In today's fast-paced world, technology is revolutionising every aspect of our lives, and the world of sports is no exception. As we move forward, the future of sports promises exciting developments in terms of participation, engagement, fan experience, high performance and more. At Assemble Sports, we believe that embracing these advances in technology will lead to sports thriving at all levels, from elite competitions to grassroots programs. In this post, we will explore some key areas where technology will shape the future of sport, and some examples of where we believe it is leading and lagging in the broader technology industry.
- Sport leading the way in Augmented and Virtual Reality:
The future of sports lies in engaging fans on a deeper level, and technology plays a vital role in creating immersive experiences and fostering interactive connections. Whilst the jury is out for many on the direction of Augmented and Virtual Reality in many aspects of our lives, the Apple Vision Pro demonstration of where live sports engagement could go in this space was maybe one of the most compelling use cases presented by Apple and Disney. In presenting the game, linear broadcasters have needed to find the balance of presenting the vision, engaging, informing, and maybe educating the viewer while not overwhelming them with stats they may not understand or be interested in. The representation of how this could be presented via the Apple Pro - where just like at a real match, you can choose to watch the match or look up to the scoreboard/replays etc, by just moving your eyes - will now be a reality at home!
- The Next Wave of Sports Participation Technology:
The more prevalent use of registration software with integrated payment gateways has broken down some of the barriers and improved the accessibility of entry to sports. The first evolution of this has taken place; however, the majority of sports administrators and participants are still seemingly underwhelmed, given these technologies have not necessarily kept pace with the broader evolution of the software that we all experience in other areas of our lives.
Sport is sometimes on the cutting edge of innovation; however, arguably, the participant experience has not kept up with that of the sport consumer experience. Simply overlaying User Interfaces over an underlying legacy technology infrastructure is not the solution. Through more modern technology stacks, more user-friendly interfaces and, importantly, recognition by sports that this a critical area to invest to grow - there is much opportunity ahead. The advent of AI in this space may also play a role in some of the more complex tasks of running a sport, such as scheduling and venue management.
- Analytics from top to bottom:
Linked to the previous point, the investment to date in sports analytics has been in the performance and consumer space. There is much opportunity for this to evolve and improve; however, there have been significant advances to date. Again, however, the quality of analytics around the pipeline of both normal sports participants and from a talent identification perspective is somewhat behind. This is a function of limited systems that are accessible (price and function) in capturing relevant information in the first place and the quality of database solutions that underpin participant technology. The quality of analytics will continue to improve with the next wave of sports participation technology.