“It’s no exaggeration that digital technology is transforming the world of sports—boosting fans’ appreciation of games, enhancing athletes’ public profiles, informing athletes’ training methods, even influencing how contests are waged” – Reggie Bradford, Oracle.
If we deepen how much technology involves our lives, it could be easy to understand how crucial the provision of technology is in sport.
I’d like to analyze the Bradford’s sentence which opened this article, pointing out some aspects that most of us never took in consideration, but those are actually characters of the reason why we love sport that much.
1. The value of data for performances:
Last article was about Zebra Technologies, a company that provides metrics about the movements on the fields of NFL’s athletes. Data is used by media and clubs to displays stats and organize an athletes training session.
Also, The Warriors were one of the first NBA teams to use the Stats SportVU system – GPS-enabled cameras that collect data on ball and player movement at 25 times per second throughout a game.
Those were just examples of the changing which is interesting the world of sport.
Information is the key of success, and information are provided by technology.
Also, let’s think about the relationship between sport and innovation: the motors used in cars or motorbike competitions, that are developed for the motors and the technologies of tomorrow, regarding environment, performances and solutions.
Clubs know exactly athletes’ performances and conditions, they can adjust training sessions to improve specific weakness that nobody instead a sensor or a camera could have ever seen before.
The only ones who succeed are those not reluctant to changing, they adapt and start enjoying the advantages and support and they use it for they own advantage.
Coaches can make strategies, and with that support they can make it perfectly fit every time to underline the strength of their athletes to optimally face the opponent’s weakness.
Reflecting on the meaning of the word “Technology” (“science of craft”, from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, skill, cunning of hand”) we can easily understand that we’re not only talking about smartphones or laptops, but it’s a concept.
Technology means making something new, something more effective and efficient of what we did until we realize that we’ve got the capability to improve ourselves and the way we’re achieving our results.
The importance of technology and its many advantageous aspects could be underlined by the example of Simone Origoni, 3xWR owner in the “speed ski”, who faced this discipline for his first time with the wrong sport suits. He achieved 178km/h instead of the over 200km/h that he performed at the first race with the correct suit. Research raises the bar every single day to a whole new level of performances.
Strength & Conditioning coaches improve their training methods according the science discovery and in fact every year we assist at sportsmen breaking records and limits in every new competition, how could they do that if they were not supported by the objective eye of technology?
3. Distribution & Media:
It also changed the way we feel sport, the way we live it. The largest sport’s community is located on Facebook; the match between Germany and Argentina at the Soccer World Cup in Brazil 2014 broke records on Facebook with 280 million interactions during the game, topping the previous record of 245 million held by the 2013 Superbowl.
Thanks to the media, each one of us could be a part of it.
Let’s pick up an example:
The Tour de France (which is one of the most important Bicycle Competition in the world) was born in 1903, as a “marketing idea” from the recently-born sport newspaper “L’Auto” for selling more newspaper to defeat concurrences.
After the first edition of the “Tour de France”, the circulation of L’Auto increased more than sixfold and the race was profitable enough to return in 1904, by which time Le Vélo (the main concurrence) had been forced out of business. The race made a success out of the platform, and the platform made a success out of the race.
Thanks to that “commercial idea” we can enjoy today one of the greatest sport’s competitions.
One of the reasons why we love sports that much is because media creates idols, icons of what we would like to achieve in life. Sports give us heroes, examples of behavior, and we can’t deny the key role of digital distribution in making over 200 million of people supporting the most social famous sportsman Cristiano Ronaldo, from all over the world.