Innovation and Adaptation in Sport’s Return to Action

One of the recurring themes we’ve touched on over the course of the disruption that COVID-19 has brought to sporting competitions is the unexpected opportunity and time to refocus on strategic innovation. With many seasonal sports generally time poor in terms of existing obligations and time commitments, the lockdown and unusual circumstances surrounding sport’s return has provided numerous examples of leagues stepping up.

Remote Cheering

As competitions slowly launch without fans in attendance, a new industry segment has rapidly emerged. How to allow fans not physically present at a game to still engage with a live game taking place and feel like they are contributing to the atmosphere in the arena or stadium.

One particular trend that has been discussed by multiple leagues is the ability for fans to use a mobile app to cheer virtually. The idea is that a fan can choose from a number of potential options, and their response (cheer, boo, whistle, trademark chant, etc) is reflected in the noise coming out of speakers around the stadium. Leagues are likely wary, but it would potentially help combat some of the critiques from fans around the inauthenticity of piped in crowd noise to add atmosphere.

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Upping the Broadcast Experience

As part of a partnership between Amazon Web Services and Germany’s Bundesliga, soccer fans will be provided with an enhanced viewing experience. Access to advanced statistics such as average player positions and expected goals, personalised player and team information as well provide additional insights. With an increased focus on the remote fan experience, this provides an interesting extra layer to the broadcast experience.

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Next Generation Video and Analytics

Synergy Sports has been working with leagues around the world to look at how automated video capture and production will aid their growth and return to competition. The America East conference has become the first to make use of a new and combined technology stack as part of a partnership with Synergy Sports Technology. AE basketball teams will install cutting edge automated cameras into their arenas to track, record and log game action.

The coaching staff of each America East team will benefit from receiving fully tagged footage of games delivered directly into the Synergy system for detailed analysis. This will reduce the process from one day to just two hours, providing coaches with more time for analysis and to act on the insight before the next game. Following America East’s example, collegiate conferences all over the United States will also be able to benefit from the technology.

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The Future of Sports Broadcasting

Synergy recently hosted the first of two roundtables that we’ve partnered with the Sports Tech World Series covering the Future of Sports Broadcasting