The impact of technology on sport — new frontiers
In the 21st century, more people than ever before are participating in sports. In the words of the former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, sport has truly become a universal language, bringing people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. With increased interest and engagement in sport and widespread media coverage of sporting competitions worldwide, sport has become a global industry worth about USD 600 billion (and growing), including sports goods and services.
The global demand for sport products is valued at about US$120 billion in retail, with apparel worth US$30 billion, clothes worth US$50 billion and equipment worth US$40 billion. The sports business has diversified to satisfy the diverse desires and needs of the larger stakeholder base. The qualities mentioned in the Olympic motto ‘Swifter, Higher, Stronger’ (in Latin Citius, Altius, Fortius) are very much complemented by additional goals that include, for example, stability, equity and access.
Over the years, the industry has encouraged and helped to create emerging sports that, in turn, have acted as catalysts for new forms of goods. The quest for new markets, records and athletic dominance has resulted in millions of dollars being spent on research and development of sporting strategies and facilities.