Tag Archives: technology

Technology Dominates at the Barclays Center

by Noah Zaret, special to The Daily Payoff

On June 14, I had the opportunity to attend the SportiConference Converge, organized by Sportico at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Having been to the Barclays Center a handful of times for sporting events as well as concerts, I was excited to see the venue in a different light.

Throughout the day, there were many discussions led by industry professionals who have experiences in a variety of areas in the sports business industry. Topics included: “Future Fans: Enhancing the Engagement of new audiences”, “What’s Possible?: The intersection of Technology & Fan Engagement”, “State of the Industry: Marketing & Advertising amongst Giants and Economic Uncertainty”, “Risk and Rewards: A behind the scenes look at the acceleration of Sports Betting”, “Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0: The Future Sports Platforms”, “Generating Higher Fan Engagement”, and “How Brooklyn Built the Metaverse”. All of these discussions had their own twist to them. I sincerely believe that I left the conference with a greater knowledge base and understanding of the current issues affecting the sports industry than I had prior to attending.

There were many takeaways and information that I learned from attending the conference. One of the main topics was enhancing the engagement of new and future audiences in sport. TikTok has become more than just a platform for lip sync and dancing, as it is now being used to advance the fan experience in sports and highlights. In the minds of content creators, one has to put themselves in the seat of the users and ask themselves what does the user want to see? Publishers are now partnering with content creators to plan, create and deliver the best content possible. Due to the fact that TikTok contains an untapped audience, the ability to take risks and experiment with content is prevalent amongst content creators. This was extremely beneficial during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Archive content was very popular during the pandemic without live sports and has carried over post pandemic. For example, say it is an athlete’s birthday, content creators will work with publishers to post his/her career highlights and/or famous clips. TikTok will continue to provide content in a variety of ways that will enhance the engagement of current and future audiences.

The impact that technology has on fan engagement has increased significantly as of late. The New York Liberty was the first WNBA team to release their own NFT. Not only does this educate fans about digital assets, but it also has the opportunity to draw in more fans, especially women. Just like TikTok is enhancing the mobile experience, Seatgeek is a company that is using technology to enhance the fan experience for those attending live events. Paula Segal, head of consumer product for SeatGeek, mentioned that Covid accelerated the switch to digital tickets and that tickets are now more than just a barcode. They can be used for mobile food ordering, buying merchandise and persuading fans to bet on the sport event itself. These examples are part of a movement to use technology to enhance the in-game experience instead of focusing solely on technology being used outside the arena or stadium.

The growing acceleration of sports betting and the marketing and advertising amongst the giants in the industry was another topic that caught my attention. Sports betting companies are using other forms of media such as TV and radio to market and promote their product beyond basic advertising. Content creation such as gambling shows are done to help promote gambling companies and their respective sports books. CBS and ESPN are examples of sports channels that are broadcasting betting shows, an interactive approach to the promotion of sports betting. Sportsbooks are trying to differentiate themselves from competitors in the industry and gain competitive advantage by gaining loyal customers and keeping them engaged on their platform. Sports betters typically tend to choose their preferred sportsbook depending upon ease of use. Customers have the ability to switch sportsbooks at any time, so if they do not like one they can easily switch to another. In order for gambling companies to limit this from happening, they are attempting to innovate their sportsbooks to make them stand out and appear different to the average user. I believe that this is just the beginning for the sports betting industry, as there are endless opportunities for success in the future.

Lastly, the future of sport platforms and generating higher fan engagement was a popular topic of discussion. I learned that not only can fan engagement exist in the real world, but in a virtual environment as well. As said by Scott Lawin, CEO of Candy Digital, “sports is the gateway drug into NFT’s & Crypto”. As more teams and leagues are getting involved with digital assets, casual fans can begin to get an understanding of how they work. As there are more fans that are educated on this matter, the engagement will continue to improve over time. Lawin also mentioned that in three to five years, he expects purchasing consumer products, sporting event tickets and concert tickets will require an NFT attached to it. As this is my first “real world” exposure to NFT’s and Crypto, I am seeing how the emergence of NFT’s are at the center of the future of promotion. I plan on further educating myself on NFT’s, Crypto, Blockchain and the Metaverse, as I know they are and will continue to be pivotal components in the sports industry.

Overall, the SportiConference Converge was a great opportunity as I became more educated on the relevant topics in the industry today. I was also able to meet and converse with a variety of interesting and experienced professionals. Sportico should be commended for organizing such a successful event.

