If you believe sport makes you feel better, enjoy life more, helps you meet new people and form valuing communities – then sport and its role in society is not only important for us to understand but for us to explore, shape and grow.
“Sport used to be something you would have on your to-do list in the sense you were working on it. Today, I believe it is not just something you do but something you are. It’s about how you live your life.”
I’m part of a team at adidas looking at cultural forces and trends in youth behaviors and the implications they have in people’s attitude towards sport. Here are three cultural trends that I’ve been observing and how they are converging or combining with sport.
1. Sport Tourists combines the trend of doing sport with the global tourism boom.
You may have already heard about the ‘experience economy’ or the belief businesses must orchestrate memorable events and that memory itself becomes the product – the ‘experience’.
“Matching that with the goals this generation has to travel the world, could lead to sport being used for cultural discovery.”
Giving people the ability to access different sport communities, methods of play and competition around the globe. Here’s a group of runners I joined on my last trip to New York: OSR running crew in NYC
2. Flexible Fitness takes on new forms to meet the fast pace of today’s world especially in large, metropolitan cities.
Typically based on formats to build a collective of like-minded individuals with the freedom of choice and change in their active lifestyles. This holistic approach to sport and fitness is emerging across markets. Class Pass is a way to have flexibility and drop-in/drop-out access to fitness studios across the globe from LA to London to Sydney. There are also online classes such as One-Hour Workout: Do-Anywhere Strength Circuit.
3. Virtual and Artificial Reality is moving into the digital and physical sports space thanks to advancements in technology.
“People are capable of connecting and competing with others from anywhere, at any time, in almost unlimited formats, making competition an ubiquitous element of culture.”
Check out how TaylorMade has distributed 1,500 Google Cardboard virtual-reality viewers to golf shops to bring golfers closer to the game and tour pros. The technology allows the capture and presentation of content for a truly unique experience. Virtual reality at a recent National Hockey League event allowed fans to find out what it feels like to place for an All-Star ice hockey team. Regardless of how sport will look in the future, I believe it will always be tied to finding ways to connect (to others or yourself) and creating memories to take with you on your journey through life.