As professional sports leagues make plans to return after a multiple month hiatus, they are challenged with the task of keeping their players safe in an uncertain environment. Teams around the world are finding that their precautionary measures are futile as the virus continues to infiltrate organizations.
The longer this virus circulates, the more it seems like it could shape a new reality with long-term effects on society. Just like other businesses, sports leagues could benefit from using this time to adapt their approach and plan for the future. With dwindling in-person attendance long before the pandemic shut down stadiums, professional sports leagues are in desperate need of the revival that technology offers.
Here are a few ways that technology can be used to improve the professional sports industry.
Data Governance and Analytics in the Sports Industry
Between drafts, player contracts, game statistics and scorekeeping, technology solutions for professional sports leagues are a numbers game. This makes sports a prime use case for data governance, cloud computing and predictive analytics.
Sports analytics can be used to:
- Improve player performance through training and rehabilitation. There are many applications of data analytics for sports medicine. For instance, athletes are using PA to analyze biomechanics during training and recommend corrections for optimal performance.
- Build the playbook. While it’s normal to manually view hundreds of hours of game footage, technology solutions could streamline this process, allowing teams to adapt throughout the season. By analyzing player statistics and team performance quickly, a comprehensive data-driven view becomes available and sets your team up for success.
- Inform the drafting of players. Each year, a new wave of players become eligible for the draft. Here, drafting strategy is also informed by analyzing player data. Proactive and reactive strategies are necessary to secure top incoming players.
Augmented Reality for Custom Uniform Fitting
Technology applications for sports are not limited to the game itself – there are many other tasks that are completed in the long hours outside of playing time. To train and perform at their best, a team needs to be equipped with the optimal tools.
With this in mind, some teams have even turned to technology solutions that streamline the process of fitting their teams for uniforms. Cutting edge applications of augmented reality in sports allow teams to fit their players without the need for manual measurements and unnecessary human contact.
These simple body scans – taken anywhere by using an ordinary mobile phone – determine the fit that is right for the player, providing easy team uniform ordering, improving efficiency and reducing returns and exchanges.
IoT Technology to Improve Athlete Performance
RFID technology and sensors can be used to monitor athlete health and athletic performance, revealing opportunities for them to improve their game. However, IoT technology can also be used to transform the spectator experience.
Beacons, cameras and digital displays can turn traditional stadiums into smart stadiums, offering spectators convenience and interactivity. There are multiple benefits of “technologically sophisticated services” and “digital connectedness,” as Intel shares,
“Smart stadiums increase profitability, enhance the fan experience, and improve stadium security.”
Integrating a mobile app into the stadium experience could be just what sports need to take their game to the next level. Some of these features can even be made available to home viewers, allowing them to enjoy a version of the in-person experience from afar.
The Rise of the eSports Industry
Perhaps the most direct application of technology and sports, the popularity of eSports continues to climb, seeing major growth in the past five years. From viewer engagement and growing recognition as a legitimate industry, the interest in the eSports market has led to increasing investments and resulting revenue.
In lieu of in-person games, some professional athletes are turning to eSports for the opportunity to play in tournaments, connect with their fans and raise money for charity and COVID-19 relief efforts. Sports networks are enjoying the opportunities to air new content as NBA players and NFL athletes test their skills on a new platform.
The success of eSports thus far is exemplary of the new opportunities awaiting the sports industry as leagues choose to embrace technology.
Develop your Sports Technology Solution
If your team is interested in developing a technology solution, the team at 7T is ready to help. We have worked on multiple development projects in the sports industry, from the NextUp mobile app — to track fitness goals and encourage athletes to improve their performance — to FitFreedom and Rebel Athletic, augmented reality clothing apps for athletic uniforms and custom fittings.
In addition to mobile app and custom software development, we also specialize in data governance, offering tools for data lake creation and providing cloud integration services to help your business make the most of your data.
To discuss your idea for a custom mobile app or software solution, reach out to 7T today.