NBA Commissioner Adam Silver opened the NBA Technology Summit with a demonstration of AI with Luka Doncic and ARAR, in which he captured volumetric video of Ahmad Rashad and superimposed Rashad’s image over an NBA player’s image in a live game, making it so looked like Ahmad was actually playing the game as opposed to the actual player. Talk about being part of the action.
Sport has been an integral part of human civilization for centuries. They bring people together, create a sense of community and provide a source of entertainment for fans around the world. Over the years, the sport has evolved significantly, as has the way fans engage with it. From attending games in person to watching them on TV, fans have always found ways to connect with their favorite sports and teams. However, with the advent of technology, the future of fan engagement in esports will change drastically.
All sports leagues agree that technology is the gateway to more fan engagement and more time and focus. Using advanced analytics, virtual reality and social media, teams and organizations can now connect with fans on a whole new level. Much of the strategy is rooted in the changing consumption habits of younger fans. They don’t just watch linear TV anymore. They’re often gamers, so gamification in esports is another exciting development in fan retention. Teams use gaming technology to create interactive experiences for fans, such as B. mobile apps and online games. These games offer fans a fun and engaging way to connect with their favorite teams and players.
Today’s fans also have much shorter attention spans and are adept at multitasking and want their entertainment to be a social experience. This gave rise to the advent of the “second screen,” which allows fans to see contextually relevant information, often analytics, provided by leagues and teams outside of the linear broadcast. These analyzes can become increasingly individual and personalized in a direct-to-consumer world. Fans can access live game statistics, player information and other relevant data by pointing their smartphone or tablet at the game. This gives fans a deeper understanding of the game and helps them appreciate player performance.
Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most anticipated advances in technology in recent years, albeit slow in adoption to the masses. It has the potential to change the way we experience sport, especially for those fans who are unable to watch a game live. These fans can now watch games in VR, giving them the feeling of being in the game without actually being there.
AR technology can also be used to create virtual goods. Fans can use their smartphones to scan a logo or image and an AR experience will be created showcasing the team’s merchandise. This offers fans a unique shopping experience where they can virtually see and interact with the merchandise.
AR can also be used to offer virtual stadium tours to fans. Using their smartphone or tablet, fans can explore different parts of the stadium and learn more about the team’s history and achievements. This provides fans with a more interactive and immersive way to learn about and engage with their favorite team.
All of this leads to the social component where fans can interact with each other in real time. This has given fans a voice, allowing them to connect directly with their favorite teams and players. Teams and organizations use social media to connect with fans by providing behind-the-scenes access, live updates and exclusive content.
Technology is transforming the esports industry, offering fans new ways to connect more deeply with their favorite teams and players. The latest applications of AR and VR in sports are enhancing the fan experience and moving towards an increasingly personalized world where fans receive an immersive experience tailored to their individual interests.
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I created the Shaq brand for Shaquille O’Neal’s and the Golden Boy brand for Oscar De La Hoya, changing the way athletes were marketed. Rather than just endorsing products, I got them to own their IP and build institutional equity.
I co-founded and commissioned the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and brought men and women together under one roof and mandated equal prize money and television time for women, a first in the sport.
I have been at the forefront of using technology to increase brand equity and most recently focused on advising athletes, brands and media companies on the power of web3 to engage fans and consumers.
I am the founder and CEO of Management Plus Enterprises (MPE); was CMO of Skechers; President of Skechers Performance Division and Board Member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
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