Emerging technologies in sports
Reimagining the fan experience
Digital technologies are redefining the way sport is conducted and enjoyed. Data analytics and deep learning can be used to analyze players’ performance and conduct pre- and post-match analyses. Computer vision and machine learning can help umpires and referees reach fair decisions and optimize camera angles during TV broadcasts. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies can transform the fan experience.
While technology is playing an increasing role in athlete performance (see “Transforming performance”), it is the fan experience that offers a significant opportunity in terms of brand value and growth for the industry. Sport clubs and stadiums are making increasing use of technologies that transform how fans can feel part of the game. 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.2 At the AT&T Stadium, home of NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, fans can take selfies with their favorite players. Using digital avatars of the players, AR allows fans to take selfies with their
To understand more about the impact of digital technologies on fans and on the future of sport, we surveyed 10,000 sports fans across nine countries. We also conducted
in-depth interviews with over 20 industry experts, sports athletes, and startup executives to understand more about the transformative impact of digital technologies
(see the research methodology at the end of the paper for more details).
Based on that extensive analysis, this report examines three key themes:
• How technology has become a key part of how fans consume sports.
• The significant benefits on offer for multiple stakeholders if emerging technologies are deployed successfully.
• The strategies that organizations can use to deploy technology that inspires fans and builds engagement.