‘Sport on the Internet’, a report by analyst Rachel Church published in the current issue of US magazine Screen Digest, predicts that the online sports sector will become a massive money spinner inside five years with an exponential increase in adspend and sales of tickets and merchandise.

According to Ms Church, ad spending will soar to over $6.27 billion by 2005, compared with $612 million in 1999, while the same period will see online sales of sports merchandise rise to $5.8 billion from $186 million, and ticket sales hit $2.9 billion from $60.5 million.

Opines Ms Church: "Such high levels of growth must come from somewhere and it seems likely that a large amount of online revenue will be earned at the expense of more traditional retail and entertainment channels, including sports clubs themselves – unless they too move their operations into this new arena."

The report argues that sports websites will benefit because they tend to have wealthier visitors, retain visitors for longer than average, use major sporting events to attract global audiences and tap into the growing popularity of online gambling.

Typical visitors to general sports sites are predominantly male, aged 34, with an average income of $40-$60,000. Sixty-five percent are college-educated and considered "technology-savvy, online shoppers".

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)