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Industry reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Sports, a New Battlefield for Tech Firms

Sports, a New Battlefield for Tech Firms

KIM Jin-Hyuk

Nov. 11, 2013

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Sports involves all forms of competitive physical activity. The objective is to improve physical abilities and skills while providing entertainment to participants. The term "sports" is derived from the Latin word portāre, meaning "to carry." Citius, Altius, Fortius, the Olympics motto meaning "faster, higher, stronger" captures the basic spirit of sports.

Rising income and broader demand for leisure activities in Korea raised regular attendance of sports events to 41.5% in 2010, from 33.4% in 2000. For the business community, sports is a lucrative source, given its vast market size, growth potential and marketing effects. If sportswear and gear as well as construction of stadium are considered, the market will reach an estimated US$800 billion in 2015. If narrowly defined, it will likely grow 3.7% annually over the next few years to reach US$145 billion in 2015. International sports events such as the Olympics and World Cup tournament are golden opportunities for companies to showcase their brands to global audiences. The per-second cost of advertisement in the Super Bowl viewed by more than 30% of all Americans exceeds US$100,000.

As the latest technologies are adopted for sporting events, the competition involves not only athletes but companies. An analysis of 3,263 world records set at 147 sports events from the first modern Olympics in 1896 to 2007 shows the frequency of record-breaking performances has declined. Some even predict that it will be impossible to break records by 2027. That reflects the notion that today's athletes are nearing an absolute limit in strength, endurance and reflexes. As such, athletes have turned to state-of-the-art technologies and materials to enhance performance, which in turn has intensified technological competition in sports.

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