The impact of Coronavirus on the sports industry

Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown have had a huge impact on everyone and everything, including the sports industry. To ensure the safety of both athletes and fans, major sporting events have been cancelled or delayed including the London Marathon which is now due to take place in October. For the first time in history, the Olympic Games have been postponed! All of this is just the surface level impact however. Even more people in the sports industry have been affected than first meets the eye. 

How has the sports industry been affected?

First, the impact of Coronavirus has meant sports professionals and athletes have missed valuable training time, big events and lots of sponsorships. Sports clubs, gyms and leisure centres have also lost out with their usual customers having to find at-home alternatives to their usual exercise routines. Additionally, while weights and yoga mats have been in high demand, sports-based retail businesses have suffered. British sports retailer DW Sports has fallen into administration and worldwide swimwear company Zoggs has been sold to Head Sports. Large sports organisations such as the ITF (International Tennis Federation) have even had to furlough half of their staff. In fact, since May, we have seen a global large loss in revenue in all areas of the sporting industry, including fan spending on sports events, sport-related tourism and national TV sports. All of this is due to the lockdown and restrictions imposed by the government. 


Sports fans have suffered from the social limitations enforced due to Coronavirus too. Not only have fans missed the excitement and collaboration of sports games, but they have also been unable to join their team-mates and friends in games and matches due to social-distancing measures. 

Luckily, with things now starting to reopen, the public are now able to return to playing sports outside with others, going to meet personal trainers and visiting the gym. Good news has arrived for the athletes and professionals as well who can return to playing professional matches. Plus, the government has recently announced that amateur rugby and football clubs can resume training in groups with a max of 15 people. The relaxation of rules has also allowed for snooker halls to reopen. Although fans can still not attend games, they can now at least enjoy them live on TV once again. This said, sporting events are still being cancelled almost every day. 

Why is the Coronavirus impact on the sports industry important?

It may seem like we have bigger issues on our hands, but we have to remember the motivation that sports brings to so many people's lives. Sports is not just a hobby, it's a job and a lifestyle for thousands of people. Not only has coronavirus had a financial impact, but a huge impact on well-being also. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 49% of the population have been feeling anxious or worried as a result of coronavirus and lockdown.

As we know, physical exercise releases tons of endorphins. So, not being able to play with your team or get your regular exercise is likely a big part of this increase in anxiety. Fortunately, people have managed to find fun ways to stay active such as jogging and cycling. Furthermore, exercising alone can be a huge motivation killer. To help out, lots of personal trainers have been offering online Zoom fitness classes. This kind of support within the sports industry has been key to getting people through the lockdown.


It can be easy to focus on the impact of the coronavirus on the businesses and industries in the foreground. Nevertheless, it’s so important to think about how the virus and lockdown have affected so many industries and individuals differently. While many members of the public have lost out on their holidays abroad, sports professionals have missed events they have been training for over months and years. Everyone can see the obvious impact on the airline and tourist industries, whereas, other industries such as charity and sports have been overlooked. Therefore, we need to take the time to think about the impact of coronavirus on these other industries and see what we can do to help. 

So, how can fans help the sports industry get back on track?

The engagement of fans with the sports industry is now essential to get it back on track. Without the help of the public, the industry may struggle to stabilise and earn back revenue. Want to help but not sure how to? Here are a few ideas!

  • Support retailers by shopping for some new gym wear or trainers
  • Get a gym membership
  • Sign up at your local leisure centre
  • Join a sports club like football, cricket or rugby
  • Buy some merch from your favourite sports team or company
  • Do some online fitness classes
  • Start working with a personal trainer

If none of that sounds like you, why not have a friendly competition with your friends and use the Challenge Social app to keep track of your scores!  With Challenge Social, you can create challenges for anything and everything. You can go head to head with a 1v1 Challenge, team up for a Team Challenge, try competing with others in a Free For All Challenge, or even create an Open Challenge for the whole community. Challenge Social can track all of your competitive data in leaderboards. You can also add media to each of your challenges to capture memories to look back on for years to come. 

How can you use Challenge Social to support the sports industry? 


Book a round of golf with your work colleagues and use Challenge Social to create a Free For All Challenge to keep score. Or, hire out your local tennis court and go to head-to-head on a 1v1 Challenge with a friend. Make it the best of three and replay the challenge to see the leaderboards update. You could even host your own “At Home Olympics”; buy some equipment from a sports retailer and set it all up. Then measure and hold on to all the data and highlights on Challenge Social. The possibilities are endless. Gyms, leisure centres and personal trainers can also use Challenge Social to host their exercise classes and sessions! 

The best part is that taking part in challenges on Challenge Social will not only help out the sports industry, but will also benefit your mental health. Getting active and involved with your family, friends and community will do you a world of good. 

Find out more on our home page and read our blog to learn how to create your first challenge

Challenge. Track. Share.