The US professional sports market is the largest in the world and accounts for over $83 billion when only looking at major revenue streams for the sport teams (ticket revenue, media rights, sponsorships, and merchandise). This does not include youth sports or athletic departments of universities, that generate a combined $19bln a year. In contrast to youth sports in the Netherlands which is organized in non-profits and run by volunteers, the US youth sports system is often structured as a business ($37.5bln). From the elite quarterback of an NFL franchise to the 5-year old girl playing soccer around the corner in a recreational league: Sports is business.
The US is leading the way in the use of data innovation in sports across American schools, colleges, and universities. For the Dutch sports industry, the American sports sector is very attractive as a market for innovative products, services, and technologies. The Dutch sports sector is constantly developing and innovating, from greening sports locations to youth and talent development, fan experience, athlete performance, vitality and diversity and inclusion. The US market embraces innovation to gain momentum over its competitors.
Major international sporting events will hosted in the US over the coming years, such as the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in 2026, FIFA World Cup (World Cup) in 2026 and the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Additionally, it is on rare occasion that three Formula 1 Grand Prix races (Las Vegas, Austin and Miami) will be hosted in the US. Altogether, this demonstrates optimal momentum from the internal US sports market and offers enormous opportunities for Dutch companies and organizations.
Sports Tech Innovation Bridge to the US aims to unlock these opportunities, by providing unique exposure, connections and preparation. It is open to all areas of sport technology innovation, yet we will place special emphasis on the following 3 areas:
- Athletic performance and talent development: Be better solutions in data, mental health, specialty performance, coaching
- Grounds, facilities and operations: Grass solutions, smart stadiums and ID solutions, traffic, sustainability (energy, water, greening)
- Community and fan engagement: Smart camera’s, smart ID, racism and discrimination topics, social media solutions