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Ahead of the Pack: 3 Business Lessons from the World of Sport

As so much of business revolves around getting ahead of competitors, it is perhaps unsurprising that there have been many efforts in the past to compare the area to sport. However, despite the many similarities, there remains much that the pair can learn from each other.

Here, we take a look at just a handful of sports-related issues which could provide you with food for thought if you’re looking to further develop your business.

Use of Technology

While many businesses now understand the huge importance of using social media and maintaining an online presence to reach their target markets, how many are genuinely looking to provide innovative solutions for customers and clients?

Sport has always understood the importance of online innovation and nowhere is this better shown than in the US, where an app allows basketball fans at a game to stream video feeds from different angles on smartphones and tablets. Why? To give them the same multiscreen experience and access to replays they enjoy in their homes.

This is a great example of using technology to improve experience, so is there a way you could do the same for your customers?

Wide Impact

So much importance is placed on hosting events in sport, with countries and regions recognizing the positive impact it could have on their economies. Take the annual Cheltenham Festival for horse racing which – as you can see from the infographic below – generates around £100 million for its county.

As well as attending the festival, people need somewhere to stay, places to eat and often want to visit local sights and landmarks.

Cheltenham Festival betting online


Think about this kind of knock-on effect and whether something similar could happen with your business. When people buy your products and services, are they using them in conjunction with something else? If so, how could you rethink your own operations to benefit? Is there scope to form partnerships with other firms or expand your own portfolio of services to take advantage?

Developing Talent

The ability of competitors in the Olympics is a sight to behold, with many athletes showing incredible dedication to be prepared and ready for their moment in the spotlight. After all, the opportunity to claim a medal only comes every four years.

Speaking to HR Review, former Olympic swimmer Adrian Moorhouse highlighted there was much for businesses to learn from how the likes of Team GB pick and nurture talent. He specifically highlighted the fact that while athletes devoted a huge amount of time to training and development, businesses tend to only give employees a fraction of that.

The moral of the story? As well as judging workers on past performance, consider how they could develop in the future – and give them the opportunity to do so.

Much More to Consider

The examples above are just three suggestions on how scenarios from the world of sport could be applied to business. There is undoubtedly much more that can be considered, so think carefully about the scenarios which your organization may well learn a few lessons from.

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