INITION attended the Sports Performance Data & Fan Engagement Summit 2018 in London.
The event itself was attended by over 300 marketing, brand and analysis professionals across a range of sports including attendees from The FA, Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and International Cricket Council (ICC) alongside the likes of WWE and the NBA.
It has fast become one of the leading events for top decision-makers in elite performance and the sports tech industry.
As VR/AR in Sport is poised to become of of the largest trends in tech, the biggest takeaway was something that we have been aware of for some time now –
technology is nothing without offering genuine business value. Whether the goal is to increase dwell time within stadiums, build fan loyalty or simply to create a new revenue stream, there needs to be demonstrable ROI.
Sports thrive on data, as any devotee of player statistics already knows. For example, VR is lauded for its ability to essentially transport the user into a different world. Users can interact with this computer-generated world using natural physical motions and gestures. Every motion the user makes is perceived and recorded by the software driving the simulation and allows for a player’s performance to be analyzed and optimized to an incredible degree. This is what makes virtual reality and sports such a natural fit.
Sports is certainly one of the most popular verticals for immersive tech. It is clear that there has been an interest in the use of technology with the likes of World Rugby, WWE, and the NBA all speaking about how they have taken tentative steps to explore how VR/AR/MR could help their organisations.
We are now at a crucial time for sports and technology organisations to evolve their conversations beyond the novelty and begin to think about how they will become key tools in the business in the near future to increase engagement and create competitive advantage.
Combine a fans’ willingness to pay a premium price for a premium experience, and sports is one of the best verticals to focus on when launching a new sports technology project.