Daniel Jee / Staff reporter
I was reading news about soccer which I enjoy watching and playing on a bus going to school.
In the headline, it was written in large letters as “Super League.” and it excited me.
Super League was a new huge project in which top clubs of leagues in each European country compete designed to be the biggest soccer competition in the world.
There are not so many chances to see matches between big clubs in a season, so this was certainly good news to entertain fans.
But according to Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid which participated in the Super League Project, the inside story was not very positive.
“Audiences are decreasing, and rights are decreasing, and something had to be done. We are all ruined. Television has to change so we can adapt,” said Florentino Perez.
“Young people are no longer interested in football. Why not? Because there are a lot of poor-quality games and they are not interested, they have other platforms on which to distract themselves,” he said.
It was shocking news that soccer, the world’s most popular sport, became like this.
And this problem is not just about soccer.
Compared with September 2019, total viewership across all television was down 9 percent in September 2020, and 10 percent during prime time.
Ratings for the N.B.A. finals were down 49 percent, and the N.H.L.’s Stanley Cup finals were down a whopping 61 percent. Baseball, golf, tennis, horse racing and other sports have all seen huge declines in 2020. Even the usually untouchable N.F.L. was down 13 percent.
The reason for the declining interest in sports was in Generation Z.
Generation Z is distancing from sports because their growth environment was different from that of the previous generation.
They enjoy multiple games through high-spec consoles, computers, and convenient mobile devices.
And these numerous entertainments give more effective pleasure than watching a sport match for a long time.
Generation Z, who has difficulty concentrating for a long time prefers short and intensive enjoyments
Exposed to the online environment as soon as they are born, they are more enthusiastic about the online world than offline.
It is more familiar to make their own “Avatar” and play in the digital world.
They prefer exchange through SNS rather than communication through face-to-face contact which they can have less stress.
And the pandemic further accelerated this atmosphere.
However, not all professional sports are shunned by Generation Z.
NBA was the only traditional sports competition that attracted more attention from Generation z than adults.
According to the Morning Consultant, 45% of adults said they were interested in NBA, while 47% of Generation Z said they were interested in NBA.
The reason was the active SNS communication of NBA players.
Generation Z sees the world through SNS.
They gradually become fans of the sport after following popular players and following the league.
Interaction with celebrities is one of the most important factors for generation z fans, which is common in online worlds such as SNS.
The U.S. Major Sports Secretariat is working hard to recruit Gen. Z experts, referring to the success of the NBA. Those who worked for streaming music service companies, video game producers, and brand companies favored by teenagers, as well as SNS experts, are ranked first in casting. They are considering marketing suitable for Generation Z.
The popularity of sports, which seemed to last forever, is also fading. This fall may continue if it fails to capture the hearts of Generation z, who will become a new core consumer.
It can be seen that sports interest is going down is not good.
But actually, except for damage to sports world and to sports fans, it is totally okay.
It is just natural thing that happens when something change occur in the world and among generations by time.
Sports fans will have less friends to talk about sports, but this is inevitable thing.
And there may be people interested in sports and those who are not.
It’s just that there are more people who are not interested in sports.
Not perfect yet, but each sports association is coming up with more solutions to the changing generation, as in the case of the Super League, and the problem will be solved.
If they can turn this crisis into a new opportunity, the sports world will have another heyday.
Even if it is not resolved, it is what it is. We cannot help it. In a capitalist society, a market that couldn’t adapt to change disappear.
Some Fans are out there hoping that sports that they like will not become less popular or disappear in the near future.
But with a high probability, fans don’t have to worry about the sports crisis they love.