Cap Gemini’s emerging technologies in sports report – 2020 explores how emerging digital technologies are offering exciting new ways to enjoy sport, transforming the fan experience, driving fans to stadiums, and converting attracting online viewers. They talked to over 10,000 sports fans from nine countries and conducted in-depth interviews with over 20 industry experts, sports athletes, and startup executives.

Based on that extensive analysis, the emerging technologies in sports report – 2020 examines three key themes:

  1. How technology has become a key part of how fans consume sports
  2. The significant benefits on offer for multiple stakeholders if emerging technologies are deployed successfully
  3. The strategies that organisations can use to deploy technology that inspires fans and builds engagement.

The speed at which digital technologies are redefining the way sport is conducted and enjoyed is accelerating. Data analytics and deep learning can be used to analyse players’ performance and conduct pre and post-match analysis. Computer vision and machine learning can help umpires and referees reach fair decisions (e.g. VAR and goal-line technology) and optimise camera angles during TV broadcasts. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies can transform the fan experience. And there is more around the corner.

While technology is playing an increasing role in athlete performance, it is the fan experience that offers a significant opportunity in terms of brand value and growth for the industry. Sports clubs and stadiums are making increasing use of technologies that transform how fans can feel part of the game and need to keep a constant watch on what is evolving to stay relevant. For example, American Express partnered with Wimbledon to create an interactive, virtual reality-driven experience for fans where they can face-off with tennis star Andy Murray.  At the AT&T Stadium, home of NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, fans can take selfies with their favourite players using digital avatars of the players delivered by AR.

Key findings of the emerging technologies in sports report – 2020 include:

  1. Technology is now an integral part of the way fans consume sports – Nearly 70% say emerging technologies have enhanced their overall viewing experience, both inside and outside the stadium
  2. Fans from Asian countries – including India, Hong Kong, and Singapore – lead in the adoption and acceptance of emerging technologies in sports
  3. Younger fans consume sports passionately, both in-stadium and via online digital channels
  4. The digitisation of sport and the fan experience can strengthen engagement, building brand value and driving new avenues of growth. For example, if they enjoy their tech experience, a majority (56%) of fans would attend more matches while 92% would spend more on online subscriptions. They also said they would increase their spending on team/brand merchandise, food, and beverages at the stadium
  5. A good experience with technology – either in or out of the stadium – has a positive knock-on effect in terms of the overall engagement e.g.
    1. Fans who enjoyed their tech-enabled experience said they would actually go to more physical matches at their team’s stadium
    2. They also said they would increase their spending on team/brand merchandise, food, and beverages at the stadium or on online subscriptions for watching matches
  6. To adopt and optimise emerging technologies in sports, organisations should
    1. reassure fans about how their personal data is used to build trust,
    2. identify the needs and expectations of fans and users before deploying new technologies,
    3. convert more casual fans into avid fans, and enhance the value of the out-of-stadium experience to tap into the far bigger audience that consumes sports outside of the stadium

To see more detail, click here to download the emerging technologies in sports report – 2020.

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