Completing our week-long series on virtual reality (VR), today we conclude by providing insight into the opportunity for VR in the evolving sports viewing landscape.

Virtual Reality Headset Owners are already enthusiastic about viewing sports online; they notably over-index compared to the global average for both saying they watched sports coverage online last month (68%) and for the use of social media in watching/following sports (32%).

This digital viewership trend is visible across regions. VR Headset Owners are more likely than other internet users from the same region to be watching sports online, reaching a high in those areas where fans are most likely to be looking to catch-up with games broadcast overseas in different time zones.

VR is still a relatively young technology with low user penetration, but as the tech improves and uses diversify, its ability to provide an immersive user experience could revolutionize sports viewership and sponsorship.

This technology could allow clubs to sell virtual reality tickets to games, for example, and with social integration, VR could enable users to digitally experience sports together. Facebook is already well positioned to work on this kind of viewing, having developed its  dedicated multi-user VR social online platform, Spaces.

As sport can bring a brand’s target audience’s attention together in one place at the same time, sports sponsorship is big business. Immersive VR sport could provide the opportunity for virtual sponsorship from brands, making them able to target different ads to different users’ VR headsets in the same game.

For further insights into how digitalization is impacting sports, our Sports report is available to clients here.

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