The Covid-19 pandemic affected labor relations, life in society and the economy as a whole, as well as one of the main elements of people's leisure and entertainment: sport. The vast majority of competitions worldwide have been suspended or closed in half, preventing millions of fans cheering for favorite teams and athletes as before. The point is that this momentary change will have major impacts in the future, redefining financial issues and even how to consume the modalities.
It is very difficult to measure the impact on sport simply because it does not have an expected return on activities. However, the loss of revenue and sponsorships is what concerns most. There is a break in the cycle of both sports and economic activities, reaching a production chain that involves brands, products, ticket sales, TV quotas and high payroll. In Brazilian football, a study by the consulting firm EY estimates a loss of more than R $ 1 billion. In other modalities, the scenario can be even worse if you think about the Olympic cycle that projects investments every four years. The Tokyo Games, for example, were postponed to 2021, directly affecting clubs, federations and, mainly, athletes and teams.
Thus, the current moment is marked by changes and breaches of contracts that, invariably, cannot be maintained. Sponsorship is one of the fundamental pillars of sport and establishes a relationship with the marketing of major brands. As the economy stalls like this, sponsorship revenues are also drastically reduced and, in some cases, closed completely. Today, this is the major concern of athletes: without events, there is no public, no exposure in the media and, consequently, the dissemination of brands.
Certainly, the values will be reviewed in the coming seasons, as what determines the value of an athlete or a team is the ability to generate results and rarity. Now, all of this is under discussion as in any company that needs to honor its commitments. However, with the reduction of the quarantine and the gradual resumption of the economy, sponsors will also need sport to leverage brands and products, since this is an interdependent relationship. The estimate is that the negative impacts will last for one or two years, but, as normality is restored, the values should grow again.
In this sense, communication technologies, such as streaming and mobile devices, gain strength. These tools should meet some demands that are repressed and, at the same time, contribute to the resumption of sports activities. As mentioned, there must be exposure on the channels that are available so that the entire sports chain can exist. In the United States, for example, fans want sports back, but 70% do not intend to attend the arenas anytime soon. To do this, they must use technological means to support their favorite teams and athletes. Platforms to take content will not be lacking.
However, this does not represent a definitive departure. It is natural that, at this moment, people are afraid of agglomerations, which should last for some time. Sport is a mass phenomenon capable of attracting crowds and leading the greatest shows on Earth. When there is safety again, people will return to the sports arenas, perhaps with new care and rules, but the passion for the sport will prevail. It's only a matter of time.