August 8, 2016

Technology Trends: Sports

From the hardcore fans to casual viewers, sports teams and brands are always on the hunt to improve, grow, and enhance fan engagement. It’s more important than ever before that sporting brands focus on creating experiences that enrich live events and cater to tech-savvy fans, and technology companies are eager to provide the necessary digital platforms. This week, our Technology Trends series explores how technology is impacting the changing landscape of sports.

How marketers tap sports fans in connected stadiumsVenture Beat

Smart stadiums offer marketers, teams, and brands tremendous opportunities to drastically enhance the fan experience. This includes apps for seat guidance, live updates on which restroom locations have the shortest lines, and an interactive stadium map. Fans will appreciate and remember attending an event that was made convenient by these kinds of valuable features accessible through their smart devices. In order for stadiums to provide these services, the backend infrastructure must be equipped with a cloud-based system capable of scalability and elasticity.

Athletes to analysts: How big data gave the German football team a leg upCNBC

The German Football Association (DFB) teamed up with software company SAP to develop two new Big Data analytics technologies to identify strengths and weaknesses of opposing teams ahead of the competition. Both applications were accessible to players and coaches prior to the game via iPad Pros and a cloud platform. The goal of this application is not to offset coaching abilities but rather to help the coaches in their decision-making by providing them with more facts and figures.

Forget small cells – AT&T wants to use drones to improve 4G mobile data coverage over stadiumsIB Times

With increasingly powerful smartphones and tablets that consumers are bringing with them to various events to upload photos and stream videos, mobile operators are struggling to provide enough wireless data at large venues. AT&T’s solution is to fly drones over the stadium to boost coverage. Since drones can send large amounts of data in real time, the idea is to have them tethered to the ground so that drones would hover in one place to increase wireless coverage.

Nike ditches safety pins, gives the runner’s bib a much-needed redesignWired

For serious runners and world class athletes, the safety pin bib situation is outdated and often frustrating. In modern sports, this relic once used by judges serves no purpose other than being another advertisement platform for sponsors. This year, Nike redesigned the bib, replacing the safety pin with the AeroSwift Bib, a high tech sticker. Unfortunately, Nike completed the project too late for this technology to get approval from the Olympic Organizing Committee, but the new bibs will hit the market soon.

Why Microsoft invests in sports: Marketing chief says ‘it’s about people’s passions’Geekwire

Micsosoft sees something unique in the sports industry – the people’s passion. It’s why they’ve signed a $400 million NFL deal to provide their Surface tablets to the sidelines, and why the Real Madrid soccer team is using Microsoft’s technology for their business operations and fan engagement strategy. The tech giant is putting time, money, and energy behind a handful of recently-inked sports partnerships to help boost its brand.