There’s at least one reason U.S. sports-related businesses are projected to generate more than $420 billion this year: Passion. In Boston, for instance, die-hard Red Sox fans have helped the team achieve a Major League Baseball record for selling out Fenway Park more than 700 consecutive regular season games in the past nine years.
In football, extreme numbers of fans tune into the Super Bowl championship game, making it by far the most-watched single-telecast in the U.S. each year.
Team owners and players aren’t the only ones raking in bucks from the booming business of sports. Equipment manufacturers, memorabilia retailers, ticket vendors and other businesses large and small are taking a bite out of the market, too.
“The space sees ebb and flow among various categories and is very competitive, but there is ample opportunity for innovative companies in many sectors,” says Sean Clemens, a senior analyst with Los Angeles-based boutique sports investment bank Park Lane. Two segments in the industry that have experienced notable growth in recent years include online gaming and sports-based digital and social media, he says.
From a football card game, to a mobile application for fans, here’s a look at three startups that were born from a passion for sports.
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