The laZy generation
Multiple reports and studies — each one with its own agenda — have been warning that sports industry has a Gen Z problem. The “problem” part is real, but they’re blaming the wrong player
Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens (2014) and Homo Deus (2016) are two of the best non-fiction books of the last decade. Or, at least, two the best “brainy” books of the decade, as The Guardian weirdly put it. Among the many paths taken in Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, one of the most unmistakable turns highlights the importance of reformatting our temporal perception when it comes to interpreting the future. Harari wants the reader to fathom “the history of tomorrow” from a less parochial approach and to dive headfirst into his broader perspective. A daunting task, by my estimates.
Here’s one of his yardsticks: “If you speak with the experts, many of them will tell you that we are still very far away from genetically engineered babies or human-level artificial intelligence. But most experts think on a timescale of academic grants and college jobs. Hence, ‘very far away’ may mean twenty years, and ‘never’ may denote no more than fifty.”
In recent years — in the past two years, more precisely — marketing and research agencies have ramped up the production of studies on the relationship between the new generation of consumers with the sports industry. They also presented some combination of surveys to speculate about sporting events, broadcasting, and products based on this “new context” — aka their interpretation of “the future” of this business.
While a bunch of these studies flopped due to the lack of parameters and others moved towards the field of contradiction, some of them do offer a few interesting numbers. One of the most popular reports (especially because of a Mark Cuban tweet) says, for example, that only 53% of Gen Z identify themselves “as sports fans, compared to 69% of millennials.” It also states that this generation is “half as likely as millennials to watch live sports regularly and twice as likely to never watch.”