With summer coming to an end, we’ve taken a look at the innovations surrounding the commencing of new Premier League football, American football and basketball seasons.
Football season digital kick-off
International football social media leagues: As the football season gets well underway, the results of Future Sports’ European Digital Football study across six social media platforms has revealed that FC Barcelona has the biggest digital reach, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City all in the top ten.
Premier League players’ brand value: The brand values of individual Premier League players significantly shifts after the first weekend of the season, according to the Brandtix sports index which measures on-pitch statistics and social media reach to draw up an overview of a player’s commercial worth. According to the index, Joe Hart’s marketing appeal took the biggest hit over the opening weekend. With the keeper dropped from the squad for the first fixture, Brandtix estimated that Hart’s brand value dropped 9% with 52% of the social media reaction to the keeper being negative. Zlatan Ibrahimovic currently sits at the top of the Brandtix valuations
Anfield in 360: Standard Chartered Bank have released a 360-degree tour of Anfield, narrated by club legend John Barnes. With 360-degree video becoming more and more popular, this particular content capitalises on incorporating a proper story within the visuals, with the video capturing a Jurgen Klopp team tal, following players as they head onto the pitch and being amongst a singing crowd.
Man City’s CityMatchDay App: A recent review of Manchester City’s CityMatchDay app has revealed the mobile apps’ significant strengths in enhancing fans’ matchday experience. A tile-based opening page targets separate customer segments with Live Video menu giving insight into the build-up, analysis and overhead drone footage. It was pointed out, however, that the app lacks in dynamic mapping for match attendees.
LA Galaxy Virtual Reality: Across the Atlantic, Virtual Reality company Laduma has provided headsets loaded with LA Galaxy content, which ‘focuses on telling player stories’. The content is meant to bring fans closer to the team through an LA Galaxy VR app, with the aim of expanding the fan base. A five part series looks into the lives of already-popular Galaxy players, including Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, and Robbie Keane.
We looked at the rise of Esports back in March. Since then, the electronic system-powered sport, most often seen in the form of organised multiplayer video game competitions, has continued its meteoric rise to both public prominence and commercial success.
Twitter aired the Eleague final as well as adding eSports to their live streaming line-up. Twitter’s CFO stated that “Gamers are one of the largest and most engaged audiences on Twitter...we are thrilled to bring them live content from Eleague and Twitter...all on one screen.” Yahoo eSports has also struck a deal with ESL to broadcast more eSport events across their platforms, bringing new sponsorship opportunities.
Meanwhile, Genvid, a New York-based video content company, has aimed to bring a ‘revolutionary’ new approach to eSports broadcasting, to counter the issue that the sport cannot match typical sports broadcasting in that the nature of it doesn’t allow for different viewing angles for viewers. Genvid aim to break up the monotony of single camera angles with multiple angles and interactivity, including allowing spectators to control the camera view, and point to the current focus on players rather than spectators as a failure of eSports: “There’s a massive audience out there that developers could monetise directly if they had the right tools”.
A US round-up
With the National Football League season kicking off this weekend and the National Basketball Association games and the National Baseball League starting next month, tech and social media innovations from across the pond continue to serve as inspiration to our sporting leagues.
The NFL is generally seen as the more popular league, generating 65% more interest online than the NBA. Having struck a high-profile deal with the NFL to livestream Thursday night football games, Twitter is further supporting the National Football League by giving every single NFL team its own emoji and assigned hashtag in the run up to the new season. Twitter has also committed to the NBA however, with an exclusive deal to stream non-game content for the 2016-2017 season. The platform has also announced streaming partnerships with the National Hockey League and numerous college conferences.
Facebook has missed out on NFL live streaming and is lagging behind Twitter in sports streaming in general (although has carved a niche in broadcasting live kit and player reveals) Facebook has committed to live streaming US college football,
From an ecommerce perspective, NBL baseball team the San Francisco 49’ers have announced a deal with Amazon Prime Now, enabling fans to order game-day essentials and have them delivered within the hour to the stadium’s parking lots. The US is also still leading the way in terms of the connected stadium, with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings equipping their new Golden 1 Center with wideband multimode fiber technology keeping pace with NBA’s data bandwidth needs.
Other DigiSport developments:
La Liga looking to trial video refs: the top football division of the Spanish football league have confirmed that they want their officials to trial video referees next season.
China using drones for football analysis: as part of their plan to become a world football superpower, the Chinese football industry are investing in AI drones analysing player performances.
US Open App making use of Wimbledon tech: IBM Watson, the unique data analysis technology used to create real-time Wimbledon statistics, has been utilised by the US Open, powering the official app.
High-tech mouthguards: The University of Washington is using digital mouthguards to measure the impact and effect of head impacts in their American football players.