I had the honor last week of being the opening keynote speaker for the Sporting & Fitness Industry Association Leadership Summit, held in New Orleans. In attendance were CEO’s of several major sporting/fitness companies, as well as retailers in the industry; overall, about 200 very senior level executives representing a vast cross section of a major US industry.
My keynote focused on 5 key themes:
- The BIG MISS : how companies miss out on market and business model transformation, particularly when fast moving digital technologies completely change customer interaction and the very concept of a ‘product,’ as well as the rapid emergence of new competitors
- Interaction : embedded technology changes everything!
- Acceleration: the result is that the pace of innovation in the sporting and fitness industry is rapidly shifting to the speed of innovation of Silicon Valley
- Reinvention: this results in a need to continually reinvent new products, new sources of revenue, and to generation “chameleon revenue” where revenue has not previously existed
- Generations: 10 to 15 years out, in changes in even more major ways ; at some point in our lifetime, we’ll see the last kid ever use a baseball bat that doesn’t have some sort of computer chip embedded in it
Much of what I had to cover was the massive impact that digital technologies are having on all apsects of the sports and fitness industries. It ties into an observation by one analyst that “in the next 10 years, it is estimated that 40% of the S&P 500 will no longer exist if these companies fail to keep up with these technology trends.”
I reached out to Derek Sprague, the President of the PGA of America, prior to my talk, for his thoughts on how the game of golf has been transformed by digital technologies in just the last 5 years. He had two brilliant observations:
- “In the last five years, video software, launch monitors and game tracking devices (like Game Golf) have brought the technology tools of elite professional players to the masses. Understanding how to integrate volumes of performance data into traditional teaching methods has become “commonplace for PGA Professionals.”
- “Not only that, but yield management and mobile-oriented buying platforms aren’t just for hotels and airlines anymore. As consumer expectations for technology driven experiences increase exponentially, answering the phone and handwriting tee times onto a paper tee sheet are no longer the norms. ”
It was a great talk with great feedback, with one tweet noting, “@jimcarroll: One of the most fascinating conference speakers I’ve ever heard. #sfialeads”