Sports technology: A winning match-up
Sports technology

Game changing: Why we think sports and technology are a winning match-up

We’re all pretty sports focused here at Now Towers: This year, members of the team have signed up to do the Tower 42 run, the Etape du Tour and the Nice Half Marathon (Ken even has a Blue Peter badge for rock climbing!) and we also love our technology. What really excites us though is how the combination of the two presents some really exciting opportunities for business.

Sport is social

We all know watching a big match on your own just isn’t the same as it is with mates, but with social platforms, fans can share their views and emotions with the world whether they be at the Maracana or at home on the sofa: Last year’s World Cup final generated 618,000 tweets per minute at its peak, demonstrating the power of the platform to engage a global audience.

 This gets really exciting when startups and existing established companies start harnessing these online conversations to enable brands, rightsholders and clubs to get closer to the fans.

Pulselive and Grabyo are just two young companies creating new ways to reach out to fans and “own” the the online conversation, providing a crossover between a live event or broadcast and other platforms.  It’s a nascent sector and one that we think has real potential over the next few years.

Backing a winner

We’ll try and avoid the betting puns as much as possible, but the combination of sports betting and technology innovation is a bet we’d put our house on.  Money’s a great motivator in any market and in one where revenues from sport have rocketed in recent years, and where punters seem to have an almost inexhaustible appetite for new bet types, it’s no surprise to us that the betting industry has invested so much in new technology and has become a powerful partner to sports clubs, federations and broadcasters

The interesting bit for us though is the effect it has on innovation: Developers are building better platforms that work across more and more devices to cater for an ever more mobile customer base (According to Push Technology, mobile devices have already overtaken PC and laptop as bettors’ device of choice), while data and video providers are encouraged to develop ever more detailed and engaging formats for their clients to improve their clients’ betting offering. That means we can now bet on our local side (the high-flying Brentford FC) and follow the game through near real-time graphic visualisations thanks to live data products from the likes of Perform Group.

In fact, even in restricted markets betting seems to breed creativity: Companies like Fanduel and Draft Kings are inking multi-million dollar deals with official leagues and teams to run Fantasy sports games in jurisdictions where traditional sports betting is banned. Wish we’d thought of that…

So good old TV sport is dead, right?

Not by a long shot. In fact, it’s never offered such an engaging experience (with the exception of Alan Shearer’s half-time “insights”).  Whether watching Jeff Stelling and the boys on a saturday afternoon or the serve analysis during live tennis from Wimbledon, innovations in data analysis and graphics packages have provided an ever more colourful, accessible and informative experience for seasoned fans and newcomers alike. Its all thanks to innovative companies like Hawk-Eye, Opta, Vizrt and Deltatre and we’re pretty convinced that as the demands of the TV viewer change, we’ll see more and more innovation in this space.

All that’s great, but where do we fit in?

Well, we won’t kid you: We’re not the tech experts – we leave that to the entrepreneurs and coders creating and exploiting all these great opportunities. Where we do know our stuff though, is in distilling what really makes products and services great, building interest in them through compelling content and ultimately securing business through a programme of carefully planned, targeted and tracked communications. We reckon this, along with our background in and passion for sports make us the ideal partner for companies in the sports technology space looking to grow their client list in 2015.

Sound interesting?  drop us a line and let us buy you a coffee – It could be the start of a winning partnership.

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