Apr 16, 2021, Business, Mobile

Sports vs. digital technologies – an exciting gameplay

Aneta Skoczewska Business Consultant

Digitization is not only an overused buzzword but also a turbine that keeps the corporate world running. It changes our behaviour, affects existing business processes, enables new, innovative management opportunities, and brings a customer closer to the center of attention. It all applies to the modern sports industry, too. A well adjusted technology can reduce the gap between a spectator and a game, and provide players, both professional and amateour, with a motivational boost. However, the revolution doesn’t just happen by itself. Let’s get the ball rolling and check how to make sports both digital and unmatched.

Sports & technologies – getting off to a flying start

The potential is huge but we’ll try to narrow it down to several, paramount points. The task is to explain how to use technologies in sport, making it even more exciting for the audience and orderly from the management point of view.

  1. First of all, technologies can help you keep your data neat by a proper visualization, controlling sensors, and training documentation handled with ease.
  2. You want to provide your players with an enhanced training and higher competitiveness? Computer science can support sport experts and coaches in getting their teams to the top.
  3. Using exhaustive statistics and assuring real time information improves fans’ experience, making them up to date with their favorite team or athlete. 
  4. There’s something for amateurs, too. With the use of AI based applications, they’re able to track their progress, uprate their skills, as well as connect with each other and compare to different athletes.

Know the name of the game

OK, so let’s divide the sports industry into four main areas that gain the most from keeping up with the technology growth.

Athletic performance 

It’s obvious that we want our athletes to perform even better, win all of the competitions, and be the crowd’s favorites. But this area of expertise includes people from the backstage, too – coaches, technical staff, or talent scouts eager to find new, promising players. 

What helps is an increasing use of IoT (Internet of Things) that provides us with technologies such as: sensors, wearables, and varied analytical tools. To be more specific – all of the people involved in enhancing athletes’ performance can benefit from small-sized devices like: gyroscopes, magnetometers, accelerometers or GPS worn by sportspeople without interfering with their convenience. 

Such wearables collect information about athlete’s heart rate, body chemistry, and overall performance adjusted to particular disciplines. Acquired data help in training, but also in keeping the players healthy and monitoring their need for rehabilitation. This way, sports experts can finally forget about an old school video footage analysis and focus on the game.

Sports club

When it comes to digitization, we shouldn’t really perceive a sports club as something different than a regular corporation. What it primarily needs is integrating a great deal of different administrative functions into a comprehensive information and communication based technology, usually with the use of web and mobile apps. This way, going digital helps in managing the company’s infrastructure and security, sponsorship and suppliers, team, and talent scouting which now depends more on exhaustive data rather than intuition. 

Event management

Events are the heart of nearly every sport, bringing the audience closer and making the players worldwide stars. Apart from the organization, stadiums and facility management, or referees support, sports clubs have to take care of a proper cultural promotion. Being connected with the fans all over the world makes the team and all of its events more prestigious and desired. And what supports the promotion better than social media or a custom made app with pictures and videos from training, information about the players’ performance, as well as the most interesting statistics?

Fan experience

According to the Capgemini report, about 69% of fans feel that the use of emerging technologies in sports has enhanced their overall viewing experience. Whether they’re masses of spectators taking part in the live sports events, couch potatoes passively watching a TV broadcast, or social media supporters with their likes and shares at hand – fans are the most important group of consumers in the industry. Most sports clubs are aware of this fact and try to enhance their experience with innovative business models and marketing strategies. Being more digital definitely helps. 

Providing the viewers with live performance data and tailored mobile apps can improve the real-life experience of the sport. More than 80% of people use smartphones to be up to date, and it concerns their favorite teams and athletes, too. Sports clubs are aware of this fact, and many soccer, basketball or hockey teams have already invested in such solutions.

Technologies top front runners

The biggest players in the sports sector have already tried the grandness of digitization and it turned out to be quite rewarding. Want some inspiring examples? Here they come.

Real Madrid teams up with Microsoft

Iconic Spanish soccer team Real Madrid joined forces with technology guru Microsoft and created a mobile app to keep the fans engaged and entertained during a game. They are able to watch different angles of the field while participating in a live event or even order food without leaving their seat. The app has its way of fighting for the users’ attention on non-game days, too. It presents personalized stats, enables purchasing merchandise and offers special sponsored deals.

FC Barcelona gives its best shot

Another Spanish soccer giant – FC Barcelona club – provided its fans with a complex app which combines functions of a news, media, and stats provider, game calendar, mobile store, and a ticketing system. Apart from that, it allows booking tours of the team’s home stadium, Camp Nou, and its museum. What’s more, it offers QR-code electronic tickets for its fans convenience. 

Manchester United goes beyond the limits

British soccer team goes a bit further. Apart from a standard fan app, it has recently released a subscription-based live streaming service called MUTV. It provides live broadcasts, pre- and post-match commentaries from the club’s legends, live streamings from the team’s press conferences, and more of the good stuff.

NBA in an alternative world

Technology boost is not limited to soccer clubs only. Basketball loves innovation, too. Apps for the NBA fans are designed to make their lives easier, even in terms of finding open parking spots before the event. They can have mobile tickets to enter the stadium, use the app to order food, drinks and merchandise during a game, and check the bathroom lines for their highest comfort. 

Coaches don’t have to analyze video footage to train their players and enhance their performance. Now, they can enjoy the benefits of Virtual Reality (VR). It allows visualizing games on virtual fields with 3D simulators and provides players with different tactical options. The solution is so complex that athletes feel the emotional pressure similar to playing a real game. They can even experience the sensation of a jump!

But VR is great for the sports fans, too. FOX Sports cooperated with NextVR to broadcast live events with the use of Virtual Reality, and it was a smashing success! Besides, VR is not limited only to the NBA. It also proudly supports teams from NHL, NFL, MLB, or NASCAR. 

New England Patriots who love to share

The American Football team apparently loves its fans because it provides them with probably the richest spots app there is. It regularly informs them about the latest news, shares articles, videos, photo galleries and podcasts about the team, shows stats, game schedules and team standings, provides a live chat and a game center during a match, and allows using a mobile store, custom wallpapers or instant feedback form. WOW effect guaranteed.

Grand Rapids Griffins that photograph well

The hockey team’s app has everything we love about advanced fan solutions, and one additional cherry on the top. It allows taking photos in a dedicated frame to become one of the Griffins’ players and stand side by side with the team’s mascot. How cool is that?

Warming up for the finals

A combination of innovation and sports has a great future ahead. Coaches and players love the effects of each technological kick, and fans are happy when they’re hyper informed about their favorite athletes – definitely a win-win situation.  

So, what can you do to improve your organizational processes, enhance your team’s performance, or upgrade your fans’ experience? The possibilities are endless. Just contact us and we’ll help you select a perfectly suited solution.