Generational Gap: The Millennial Uprising
Professional sports are something of a new invention. Their true rise to popularity can be traced back to the earlier twentieth century with the introduction of radio and then television. The oldest sports team in America is most likely the Chicago Cubs, dating back almost 150 years, but they too only hit their upswing in the 1900s (before their 100-year slump). Given that each generation ranges from about 25 to 30 years, most of the supporters of the different American sports clubs are aging out. Therefore, this leaves room for coming of age millennials to change the landscape of spectator sports.
Changing of the Guard
These budding sports fans are resisting, or rather ignoring, the conventional way to enjoy sports. This is mainly due to the emergence of new technology. People today between the ages of 18-35 get their news from the internet. Receiving news from a certain network or radio station is dying. And that includes sports updates. When they are not on social media, they get their sports fix by watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts. The availability of these sites caters to a shorter attention span found amongst millenials.
Sports giants have seen the writing on the wall for years now. Teams and networks actively campaign on sites like Twitter and Facebook to obtain the attention of fans. Also, athletes now use social media to post to their fandom; moreover, they now have the opportunity to directly interact with fans. The average sports fan is also better informed since breaking news reaches their pocket in a matter of seconds. In fact, many speculate that the NFL’s choice to relax the penalties of touch down celebrations is a way to appease meme-obsessed millennials. However, there are some downsides. With the popularity of the internet comes falling television ratings. Recently, ESPN had to reduce its staff because of budgetary issues, leaving dozens of professionals who have been with the company, some for decades, without a job. Although this is an unfortunate side-effect to the new face of sports media, it is an inevitable one. As the world around us changes, it is up to us to change with it and make the change a positive one.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Who do you follow beside DK Legends? Let us know in the comments!
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