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Marketplaces For Sports: The Kick-Off!

By Nelson Pinto 28th May 2018

Today, a lot of entrepreneurs and sports lovers want to bring people even closer to their sporting needs by offering products and services online. The article talks about the models of a few marketplaces for sports cropping around the world

We are just weeks away from one of the biggest events in football, The FIFA World Cup 2018 to be held in Russia, and we can’t wait for it! This year, we will witness some big names missing and some bigger names hanging their boots after the last service for their countries. Brands have already started their targeted campaigns ahead of the world cup and other global events in sports; Sony Pictures Network started the #MeriDoosriCountry to emphasize the world cup craze in India.

“Sports can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all discrimination.”

Nelson Mandela

Such powerful words. Such truth!

Sports brings the world together. When Iniesta retired from Barcelona this month, every Football fan was sad. Lebron James’ effortless dunks amazed most around the globe. And When AB De Villiers announced his retirement, everyone on Twitter asked him to come back. This is what sports do. It brings people together. It makes people forget their race and religion; share laughter and tears.

Selling sports goods and merchandise

Most online marketplaces like Amazon, sell sports goods as part of their portfolio. This also enables them to target people looking at sports goods and cross-selling other products. Many entrepreneurs have figured out that it is often annoying to explore these marketplaces as they have limited and sub-standard offerings. Thus, giving rise to marketplaces for sports. Online Marketplaces like Sportsfinda are specialists in selling sports merchandises. These marketplaces for sports enable a more focuses channel for sellers to reach out to customers and making it easier for them to find what they are looking for. The vertical approach also enables the marketplace owner to have a more concentrated approach to their promotion strategy.

Many B2B firms are also emerging in this space. These marketplaces for sports provide a direct platform between manufacturers and retailers. This helps small manufacturers reach out to retailers, irrespective of the geography.

Sports Activities

Another range of marketplaces brings together users and sports activities center. Such marketplaces for sports are like classified where they provide a list of sports activities centers and the activities they offer. You could find the nearest shooting range, nearest skating arena or the local swimming pool, all at one place.

The marketplace could also provide features for appointment booking and scheduling, where they charge the centers for every successful booking. Such hyperlocal marketplaces for sports could be scaled easily and expanded to different regions as the market grows

Coaching and Other Sports-Related Services

Many entrepreneurs are designing  more directed service marketplaces for sports where players can find private coaches on-demand. Many athletes suffer because they are unable to find good coaches. This marketplace, like Upwork, could be used to discover the best coach or physio and book an appointment with them. Such marketplaces facilitate freelancing and open newer avenues for players to have their sporting needs met. Coach Up is currently working in this space.

Sports Rentals (Goods and Venues)

Do you have a baseball bat that you hardly use? Or a fencing sword that you haven’t touched in years? Do not let your prized possessions lie around and collect dust. Share your sporting goods with someone in need. Sharing Economy has fueled marketplaces for sports rentals.

It doesn’t stop at goods, you could also rent your sports venues online. So now create a marketplace where people can discover and book local football or cricket grounds or book a session at the local pool. Startups like SportsAdda are currently offering sports rentals in India.

Sports Events

Do you want to make it easier for people to find sports events around the world and book tickets? This is the right business model for you. Entrepreneurs and Sports Enterprises around the world have taken interest in starting marketplaces where people can access and buy event tickets for any sports around the globe or from a region. Marketplaces like ConnectSports works in this space now. The model looks promising and a great value-add for both event organizers and customers.

Besides these popular models, there are many other interesting avenues if you want to open a marketplace for sports. Class Pass is a fitness discovery marketplace where users can find the best fitness studios, classes, and experiences. It provides access to wide range of fitness activities including Yoga, Martial arts, aerobics, etc, via a flat-rate monthly subscription model.

New age sports-related businesses have also started erupting. Technologies like Blockchain, IoS, VR, and AR are redefining the world of sports. One example is GlobalTalent, which is a decentralized and transparent sports marketplace with Blockchain Technology. With GlobalTalent, fans and investors can invest in clubs or players and obtain returns by buying and selling future benefits guaranteed by their image rights, sports transfers, prize money, payroll, ticketing, TV contracts or any other income they receive. It’s a blockchain marketplace that will help to reduce the club’s cost to buy new players rights since they will not need to work with the conditions of hedge funds. It will help young athletes to get in contact with their fans and get financial support to carry on their career and it will create stronger bonds between fans with their sports stars and clubs.

Do you know of any other sports marketplace model? Leave a comment so that others reading the article could benefit.

Do you want to start a sports-based marketplace to help the community of sports and fitness enthusiasts? Check out Yelo and find the easiest way to set up a sports marketplace.

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