The Use of Modern Technology in The Sports Industry

November 8, 2018 | Rob LaPointe

When it comes to the sports industry there is no shortage of teams, fans, gear, and anything else you can think of. The amount of money and effort that gets put into sports teams is vast. People dedicate their lives to knowing player’s stats and cheering their team on. It’s an industry where technology can truly thrive.

Reducing Player Injuries

Over the years it’s become very apparent that player injuries need to be taken more seriously. For a long time, both players and fans were unaware of what long-term effects the sports injuries have on them. Fast forward to 30 or so years later those same players exhibit serious mental and physical disabilities. If properly diagnosed and or caught early these life-altering problems could have been avoided.

A sport that causes more issues than most is football. Right now the NFL is testing out smart helmets which allows them to determine how a hit has impacted the player’s head allowing them to make smarter choices about whether to keep them in the game or not and what care to provide them. Those helmets can also take more of the impact which keeps the players from sustaining more serious injuries. This is a real game-changer, especially with this sport.

The data we receive from these types of technologies can help alter the game itself. Understanding what and how these injuries are happening can allow the rules of the game to change to keep those injuries from happening.

Player physicians and doctors can help these players better by providing them with more accurate details about their injuries and how they should go about treating them. There is already a lot of healthcare that is implementing more advanced technologies which help doctors and patients so why no diagnose and treat patients better.

Fans Involvement

People can’t get enough of sports apps which allow them to manage their fantasy games. Social media gives them the ability to stay connected to their favorite players. They can gamble, play games, be involved in contests, and more. Let’s be honest, fans can be really intense and want to be involved in as much game interaction as possible.

Now, we even have Virtual Reality (VR) which gives fans the ability to feel like they are practically in the game. It can be pretty expensive and difficult to get a ticket to a sports game but with VR you can watch the game as if you were standing right next to the coaches. Heck, it can be better than actually being at the game. This is especially true when you are sitting in the nosebleed seats barely able to see the ball and paying $15 for a hot dog.

There is so much more that can be done with VR besides the fans ability to watch a game. It can help players train, the medical staff treat the players, and even coaches coach. There is still a lot of room for VR apps in the sports industry when it comes to making improvements as well change the way fans enjoy viewing the games.

Game improvements

The judgments made during games are another serious issue that has been talked about for years in just about every sport. Judgment calls can be wrong because after all we are human and we make mistakes. Therefore, the right technology can help them make more accurate decisions.

There have way too many problems in the industry due to a lack of accuracy and sometimes even biased opinions that can sway someone’s judgment. We don’t necessarily do it on purpose but it does happen. Fans, players, coaches, and media don’t waste any time talking about how ridiculous a judgment call is.

We’ve seen sports adopting tech to double-check calls such as football referees can look at replays to see something from many angles in slow motion. That is in its simplest form of course. A more advanced approach is sensors around the field gathering data and providing answers within an instant of what happened.

A slight negative is sometimes having to review the data to make more accurate decisions means spending more time which slows down the game a bit. Although, that is the downfall, in the end having the right decisions being made makes it worth it. As technology grows and becomes more advanced, those decisions will get faster.

Data Collection

The amount of data that we can gather from practices and games allows all involved to learn about players and every other aspect of the game. It can help everyone make more accurate decisions like never before. The internet of things (IoT) is the best example of how data can be gathered from almost any angle. Cameras and sensors can be placed almost anywhere to gather information.

Even sports reporters benefit because they can provide more accurate data for improving their job as well. Rather than simply looking at the game footage they can actually receive real data about every part of the game and why certain plays happened the way they did.

Colleges and pro scouts can make better decisions about who to take because again the data on each player is more accurate. Of course, scouts still need to watch the game footage to truly grasp the type of player they are considering but the extra data makes the decision-making process easier.

Let’s look at technologies like Hawk-Eye, no not the Marvel superhero character, but this tech is a superhero in the sports industry world. It takes 600 frames per second. This can be used in any sport. Hawk-Eye then takes that data, analyzes it and provides the results. Referees are using it to get accurate results to show if a player or ball has actually reached the goal line. Many sports are now changing the way they view this. A few examples of this are

Baseball: This sport has now put a system in place to replay certain plays to keep or reverse some decisions made by the umpires.

Tennis: When a ball is close to the line a call can be reviewed to make sure that the call is accurate and is reversed if it isn’t.

Basketball: Last touch results and ball releases can be reviewed within the last 2 minutes of the game to ensure decision accuracy.

There is so much room for technology in the sports industry. We are only at the beginning of using it to improve sporting results and more. Fan participation is being reshaped into something that years ago we never thought possible. Apps, AI, Machine Learning, and IoT technologies are completely reshaping the industry and for the better.

Do you have an idea which could help improve the sports industry through technology? Contact Rob LaPointe at 408.805.0495 or contact us here to start the discussion and see what advances you can make to the industry.

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