Why B2B technology is now front and centre of live-action sports

19th September 2019

Industry | 4 minute read

Live-action sport commands more passion and loyalty than any other event, often dividing families, friends and even nations. From the excitement of a team landing a last-minute point, through to the victory of the underdog, the sporting world drives more engagement amongst fans than any other industry in the world. 

As our interest evolves, so too must the technology. Like many industries, sports and entertainment are going through a period of digital transformation, with an ever-increasing focus allocated to improving the way fans interact with their favourite team or event. 

From using data analytics to let fans know where a tennis player needs to hit a ball to score a point, to helping sports leagues better understand their fans, technology companies are reshaping the sports and entertainment landscape. The main premise? To enable sports teams to share their story in the most authentic way possible. 

Examples of B2B Technology in play

Formula 1 

Today’s modern racing car can throw up to three terabytes of data every 90-minute race – and there are endless ways in which that data can be analysed, cross-referenced and articulated. Each car is covered in sensors measuring every aspect of their performance as well as the driver, allowing fans (and the competition!) to consume far more information regarding the race strategy of each team, than ever before. 

With thousands of data points firing every minute, Formula 1 has since moved the majority of its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to better process, handle and enhance its data tracking. Whilst this season has introduced the ability to further analyse ‘pit’ strategies and foresee the race winner, Formula 1 is working closely with AWS to deliver yet more race metrics to change the way fans and teams experience racing – and we can’t wait. 

Cycling 

Previously reliant on sharing cycle speeds manually on a chalkboard, races like the Tour de France have been catapulted into a data haven. In 2015, racers were fitted with trackers to send real-time notifications detailing their location. This soon evolved into real-time updates of track speed, and later, complemented by third party data such as how changes in weather conditions, terrain or even other riders, may impact race performance. Connecting data across on and offline formats ensures that fans can keep tabs on the event, promoting further engagement and consumption time – and ultimately, driving interest amongst new fans in the process.

Football

Love it or hate it, VAR or ‘video-assisted referee’ is now a prominent component of the UK’s largest football league with the aim to spot mistakes or foul play. Whilst it is a hotly contested addition to the game (largely due to its disruptive nature) it is set to be used alongside two longer-standing technologies in order to determine the performance and output of a football match.

The HawkEye system closely monitors the ball’s path around the goal, using sensors to track the ball and player movements precisely to determine whether a ball has crossed the goal-line. In addition, GoalRef and GoalControl have been added to the game to complement HawkEye. Using 14 high-speed cameras and a magnetic field sensor, these tools are in place to rule out unfair advantage.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that technology alone can determine the outcome of a game, making us wonder – how much longer will the role of a human referee be in place?

B2B technology is making sport far more accessible for fans all across the world, allowing consumers to really immerse themselves in live-action events more than ever before, and this is only the beginning. Using technology in clever ways such as these can help to make the fan experience convenient, which ultimately leads to increased fan engagement and a better relationship between fans and their teams.

Author: Vicki Maggs-Sleath, Account Director

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At onebite, we’re proud to work with some of the most innovative B2B technology brands in the world. If you would like to find out more about the work we deliver with our partners in this space, contact us at hello@onebite.co.uk

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