Big tech is bigger than ever and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re only going loom larger. We’re more reliant on giant tech companies than ever before these days, and in the era of social distancing, this reliance will only increase. We’re currently in a world of working remotely apps, learning at a distance apps and socializing online apps.
It’s not going away any time soon either. Zoom is a company that we’re all now familiar with. It didn’t even exist until 2011, and wasn’t profitable until just last year. By February, Zoom had gained 2.22 million users in 2020 — more than they amassed for all of 2019. Daily average users rose from about 10 million in December 2019 to about 200 million in March 2020.
It’s not just work, but also fun that’s going virtual. For the first time in the NFL Draft’s entire history, it had no brick-and-mortar component. That late April weekend was huge for the popular DraftKings sportsbook app, as the daily fantasy sports company and bookmaker saw a major rise in users and traffic.
“It was a really big betting event relative to prior years,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said to CNBC. “It shows that there’s pent-up demand. People want football. People want traditional sports. I think when you do see a return to play, it’s going to be a really, really big deal for the country.”
In all crises there are opportunities, and in all situations where IRL is forbidden, people will move their activities into cyberspace. Robins added that “e-sports has been absolutely exploding” and that they’ve “also seen alternative sports like table tennis really start to pick up in popularity.”
Taiwan had the only active baseball league in the world from April 11 until May 5, when South Korea joined them. The only fans at the early Taiwanese regular season baseball games were robots.
NASCAR returns to action this Sunday, and the work being done by the tiny amount of reporters being allowed in to cover the race will be done via Zoom. As more sports come back, the more sports betting and daily fantasy sports apps will see their growth take of. People are so starving for sports right now, it’s easy to see even the never soccer crowd get into the German Bundesliga, which comes back on Saturday.
By the way, for everyone who tells you that joke about how they should have bought stock in Zoom, it’s not laughable. The tech company’s per share price was under $70 in January, but up to $150 by the end of March. It went up another 7% to close at $166.48 today.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.
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Filed under: Media