Consuming sports while “away from home” is now at the core of convergence. Consumers demand that they be able to enjoy the benefits associated with this convergence, when and where they choose, as well as select the manner in which they choose to be affected by it. Increasingly, and much to the delight of sports fans, this convergence now prominently includes taking advantage of the integration of sports and entertainment while away from home.
“Away-from-home” convergence is defined as the consumer’s ability to view, listen to, or participate in sports at his or her convenience while running errands, traveling for work or pleasure, at the office, and so on. Fan demand to consume sports while away from home has transformed the sports industry and created a new set of producers and stakeholders hoping to monetize this rapidly growing area of sports business. Cell phone manufacturers and telecom service providers, media programmers and distributors, fantasy sports providers, and others, including those that operate gambling properties and operations, are eager to reach those so interested in sports that they must have access to them around the clock.
These producers and stakeholders provide advertisers a compelling and targeted platform for marketing to a traditionally hard-to-reach consumer population. Monetizing the evolution of away-from-home convergence remains in its infancy in terms of the financial upside awaiting those that master these consumer touchpoints. To be sure, those that consistently deliver an enhanced fan experience will not only reshape the sports business industry but also profit handsomely in the process.
As described in Part I, radio provided Americans with the ability to listen to sports and entertainment from the comfort of their own living rooms. As important as the ability to listen at home to radio broadcasting was, it lacked