As a new year, and indeed new decade, continues to unfurl, there remains plenty of healthy discussions and debate about the ever-evolving landscape in the world of sports and technology.
At SQN, we try to keep our fingers on the collective pulse and, with the propensity for daily disruption and innovation, it’s never been more critical to deep dive into latest developments and trends.
Our Head of Digital, Dan McLaren, was recently invited to contribute to the Mills & Reeve 2019 Review and 2020 Predictions for Sports Media & Tech, the results of which were released in early January. Industry leaders in sports tech and media offered their insights into what has piqued interest over the past twelve months and looked into the ubiquitous crystal ball to unearth some of the trends likely to shape 2020.
Is it going to be the much hyped 5G network rollout that will make the biggest impact, or perhaps the arrival of better and more useful forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
1. Most significant deal / development in sportstech or media during 2019.
The two big moves in media that come to mind are DAZN’s big play in boxing and included in that is the KSI v Logan Paul II fight that was a bold move and one that could pay off in the drive for new subscribers. Also the recent long-anticipated showing of Premier League football by Amazon. It will be interesting to see how Sky and BT react to the innovations the streaming giant has incorporated.
2. Favourite sports podcast / book / documentary / film in 2019.
Book: Sped my way through Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog book, an excellent read that concentrates on the early stages of Nike climb to world dominance.
Podcast: The F1: Beyond The Grid podcast is a regular on my weekly listen list, always well-presented and has interesting guests (I don’t listen to many sports pods!).
Documentary: possibly not sports depending on your outlook, would be the League of Legends one on Netflix – a great insight into how Riot have built up the esports scene over the last 10 years.
3. Prediction for the standout breakthrough tech or media development during 2020.
One to keep an eye out for next year is the VR/broadcast development by esports organisation WEAVR. After being awarded the government ‘audience of the future’ funding in January 2019 they have started to showcase their beta version. This tech has the potential to cross into traditional sport too and have a great impact on the fan broadcast experience.
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