Over the past few years, prior to the empty stadiums we saw new engagement methods in the stadiums and on TV. The NFL’s partnership with AWS to show real-time analytics in motion is a great example that comes to mind. We’ve seen other leagues follow suit. If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that sports fans aren’t going to sit back and wait for coronavirus to end before engaging with their favorite teams. And that’s good for the four big sports leagues in the US and even soccer teams in Europe, which rely on ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise to fund their teams.
Topgolf is launching a new Angry Birds collaboration today that brings the mobile game to life in a virtual reality-like environment. Using Topgolf’s Toptracer ball-tracing technology—the same used by the PGA Tour—guests can partner with their favorite Angry Birds character to demolish virtual structures, defeat pigs and earn points and stars just like the mobile version of Angry Birds, only this time based on the velocity of the ball.
SoFi Stadium, the recently opened new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers NFL teams, is to become the first major venue in the US to implement digital twin technology through an agreement with Willow.
Willow will use big data gathered from every aspect of SoFi Stadium and the surrounding development to create a virtual copy of the stadium, delivering analytical insight to enhance the fan, resident and guest experience.
Digital twin technology converts all quantifiable aspects of physical buildings into living, learning and evolving virtual replicas. It enables venues to store, organise and access data generated by smart buildings, providing owners and facility managers with real-time insights to optimise aspects of the building’s operations.
Today at The Aspen Institute Project Play Summit 2020, TeamSnap CEO and Founder Dave DuPont announced that TeamSnap will commit $1 million over the next three years to improve access to sport for underserved youth athletes.
As part of the commitment, TeamSnap will be supporting a series of new programs to drive access to sport. This includes being a partner on The Aspen Institute’s Project Play 2024 initiative which mobilizes industry leaders to take actions around making sports accessible to all children, regardless of race, gender, zip code or ability. As well as a long-standing partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, an organization that recently announced their Million Coaches Challenge, a commitment to train over 400,000 coaches, with a focus on underserved communities.
“Access to quality sports is a very personal initiative for me. Playing team sports had an incredibly positive impact on all aspects of my life; they taught me key life skills and laid the foundation for a healthy lifestyle,” said DuPont. “I believe all children should have the same access to sport that I had growing up. I am immensely proud that TeamSnap is doing everything it can to support access to sport and our $1 Million commitment will go a long way towards helping ensure more young athletes get into the game.”
Over the past six months, TeamSnap has been a key resource in helping sports organizations and teams navigate the pandemic and make a safe return to play. Its Return to Sports resource hub has been heavily accessed and its new Health Check COVID-19 screening tool, which it is providing free to all of TeamSnap’s 24 million users, has already been used more than 4 million times.
Since its formation in 2009, TeamSnap has been single-mindedly focused on taking the work out of play. 24 million coaches, administrators, players and parents rely on TeamSnap’s powerful and easy-to-use tools for communication, scheduling, payment collection and registration, organizing every sport and group activity in the world. For more information, visit www.TeamSnap.com.
Powered by LiveLike, the parties will include streaming Q&As with the players before, at halftime and after the games, a live chat room during the game and other features intended to enhance the viewing experience.
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage with our fans and bring LaLiga, its clubs and players closer to them,” said LaLiga North America CEO Boris Gartner. “This partnership provides our fans a unique experience of watching LaLiga’s biggest matches with former LaLiga players and legends, and other fans who share the same passion for football.”
“LaLiga is creatively bringing VIP activations to big matches using our interactive technology, and we look forward to continuing to work with them – as well as other leagues, teams and brands looking to bring fans closer to the action through watch parties and other premium experiences that we believe will continue to be long after the pandemic,” added Miheer Walavalkar, CEO and co-founder of LiveLike.
Some fans watching the National League Championship Series between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers will have the opportunity to customize their viewing experience thanks to a partnership between Fox Sports and Samsung utilizing 5G technology.
The Fox Sports 5G View Powered by Samsung is a bonus app experience that is available exclusively for 5G-enabled Android smartphone users. Through the app, users have the ability to zoom in/out during live games; they have five unique camera angles from around the diamond; highlights are updated throughout the game for fans to access; and fans can rewind up to three minutes prior during live games.
One of the people I admire most in the sports technology industry is NFL CIO Michelle Mckenna. Michelle is a leader in digital transformation and her work at the NFL is something that I always look to as best practice in the industry. Great interview here with Michelle on the AWS Executive Insights podcast.
In the world of biomechanics, Dr. Benno Nigg needs no introduction. Originally from Switzerland, he completed his PhD at the renowned ETH Zurich in 1975 before becoming Director of the same university’s Biomechanics Laboratory. In 1981, he accepted an invitation to found the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary in Canada, which has been the home for his award-winning research ever since.
The inescapable topic in the world of performance running and racing right now is the point at which the advantage provided by running shoe technology becomes unfair. Recently, this led to a revision of the rules governing competition shoes for elite athletes.
“Previously there was only rule that you cannot have an unfair advantage – by putting a spring in the shoe, for example.” Benno explained.
“I think we also needed the rules relating to the height and structure of the material in the heel. Because it was getting to the point where things could get crazy – we’re starting to see heel technology that is like a spring. There should be a functional reason for the technology that is there and we’re starting to see shoes where there is no functional reason for some of that technology."
In keeping with the organisation’s history as a leader in leveraging technological innovation to enhance the fan experience, the San Francisco 49ers announced that Levi’s Stadium will be among the first wave of NFL venues to complete the transition to a cashless payment model whenever fans are able to return to the venue.
Coupled with introducing what the team refers to as its Member Inclusive Menu this year, the shift to digital payments will enable Levi’s Stadium to minimize touchpoints for fans while reducing interactions with stadium concessions staff members in an effort to help all parties stay safe and healthy. While these changes have become essential in the Covid-19 environment, the benefits will serve customers long after the pandemic has ended.
How technology is helping Wolves, Leeds and other Premier League clubs avoid injuries in hectic season
A growing number of Premier League clubs are turning to in-game monitoring systems to track live performance data in order to tailor workload and keep players clear of the dreaded red zone.
One of the companies pioneering the technology is the Northern Ireland-based STATSports. Their offering consists of a GPS device, worn by players during games and in training, which records a host of physical metrics related to speed, distance covered and intensity.
Their newly-released Sonra technology ensures the data can be viewed and downloaded with unprecedented speed and accuracy to multiple devices, including iPads and bespoke wristwatches which can be worn by coaches, physios and even the players themselves.