With continued technological advancements in everyday life, sports and athletic fanatics seem to only benefit from the continuous movement towards the future. All aspects of sports have improved tremendously from technology. A torn ACL a few decades ago could easily led to the cessation of many NFL careers, while today’s technology requires just over a year (54 weeks) to return to “NFL” status. Although production may not be at its highest, careers longevity has been enhanced.
Athlete health hasn’t been the only area of sports to be improved by technology, sports teams are using technology to enrich the experience in stadiums and arenas as well as to dissemination information regarding team data, updates and engagement opportunities. No longer do fans rely solely upon the game action to entertain them while attending an athletic event, entire departments have been established to enhance the in-game experience, providing continual entertainment for spectators. From social media contests on huge, HD videoboards to instant replays via cellular devices via companies such as SnappyTV and social media platforms like Facebook live, technology has allowed improved the game watching experience through use of the “Second Screen”.
Not only is information being disseminated to the fans, it is also being collected and used to identify more enhancement opportunities. Companies like Turnkey and SportsDesk collect information through the digital footprints left behind by fans, analyzes the data and creates suggestions on how to improve fan communication, interaction and engagement. The advent and popularity of social media has created an analytical avenue into understanding and influencing fan behavior that simply didn’t exist five to seven years ago.
Technology has drawn fans closer to the game, players and the teams they love. It has placed them front and center in the quest to be in the number 1 position to vie for spectator dollars. Only the technology can dictate what the future holds for sports and fans.