluding ticket acquisition, Europeans spend an average of 2,125€ a year online to support their sports teams through official platforms, a level that is set to double by 2028. In a ranking that the United Kingdom also leads, Turkey will experience the highest growth, from an estimated 100M€ by the end of 2024 to around 300M€ in five years.



New generations have shifted the impulse for sports consumption

According to the report, technology is increasingly vital in how sports fans demonstrate their passion. The official apps of soccer clubs and major sports leagues offer an increasingly enriched experience to their audiences. From physical goods, such as official jerseys, hats, or scarves, to live streaming of matches or instant access to mobile news services and detailed statistical analysis, European fans spend 178€ a year to show their support for a team or athlete.

New generations are consuming sports content in a different form than they used to. Indeed, Generation Z fans, as digital natives, use social media more and are willing to pay extra for richer mobile services, which they understand and value on a larger scale. An illustration of the effect of younger generations is the Turkish market, which will be the fastest-growing country regarding the number of active sports fans in the coming years. One of the youngest countries in Europe, with 39% of its population under the age of 25, creates a dynamic market ready to purchase and enjoy digital products and services because it prefers mobile devices.



“The primary interest for the fan communities is interaction with their favourite sports brands and competition results. The experience is no longer limited to watching the entire match; it starts before, continues after and adds interaction during the game.”

David Murillo, Product Director at Telecoming


The world is looking to join the sports hype

Fans are the leading promoters of the thriving sports industry as a business, thanks to their commitment and investment in time and money. Today, they benefit from a wide range of sports content distributed through digital platforms. It is estimated that 46% of the global population loves sports, and the number of fans will grow from 3,703 million to more than 3,900 million in 2028, with an average annual growth rate of 6%.

China will host the most significant number of active sports fans in 2028, with more than 740 million, followed by India, with 709 million. Regarding growth, Africa and the Middle East will see the most significant increase in active fans to 784 million in 5 years. Undoubtedly, the opportunities for developing new sports products focused on mobile devices are more open than ever in any corner of the globe, where sports have no barriers.

Read the “Digital Fans. European Sportech Market Analysis 2024 – 2028” report in-depth and download it in English and Spanish. What are you waiting for to meet the future of the mobile sports industry?


Stay tuned!

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