The latest Loughborough University Experts in Sport podcast delves into the possibilities on offer for those in the sector.
In a wide-ranging episode, Professor Aaron Smith (Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Loughborough University London) is joined by Dr Ben Shields, Senior Lecturer from USA-based MIT Sloan School of Management.
Together, they explore how the metaverse has developed over time, including the potential future benefits for those involved in sport – from venues, franchises, clubs, and ultimately, the fan and athlete experience.
Dr Shields also discusses the stark differences between established social media channels, gaming networks, and the metaverse. He explains how the latter creates immersive digital spaces for individuals to interact, communicate, connect, and partake in new experiences.
The panel touch upon how the metaverse can create new revenue streams for sports businesses, as well as creating new opportunities for spectators to develop their own sport performance skills.
Professor Aaron Smith is a leading industrial figure in sport business wherein he works at the intersections of money and meaning, and brains and brands to explain athlete performance, business innovation, fan psychology, and digital engagement.
Prior to joining Loughborough University London, Prof Smith worked at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, where he was the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor at its College of Business.
Aaron’s most recent book ‘Football on the Brain: Why Minds Love Sport’, is published under an open-access license making it available for anyone to download and distribute. Download a free copy by visiting the Loughborough University repository or Aaron’s website.
Ben Shields is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His work as a teacher, researcher, and practitioner focuses on digital transformation in the sports, media, and entertainment industries. He developed and teaches a number of courses at MIT Sloan, including Sports Strategy and Analytics, Creative Industries, and Social Media Management. In 2022, he received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching, MIT Sloan's most prestigious teaching award.
Ben is also the author or coauthor of three books on sports, media, and entertainment as well as MIT Sloan case studies on Formula 1, the National Women's Soccer League, and Athletes Unlimited. Prior to MIT, Ben was the Director of Social Media at ESPN.
The Experts in Sport podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly.