Sports: For fans, with fans
It begins and ends with the fans.
The sports organization that will win tomorrow, and the day after that, and in the months and years and decades to follow, is the one that sticks with its fans at every leg of the race. From the nosebleeds to the front row, fans represent the most consistent revenue in the now nearly 70-billion-dollar-strong global sports market.
These are the people who show up to the match, buy the hot dogs and beers, and incessantly cheer on their favorites. Each business decision should be informed by, and feed into making their experience better.
The results will be many-fold: not only do fans enthusiastically engage with their team and the brands, but they also broadcast the message about their favorites to everyone they know. Nowhere is that truer than in sports: There is history, there is heritage, and there is a strong sense of local and national pride.
Fans don’t have a choice. In sports, being a fan of a particular team or player is part of one’s identity.
How to get it right
Lasting products begin with exhaustive, hands-on market research: Forget the focus groups and head to the tailgates.
Bring in the fans
Sports organizations should be built for fans, with fans. In no other field is there as strong a passion for the game. Harness the enthusiasm to drive a more inspirational, loud message.
Keep everyone’s eye on the ball. New technologies like virtual and augmented reality work best when they enrich the live experience rather than distract from it.
Own the conversation
Social media platforms and other third-party sites have a stronghold on the sports fan base. There’s no reason why stadiums, teams, and other organizations can’t take ownership of that discussion — and make it bigger and better.
Keep it up
Sports engagement happens all-year-round: Don’t forget the sports buffs in between the big games and the major wins. They won’t forget you either.
Bigger, better, faster
On creating scalable experiences that feel personal.
Sports are about epic human narratives of victory and failure, struggle and triumph, persistence and strength. Technology allows us to craft and make sense of those narratives in ways that inspire fans and propel the team forward.
Imagine a future where the sports commentator uses big data to drive sharper, quicker analysis right there on the spot. The presenter is able to compare the speeds of various players in real-time or calculate the batting average of a particular player in a matter of seconds.
Or perhaps it’s the first game of a four-year-old son or daughter of a life-long fan. There’s a GoPro camera attached to the kid’s hat on the day of the game. The world is able to experience the match from the viewpoint of the child: A personalized yet entirely global human experience.
A pinch of humanity
Reaktor's user-first approach to building sports products.
Reaktor solves problems and builds products for the sports industry that range in everything from tough infrastructure to consumer-facing tech. But the common denominator is that all of our work is informed by being really close to the human.
Whether it’s beating your personal record on a sports tracker, or joining hundreds of millions of people in a personalized live-stream experience, we’ll make it happen — and we’ll make sure it moves you.
Look for these developments
Automated big data
Computer vision will be trained to capture every tiny detail of the action. A world of new metrics and analysis are going to deepen our gameplay insight and enrich storytelling.
The current generation of object and plane detection have given us face filters and marketing fun. Next up: Player and field detection driving extensive live interactivity, second screen functionality, and compelling fan engagement opportunities.
When the world's best crowds are armed with massively capable, connected devices, opportunities with sourcing media content, data, as well as user input is sure to open doors for innovation.