The Sports sector has been profoundly affected by the development and implementation of new technologies, including artificial intelligence, DLA / Blockchain and the Internet of Things, which is playing a central role, for instance, in wearable devices. Along with this trend, eSports have grown exponentially in the last decade, spurred by social media and other digital platforms, and further disrupted by new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.


Technologies have long played a relevant role in the Sports sector including, for instance, in the day-to-day management of operations, making content available on platforms and selling tickets and merchandising online, as well as using video replay systems. New advancements, however, are transforming the sector: from video-assistant referees (VAR), to wearable devices for players, the sector is making use of technologies to ensure better decision making and accuracy. Clubs and companies have been partnering with Universities, companies and R&D centers to develop state of the art projects in the areas of emerging technologies (AI, Blockchain, and others) and tech wearables, as well as investing and exploring digital content, marketing profiling and hyper-targeting, broadcasting rights and other areas.

eSports, on their turn, continue to grow, and have become a global and widespread phenomenon, crossing different ages, genders and socio-economical groups. The implementation of faster, stronger and wider Internet networks made the whole world a huge arena for eSports athletes from different countries to face each other, with 5G networks expected to play a role in improving the eSports experience by helping them become faster and more real. Moreover, media and other digital platforms helped to increase the popularity of the eSports, for example, through live streaming of important tournaments and leagues.

Even if technology is clearly in its DNA, eSports have been deeply changed by technology and it is highly likely that technology will continue to disrupt the way eSports are played. For example, virtual reality (VR) might break the ultimate frontier between eSports and traditional sports, calling into question the common claim that eSports cannot be considered true and real sports because they do not require a strong physical activity.


Forces driving the market


Streaming platforms are increasingly used for broadcasting sports events in a more portable and interactive manner, whilst 5G will boost eSports.


Artificial intelligence and machine learning, DLT and Blockchain, Apps, sensors, smart devices and wearables are increasingly used during events and for marketing and sales purposes, with the tokenisation of players also being discussed.


Marketing profiling/ hyper-targeting to determine fan preferences and adapt the content/advertising that is shown to each person is fast developing.

eSports and mobile sports

eSports and mobile sports are helping to increase competitive gaming popularity, whilst many media and entertainment companies’ strategic planning will include eSports as part of their portfolio. eSports events and games are also being increasingly used as a platform to launch new products and services, using innovative marketing and advertising tools

Big Data

Cloud computing, data mining and analytics are bringing added value to the operations throughout the value chain.


Can we help you

VdA has detailed experience and expertise in all legal and regulatory matters associated with Sports. Our unique tech and industry insights allow us to provide 360.º legal services to organisations, governments and regulators.

  • Sports leagues
  • Sports clubs
  • Athletes and players
  • Sports agencies
  • League and tournament organisers
  • Games developers
  • Broadcasters
  • Distributors
  • Media platforms
  • Sponsors
  • Advertisers

Our team of experts is delivering strategic and sophisticated legal advice to help our clients on their most challenging and promising projects. With a track-record of advising complex projects for leading companies in the sector.

VdA services include:
  • Advising on regulatory and contracts related with the eSports ecosystem
  • Advising on regulatory and compliance issues arising from the use of technology and digital tools in the sector
  • Advising on data (personal and non-personal) and cybersecurity, and on IP protection and technology transfer
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts for technology development, acquisition, provision of services, use of image rights, as well as with teams, athletes, sponsors, providers, among others, including terms of service and privacy policies for digital offers

Our team of experts

The disruption of the Sports ecosystem, including eSports, raises complex challenges that require a holistic and sophisticated legal analysis.

We help our clients meet their goals through a cross-sector team that brings lawyers from our ICT and Data & Cybersecurity Practice Areas. In addition, to deal with the complex challenges brought by resorting to technologies in the sector, our team further works routinely with our colleagues from IP, Insurance, Tax, Banking & Finance, among others.


Specialised knowledge is required

The opportunities and challenges of the Sports sector, including those arising from the deployment of emerging technologies and the lack of regulatory certainty, are complex. Specialised knowledge is required for the development and deployment of digitalization strategies and offers.


Can we do it for you

Assisting you in devising the best approach and models for your business, project, product and service, in the light of legal and regulatory opportunities and constraints.

Assisting you in the development and setting-up of your business, project, product and service, drafting all required documentation, assisting in the negotiation of contracts, interacting with competent authorities, and accompanying you every step of the way.

Assisting you in addressing day-to-day business goals and challenges in the light of the applicable laws and regulations. We are here for you.

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