From the rugby pitch to the race track, the NFL arena to the icing ski slopes, an increasing reliance on data, science and technology is reshaping the world of sports are we know it.
Now to improve and evolve a team’s game beyond rivals, teams must employ scientists and data analysts to monitor player performance, from the pitch to the court to the track. They must assess tactics, examine the opposition and provide feedback on everything from training, nutrition, rehabilitation, to sleep and sports psychology.
Coaches often have to embark on a never-ending quests to learn from the best brains in sport. To use an example, Eddie Jones, world record equalling England Rugby Head Coach, has called on Pep Guardiola/Barcelona, Orica-BikeExchange Tour de France team and the coaches of England football, cricket and women’s hockey teams, to name a few, to constantly change methods and find that extra half a percent needed to win.
At the Sports PDFE Summit we have gathered together leading performance experts from the best teams, in a diverse range of disciplines - NFL, Football, Motorsport, ProCycling, Sailing, Rugby etc - to allow you to come and find that extra half percent in one room. Don’t just learn what your competitors are doing, learn what is being done by the most dominant teams in the world of sports.
The focus of the discussion will be on sports data, examining these key areas:
How the growing volume, richness and accuracy of sports data is helping to tailor both training and tactics to individual players and teams. What is being done to combine information from gym sessions, training and match-day play to help fine-tune training programmes, optimize recovery and rest times?
Improving performance through the aggregation of marginal gains: Where should we be looking next? Sports psychology, ‘fast-track innovations’ (such as the dedicated team for Nike’s breaking 2 marathon attempt), nutraceuticals, machine learning? Is marginal gains for everyone?
An in-depth look at capturing separate but interlinked data in sporting competition - eg motorsports with driver physiology and car performance. How are these approaches of benefit to different disciplines?
As technology advances (new biometric detection systems, video tracking systems etc) and the quantity of information increases exponentially, how can teams recognise the quality data and be able to set coaching objectives through derived actionable insight? What is the investment required to allow for data-derived decision making in your organisation? A honest, accurate assessment of the solutions provided from commercial, off-the-shelf fitness monitoring gadgets and the advantages of more niche solutions.
Side by side with this rich performance dialogue we will have a stream focused on how sports data can be used to engage with fans and aspiring young athletes. Hawkeye, Catapult GPS and broadcasting F1 radio transmissions, are just some of the data solutions which have changed the way we view sports. Many of these disruptive technologies are born from coaching incubators and as demonstrated through our past symposiums that is true value in bringing this community together.
Delivering brilliant content to the sports fan:
The winds of change are also blowing through sports broadcasting with live streaming and social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, shaking up a congested marketplace for live sports.
‘Connected audiences drive virality and they drive popularity. And when something happens on Twitter now in live video, that can be pushed out and shared with many others to make the audience even bigger in that ‘in-the-moment’ experience’ - Adam Bain, COO, Twitter.
Enhancing fan engagement and connectivity has become an essential part of the modern sport’s experience. Viewing behaviours and consumption habits of modern-day sports fans have shifted. Radical digital change has been spurred on by an ever-changing media rights landscape with the proliferation of new technology creating an unprecedented level of engagement.
Sports organisations see this as a real opportunity to create new value and monetary revenue via digital assets and investment in these business areas continue to grow.
‘At the end of the day, we’re a football club; we dedicate our activity to football, but in reality what we are is a content company. I believe the big challenge for us is to become content producers’ - Rafael de los Santos, Global Head of Digital, Real Madrid.
As sports marketing becomes increasingly driven by the digital media, the need for authentic and immediate content becomes all the more important. Top sports clubs are becoming more like media houses producing lots of content to fulfil and satisfy the craving of fans for information on players and team news. Fans now expect dynamic live statistics and rich analytical data that shows how, when and why a match was won or lost. Developing exclusive, captivating content is a huge challenge, not to mention feeding it across the multiple channels that the average club now operates in.
Here at the Sports PDFE Series we don’t want the conversation to just revolve around digital content teams but to also engage with the world’s leading performance analysts and coaches; teams with the primarily role of understanding and improving tactics, technique and movement of athletes, through real and lapsed time objective feedback. Hugely detailed live data can enhance and illuminate broadcast coverage or power innovative online experiences on all platforms. We believe that working with the players, coaches and managers, can allow digital teams to continuously disrupt how we broadcast sport and provide greater insight and thus greater engagement with the fan.
COLLECTING DATA ON THE FAN AND DERIVING FURTHER VALUE
Everyone is talking about the digital disruption of sport. How sports stakeholders are on a journey of digital migration. But what exactly is meant by these concepts?
Perhaps the best starting point is to consider ourselves not just as sports fans but as consumers of sports content. We access, consumer and engage with, sports content on a daily basis, through multiple mediums and often on an ‘anytime, anywhere’ basis. Fans are no longer simply watching sport, they are creating content around it (sharing videos, photos, social media posts, blogs, live streaming) and have the capacity to become broadcasters in their own right. It for this reason that sports organisations must understand, engage and have dialogue with this empowered fan base, and using this interaction bring value to the team and sponsors.
With every content pieces, comes a fan engagement touchpoint and this creates an opportunity to collect data, understand target audiences and drive up value for the club, fans themselves and sponsors. If we can understand segments of consumer behaviour we can plan sponsorship or ticketing campaigns which have the maximum chance of success in driving awareness, creating dialogue and driving revenue.
Marketing teams are investing heavily into the digital ecosystem so they can personalize and deepen engagement with every fan at every point of interaction - be that improving match day experiences or offering premium solutions (interactive navigation, in-stadium seat upgrades, selling merchandise, create exciting behind-the-scenes experiences) or bringing remote fans closer to the action (using virtual reality, augmented reality and 360 degree video technologies).
As part of our discussions at the Sports PDFE Summits we will address how the industry is developing responsive digital solutions to this changing ‘consumer’ fan base and employing new technologies to push beyond the ‘match day’ to the ‘every day’.