Sports and entertainment have been converging since the dawn of capitalism, if not before—businesspeople were just slow to notice and identify the monetizing opportunities this trend offered, although they are now making up for lost time. Convergence can be defined as “the process of coming together, or the state of having come together, toward a common point.” “Common points” can vary, depending on which forces have been converging and what the goals and expectations of such converging entities are, but in the case of the convergence of sports and entertainment, the “common points” or, perhaps more accurately, the desired outcomes, are to build brands and generate revenue and, by extension, increase value for myriad stakeholders in the process. While the story of this convergence can be told from multiple vantage points, this book tackles it from a “sports-moving-into-entertainment” perspective.
Historically, the convergence of sports and entertainment has been relatively contained, primarily taking place in and around sports venues. Today such convergence, like the rest of business, is borderless—both literally and figuratively. Though consumers continue to experience the entertainment aspects of this merging while enjoying sports on location, they increasingly experience it as they relax in the comfort of their own homes watching sports on TV. When traveling for work or pleasure they check their laptops for streaming content of their favorite teams, and while at the office or running errands they frequently check their smartphones for scores and statistics.
The convergence of sports and entertainment is pervasive, and it continues to create business challenges while simultaneously providing significant opportunities for those hoping to make money from it. Although it is often easy to confuse savvy cross-promotion or other tactical marketing initiatives—such as cross-branding—with convergence, the former tends to be less symbiotic and, more often than not, represents short-term, opportunistic marketing and