Every year, I do a Fletch Predicts post in January, and this year was no different. But then Covid-19 hit, and threw pretty much everyone’s predictions for the year out the window.
So I’d like a re-do. Here we go:
I won’t predict sports winners, because at this writing, nobody knows if anything will resume. I’m a big sports fan, and really want to see them come back in 2020, and while leagues keep talking about it, two things are in the back of my mind: What happens if a player tests positive? Does the entire team have to quarantine? What does that do to competitive balance and the schedule?
But assuming they do play, my second question bugs me more: without fans in the stands, will it be the same? Part of me says “no”. So we’ll have to see.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a downer, so let’s look at the upside.
Let’s say sports take a breather for 2020. I feel there will be openings for other types of entertainment. There are a slew of movies we haven’t seen, the videogame industry is thriving, and even things like board games may be making a comeback. I know a few people who play classic board games virtually through Zoom. How about family yard games like cornhole?
We can take this a step further: If we’re going to stay home more, how about a larger TV? Companies that make and sell home entertainment/recreation equipment are poised to do well. I know bicycle manufacturers and retailers are as busy as they ever were right now.
Just when you thought desktop computers have left our homes, they are going to come roaring back as “the office” starts to become a thing of the past, and “the home office” takes off. This also bodes well for manufacturers of home office furniture, and even home center retailers and contractors as remodeling will likely see a boom as well.
Will the gym ever be the same? We don’t know, but I do know home exercise equipment is booming. We will also likely see some good innovation here, as virtual trainers become more and more popular. Step on the mat, the trainer appears live on your wall. That will be mainstream sooner than later.
It’s very possible we are living in the biggest societal change event of our lifetimes. Industries will fall quickly, but other industries will rise just as quickly. Many companies will see this and shift (and that’s where equipment financing and Section 179 come in – you know I have to get those in there!)
I can be a little pragmatic, but I feel that’s healthy. But in my pragmatism, I tend to see opportunity. And where there’s opportunity, there’s growth.
I predict we’ll be ok.