Sports technology, commonly referred to as sports tech, is an industry that is expanding at a rapid pace and has revolutionized the way athletes, coaches, and fans interact with sports. The sports tech market encompasses a diverse range of technologies, and during the first quarter of 2023, we have witnessed several innovations that have had a significant impact on the industry. Here is a summary of some of the most notable trends that emerged during this period.
Increased use of generative AI
Generative AI has potential in sports technology, enabling analysis and optimization of strategies, prediction of outcomes, and tailored training regimens.
Sports marketing departments are also benefiting from AI with image-producing capabilities, chatbots for customer service, and simplified workflows for content creators and community managers, improving communication and relationships with fans.
New means of data collection & distribution
Data is increasingly impacting various sectors in the sports industry, including athletic performance, betting, and in-game fan engagement.
The collection, distribution, and use of data will continue to grow. Fan data collection will become even more important, especially with new privacy measures by Apple and changes to targeted ads by Facebook and Google.
To adapt, organizations should focus on zero-party data collection methods.
Sports content has entered a new age
Sports content is evolving due to several factors. Netflix’s sports documentaries, such as “The Last Dance” and “Drive to Survive,” sparked a trend in candid looks into the lives of athletes.
Fans seek behind-the-scenes content, including locker room footage and personal vlogs, to feel closer to athletes.
This trend also allows athletes to become content creators and tell their own stories.
Niche sports can also grow in popularity with behind-the-scenes documentation, such as “Drive to Survive” did for F1.
The digitalization of sports broadcasting is disrupting the industry, with broadcasters aiming to provide a personalized experience and high-quality streaming while maintaining speed. 3D and 4K technologies offer advanced streaming quality.
Over-the-top platforms deliver live streams to internet-enabled devices, providing multi-device access from anywhere.
Virtual reality streaming offers an immersive experience, allowing fans to switch seats and angles. T
hese technologies improve the quality of broadcasting and provide accurate information to fans during matches.
Sports tech startups are integrating technologies to enhance the in-venue match experience for fans and increase revenue streams.
AI-based crowd sentiment analysis tracks emotions during the game to quantify fan enjoyment.
Drones could simplify cleaning and snack delivery to seats.
The Internet of Things (IoT) improves smart stadium connectivity and bandwidth, enabling fast check-ins, parking spot location, and app usage without waiting.
Coaches and athletes are adopting immersive training technologies to improve performance, practice new tactics, and train for matches.
Virtual reality (VR) technology provides a realistic simulation of sporting environments, allowing for training and recreation of live events.
3D sensor technology enhances the experience by providing realistic sights, sounds, touch, and even smells of the stadium.
These technologies improve coordination between players and provide data on trainee performance and athlete strengths.
New uses for NFTs
NFTs have been used for game highlights and memorabilia ownership in the sports world.
However, this year is set to be the year of NFT ticketing. NFT tickets offer increased security with unique QR codes, reducing fraud and illegal reselling.
NFT ticketing also eliminates anonymous second buyers and allows sports organizations to better understand who is attending events while enabling royalties on secondary sales for event organizers