Recently we attended the Future of Sport event hosted by BIMA to discover the latest technology trends and what's next in the world of sport.
Following on from last month’s hugely successful European Championships here in Glasgow, we headed to the aptly timed Future of Sport evening hosted by BIMA to learn about recent technology trends and digital transformation in sport.
Featuring a range of viewpoints, the expert guest speakers focused on different angles of digital innovation, from augmented reality designed to enhance fan engagement to IoT devices and technologies adopted by both elite and amateur athletes alike. Having worked in the sports tech arena previously, we're always curious about the impact of new technologies in this sector and we were delighted to hear how athletes were exploring the present and future of augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. We also heard how these technologies are helping to improve experiences for fans, teams and brands – while supporting increased participation, inclusivity and levels of performance.
The whole event was moderated by Kirsty Hepburn of the Sporting Chance Initiative, and the evening’s panel of speakers included:
Paul Diamond, Chief Client Officer at AmazeRealise (and sports fanatic), on The Future of Fan Engagement. Paul provided insight into new technologies being adopted by sports brands and how they're using advanced storytelling techniques (think Nike’s recent 30 year anniversary Just Do It campaign) to harness fans' experiences and its knock-on effect on sponsorship and revenue.
Emily Puddephatt, Senior Strategist at Stripe Communications on Making #TheMoment: Bringing Glasgow 2018 to life. Emily shared her experiences of social media and technology trends from planning and running the Glasgow 2018 marketing campaign.
Luke McCarthy, Founder of Pim-Pam on The Future of Sports Facilities. A really interesting take on how digital technology in Scottish sports facilities has led to increased opportunities, inclusivity and community engagement.
Stefan Raue, CTO at Global Rugby Network on Sporting Innovations and the Importance of Holistic Data Management. Stefan shared his knowledge of working with rugby organisations around the world as they adopt data management techniques via wearable devices and video analysis systems.
A key takeaway was that all the technologies being talked about are no longer hypothetical or going to happen a long way into the future. They're happening and available right now. Some great examples included augmented reality overlays of sports matches in realtime, jerseys studded with RFID chips at sports events record fan attendance, map fan movements around an arena and send targeted messaging, and the collation and deciphering of data through wearables to track realtime player performance.
In fact, it’s quite clear all this new technology is being tailor-made and purpose-built to optimise experiences and increase participation across all areas of the sporting sphere. Judging by the speed of adoption and integration the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will certainly be one to watch out for!