The sporting ecosystem: It’s not just football anymore

Written By Andrew Boggs on March 26, 2021

I wasn’t a big sports fan when I was a kid. For some reason, I just couldn’t get into it. For years I would rather have watched paint dry than watch a match on the TV. It took me a long time to realize that sports were a lot more than what happened on the pitch.

The sports ecosystem is a lot wider than many people realize, hopefully, these short explainers will help you understand that you might be a sports fan without even realizing it.

Esports in the sporting ecosystem

Esports and esports betting have benefited from the lockdowns of 2020 and the suspension of most major live sporting events. Fans and bettors were looking for something to pass the time and fill the gap left by football, basketball, or even baseball.

The natural fit for someone looking to watch a competitive event that wasn’t affected by Covid is esports. More and more traditional sports clubs and organizations began to look towards esports as a model for the future.

Organizations from Manchester City to the Philadelphia Eagles have realized the importance of esports in the sporting ecosystem. It is not just a separate event for hobbyists and gamers, it can be an integral part of the world of sports. Most athletes are young and so are gamers, by investing in esports, traditional sporting organizations can maintain their fanbase.

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Sports Betting

If you are a sports fan, chances are that you have been tempted to place a bet at some point in your life. I’m not a fan of football, but football betting makes any game that I do watch a lot more interesting. Even if I only have a small amount of money on the line, I am still more invested in the game.

Sports betting is not just important for the betting operators or the bettors, many sporting events, traditional and esports alike, need the investment and funding from sportsbooks to make them possible. Clubs and tournaments have official betting partners, boxers and UFC fighters become brand ambassadors for betting outfits, and betting operators have even started their own events.

By maintaining a healthy sports betting industry, the sports ecosystem has a consistent avenue for funding, fans, and engagement.

Virtual sports

Virtual sports betting is the newest and fastest-growing part of the sports ecosystem. Virtual sports offer bettors the opportunity to enjoy the thrills and excitement of betting on simulated sporting contests any time of day or night. Games and races are played out using sophisticated software, and technology has advanced to such a stage that the virtual athletes and teams are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

If you want to place a bunch of small bets one after another without waiting around for an actual game, virtual sports are the way to go. This offers fans another way to engage with the sport and it gives the betting operators a way to maintain their revenue without having to rely on sporting events.

This is a lot better than investing in online casinos or live slots. It maintains the feeling of sports betting and can attract fans of the sport. Virtual electronic sports can’t fully replace the action and exhilaration generated by a real race or game in the real world, but they are getting closer.

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Andrew Boggs

Andrew is a Northern Ireland based journalist with a background in esports and VR reporting. He grew up in County Down, Northern Ireland, and graduated from Ulster University with a Masters's degree in Journalism.

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