February 25, 2013

Where will technology take us?

Filed under: Sports — Giorgio Varlaro @ 4:53 am
Supplied via Google Images

Supplied via Google Images

Some of sports greatest minds were gathered for a panel discussion on ‘How Technology is Transforming the Business of Sport’. Within the panel were Jonathan Kraft, John Collins, Richard Brand and Chuck Pagano. Kraft is the President of the New England Patriots, Collins is the Chief Operating Officer of the NHL, Brand is a Sports & Media Attorney and Pagano is the Chief Technology Officer for ESPN. Moderating the panel was Forbes staff member Mike Ozianian. Major topics included rights fees, facility management, signage, the incorporation of 3-D and video games.

Opening up the discussion was Pagano, as it related to facility management with broadcasting. Pagano suggested that more cameras could be added on the field of play to further immerse fans with their favorite teams. No such examples were given, however Pagano made it clear future objectives would encourage compliments to the facility itself to heighten the fans experience.

Adding to the broadcast side was Kraft. Kraft suggested for sensors to be used on players. The sensors would draw data on biometrics; the identification of humans by their characteristics or traits. Information on how fast the player runs, how fast they throw and how much G-Force is used during a contest would increase the amount of information spectators have, thus further increasing the experience. Allowing for this increased information would be Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and imaging technology.

Changing the topic to signage was Brand. Brand relayed how technology has allowed for more advertisements to be displayed during an athletic contest. With the incorporation of electronic and virtual signs, eye catching advertisements can be portrayed on the scoreboard of the facility.

Building on this was Collins. When it relates to rights fees, technology can increase communication and interaction. Social Media, a big-time influencer of this, has the ability to increase traffic at facilities. Due to the portability of technology today, facilities are trying to draw fans away from their home with the hopes of landing them in seats at the facility. Having fans at the game physically is better for teams than having fans watch the games at home.

Rounding out the panel discussion was Pagano, Collins and Kraft. Pagano referred to the incorporation of 3-D, while Collins and Kraft referred to video games as being an influential technology transforming the business of sports.

3-D television was in its implementation stages in the winter of 2010, Pagano said. This is when ESPN and Pagano started toying around with the idea of 3-D televised sporting events. Pagano said it’s still a work in progress since 3-D cannot be shot the same way normal television is, but with Ultra HD coming out in the not so distant future, Pagano and ESPN are still trying to use this new technology to bring sports fans something they have yet to see.

Collins and Craft referred to video games as being influential in transforming fans. Fans now learn the rules and players of the game from a console rather than playing or watching. As stated by Collins, “Video games are one of the biggest connections the young demo has with sports.” It even has young high school athletes demanding more sophisticated offenses and defense of their coaches since the Madden video game divulges much of its game-play on realism.

To see the panel discussion, which was aired on the YES Network, please follow the link below.



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