Sports tech matters was the highlight in today’s All That Matters Online 2020. The conversations that took place in today’s event focused on a number of areas – what is sports tech, where does it come from, why does it matter, how has the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated sports tech, how is the emerging technologies accelerating this and how can sports organisations, rights holders, federations and brands are going to help drive sports tech.
Travis McDonough, Founder and CEO of Kinduct, an Athlete Management System shared that “everyone is trying to get an advantage, everyone is lean into innovation, capturing all kinds of different species of information, trying to get the upper hand. So there’s an embracement of data elicitation and matrix of all kinds.” Some of things Travis has seen changed in the sports tech space is the “rise of derive matrix that are validated and that have context and meaning behind it so i think that’s certainly something that is a major breakthrough.”
“The other thing is the rise of the athlete saying hey this is my data, i’d like to use the data, protect the data, authenticate it to who i want to when i want to. So you’re starting to see a little bit of a power surge from the team or the league, the agent and athlete themselves. That’s a real unique trend that we’re starting to see. There’s more control from the individual stand point. Those are the two major points that we’re seeing in the athlete space.” McDonough adds.
Speaking on how the WHOOP Strap helped a user detect that he was tested positive for Covid-19, was Kristen Holmes, Vice President Performance Science at WHOOP. She said “We have this great opportunity to use data to see how your health is trending.”
Another insightful topic of conversation was new models for the sports media rights business in Asia-Pacific. In this, Chief Media Officer of Formula E, Aarti Dabas shared “it’s a great time for rights owners to actually realise their business models and talk about where this is headed. It’s really important for rights owners, what used to happen in the past is that you did deals, you handed over all your assets, brands and fans to broadcasters. They did a great job at packaging all your rights.”
“In the process, the rights owners never had a direct relationship with the fans and i think now is the time. The direct to consumer relationship is important. The fans are there, they are watching. We have to tap into them and get them back on their screens.”
SVP Head of IMG Media Asia Pacific, Chris McGuiness adds that “There are huge opportunities in investing in specific sports that perhaps proud themselves as being global but is struggling in different parts of the world. Broadly, i think the interest in private equity endorses why sports is attractive. While i’m optimistic, those private equity investors still need a reason in that investment. If i was private equity, i’d definitely look at certain sports to invest in and the whole phenomenon of sports betting is something that is intriguing and will continue to feel growth all over the world.”
OTT: The Democratisation of Online Entertainment – How to Sustain Business Following a Crisis Where OTT Went from Luxury to Necessity, is another conversation that stole the show as well. Media advisor Jennifer Batty posed a question to Jil Go, VP of Globe Telecom on how Covid-19 has changed fan engagement. Jil shared “Global consumers have turned to digital channels. 200 plus increase in terms of installation. E-commerce have seen alot of growth.”
Esther Nguyen, CEO of Pops was asked whether or not she found if people are more engaged in the last couple of months and how she was able to keep her community within the Pops app. She explained, “We didnt really see that big of a peak just because Vietnam and Thailand are already big video consumption markets. We saw alot of overlap between our users going from music to eSports to comic. Thats how we’re bridging the communities together, by overlapping all the contents”.
Needless to say, just from the various exchange in opinions and insights from some of the biggest sports and tech corporations at the event today, the takeaway would be that the relationship between sports and technology will continue to prosper, and at an incredibly rapid speed. So, while users are being spoiled for choices, corporations could well be laughing their way to the bank.