In recent years, technology has taken the world of sports by force. It has had an effect on almost every aspect of how we view and compete in all types of sport. Information is transferred almost instantaneously, training and gear have become far more efficient, and now more than ever, more people are able to experience sporting activities like they never have before. Take a look at these four ways in which the business of sports has been forever changed.
Safety and Training
Technology has changed the dynamic of equipment design entirely. Gloves, shoes, pads, and helmets have all evolved into high-tech super protectors for athletes. With high-definition recording and wireless information transfer available, teams are better able to prepare and review their performance.
One of the most excellent accelerations in safety technology is the production of a new super helmet from Riddell. Concussions have posed a long-fought battle for years of blood, sweat, and play. With Riddell’s new inflation and sensor technology, smart helmets have arisen. The helmet features five points with sensors that are able to detect and disperse excessive collision force. There are also five inflatable air pockets on the temples, frontal area, and the back of the helmet to reduce impact.
The term virtual sports can apply to a couple different things. Fantasy Football is an excellent example of a rising trend referred to as eSports. Brad Nierenberg spends most of his time studying the quickly emerging business of eSports and is considered an expert in the field.
Nierenberg was quoted stating that, “The iPad gave birth to an age of touch-screen natives. They are accustomed to on-demand digital engagement and play on their own terms with people around the globe. eSports events are a natural extension of this phenomenon.”
Digital and Social Media
Digital media has revolutionized the way in which we receive sports information. The radio or television are no longer our main source of information. Tablets, cell phones, instant replays, slow motion, high definition, the list goes on and on. Access is ubiquitous.
Social media spreads words like wildfires. Twitter and Facebook have built a platform for fans to communicate with athletes in real time. Twenty years ago it would have sounded a bit insane to suggest that a person could “Tweet” the favorite pop star and the star would actually “Tweet” them a message in return. The option to connect with icons on this level has changed the way fame works in sports.
All the major sports leagues in the U.S. have begun using some type of analytics to more adequately track and analyze player performance. The NBA uses SportVU cameras all around the arenas to collect up to 25 points of data every second. The NFL and Zebra Technologies has begun working together to collect data from sensors in a player’s shoulder pads. These sensors (tags) transfer information to officials, coaches, and players 25 times per second, offering an invaluable look at performance.