SportsTech Conference in Philadelphia
ARIE Capital recently attended the SeventySix Capital Sports Innovation Conference at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia where Wayne Kimmel and his team introduced a variety of panels and pitches in the field of Sports Technology, or “SportsTech” as it has come to be known.
Hearing insights from sporting legends such as retired MLB great Ryan Howard, NBA All Star Ralph Sampson and former NBA Commissioner David Stern (among others) provided an illuminating insight into how sports stars can leverage their knowledge and status to transition into the business of sports and improve not only themselves but also the sporting environment as a whole.
Although it is sometimes perceived as more specialized or less mainstream than other areas of the industry, SportsTech is on the cutting edge of the technological advances being made in 2019. All kinds of incredible innovators are out there creating ingenious new technologies that could revolutionize the future of sport and beyond.
It also happens to be one of the most democratizing areas of the technology world. Whereas some areas of Life Sciences may be restricted to qualified medical professionals and certain sectors of IoT are accessible only to tech aficionados, much of SportsTech is designed specifically to appeal to the millions of youth and amateur sports players out there as well as the elite professional athletes.
If you or members of your family participate in any kind of sports or even an exercise regime at the gym, then these technological advances could impact your life without you even being aware of it.
One of the most-talked about pieces of SportsTech at the conference came from Diamond Kinetics, a company that has put a sensor inside a baseball to collect data about its movement. Using this data, players and coaches can gather a huge amount of information about how a pitcher is throwing and how a batter is hitting.
This information can then be used to help those players improve their game, to spot patterns and inconsistencies, to show them what they need to work on and how to improve. This same technology can be used by the most famous MLB players and kids in little league softball alike. Whatever their level, everyone can benefit from sports technologies like this.
ARIE Capital has long been interested in the SportsTech area. One of our investee companies in this sector, IntelliGym (www.intelligym.com) continues to go from strength to strength. Via its revolutionary video game-like technology, the IntelliGym system helps players focus on skills like their awareness, reading plays, anticipation, decision-making under pressure, execution, long-term concentration and avoiding errors.
Working with the visionaries at Juss Intellisports in Shanghai, IntelliGym has begun to roll its platform out across China so that the next generation of soccer players can reap its benefits, as detailed in this great article from Sixth Tone: http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1004786/chinese-soccer-turns-to-video-games-to-train-future-stars .
But SportsTech touches much more than just what happens on the field, fascinating as that is. Expert panelists discussed how they have been taking advantage of the latest technology, including AR, sensors and social media platforms such as TikTok, to enhance the fan experience not only on matchday inside the stadium but also for the millions of fans who are watching at home, possibly thousands of miles away, to help them feel as involved as possible.
There are tens of millions of fans in places like China that will probably never set foot inside the United Center in Chicago to watch the Bulls play a basketball game, or that might never make it to Old Trafford to enjoy a Manchester United football match. SportsTech challenges us all as innovators to help make these fans feel just as involved as if they were there in person.
In short, it helps brands engage with their fans, wherever in the world it might be, not only during matches but also in the build-up and aftermath.
For example, ARIE Capital’s media platform CUJU helps to bring the excitement of the English Premier League to a football-obsessed Chinese fanbase that has been yearning to feel closer to their fellow fans thousands of miles away. By bringing them the tension and excitement before the game, followed by the glory and pain of its immediate aftermath, CUJU’s content serves as a perfect complement to the action itself, augmenting the sporting experience and bridging the geographical gap between clubs and the fans that so ardently follow them.
You can check out CUJU’s latest videos right here and get involved in the action: https://space.bilibili.com/388155334 .
In the meantime, ARIE Capital continues to keep a close eye on the innovations being made across the SportsTech arena. We look forward to learning more and speaking to all the SportsTech innovators out there!