Data Driven Sports/ShotTracker to Provide Data and Advanced Analytics for Big 12 Basketball

Data Driven Sports (DDSports), the parent company of ShotTracker, today announced they have entered into an agreement with ESPN to provide data and analytics for Big 12 Conference basketball games. The multi-year deal gives ESPN the opportunity to integrate ShotTracker data throughout its linear and digital properties to drive fan engagement, enhanced storytelling and broadcast automation. The first stage of the collaboration kicked off last Saturday afternoon with advanced graphics integrated into ESPN’s broadcast of the Kansas vs. Texas Tech men’s basketball game on ESPN2. The video can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFpMRT5C2Jw

ShotTracker is entering its second year of partnership with the Big 12 Conference, which has integrated ShotTracker’s sensor-based technology in its arenas and practice facilities for the men’s and women’s programs, as well as into basketballs and player jerseys. The output of this integration is sub-second X-Y-Z player and ball location data and over 100 real-time stats, including advanced analytics such as lineup efficiency, ball movement stats and screen types with outcomes. ESPN will now have access to the same advanced stats that Big 12 coaching staff utilize on the bench via the ShotTracker team app to optimize their lineups and play calling.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with ESPN to drive what will be unprecedented innovation in sports,” said Davyeon Ross, ShotTracker Co-Founder and President. “Our autonomous, sub-second data has the potential to impact many areas of their business, including not only personalized fan engagement but also broadcast efficiencies and increased content output.”

As part of the new ESPN Edge Innovation Center, ShotTracker is working closely with ESPN to test various new enhancements across ESPN’s fan-facing platforms.

“We are excited to use ShotTracker technology as it provides sports fans with more in-depth stats and analysis for the sports they know and love,” said Kevin Lopes, Senior Director of Content Business Development & Innovation at ESPN.

Data Driven Sports/ShotTracker Announces Automated Content Products To Drive Engagement And Revenue

Data Driven Sports (DDSports), the parent company of ShotTracker,  today unveiled an exciting suite of new products to support digital publishers and broadcasters in engaging and monetizing college basketball fans this upcoming season. Leveraging the ShotTracker’s unique, real-time player and ball tracking data, combined with automated content and analytics platforms, DDSports now offers three innovative products designed to efficiently increase sponsorable content for its clients:

  • Automated Visualizations – customizable graphics with sponsor integrations designed for easy publishing to broadcast/OTT, digital, social and in-venue signage.
  • Insights Engine – AI-powered trends and streaks to drive game storylines and data-driven sales campaigns.
  • 3D Gamecast – animated ball and player graphics powered by real-time X-Y-Z location data, designed to allow out-of-market fans to watch their team live, and for all fans to relive exciting game moments. 

The three new products will be available for all men’s and women’s games across top NCAA Division 1 conferences where ShotTracker is installed, and will include unique, data-driven brand activation capabilities. “Our goal is to provide turnkey solutions to leading sports broadcasters and digital publishers to make the integration of ShotTracker data as streamlined and seamless as feasible,” said Davyeon Ross, DDSports/ShotTracker Co-Founder and President. “We commit to innovating and creating digital products that drive new revenue while also streamlining the content production process.”

Automated Visualizations

Leveraging the robust ShotTracker Data API, and through its partnership with IMPACT, a leading automated visualization platform, ShotTracker data will come to life in dynamic graphics designed for use across broadcast/OTT, digital, social and in-venue signage. Graphics that once took hours to produce will now be automatically generated. Broadcast customers will have access to a user portal that will allow for design, data points and sponsor customizations. Product benefits include more content, lower production costs and greater advertising revenue.

Insights Engine

Realizing the increasing need to grab fans’ attention and keep them engaged, ShotTracker has partnered with Inside Edge, a leader in sports analytics, to develop a cutting-edge platform to produce instant insights from ShotTracker’s robust data set. Broadcasters and digital publishers will now have real-time access to unique streaks and trends that once took hours to manually derive. This innovative platform will not only drive engaging storylines for announcers and writers, but will also support high-value sponsor activations.

3D Gamecast

Since many fans do not have access to live game broadcasts, and because game highlight rights are often complex and limited, ShotTracker has developed a real-time visual representation of every second of game action for all ShotTracker-enabled men’s and women’s games across top NCAA Division I conferences. Fans will have the option to watch an entire game or to select key game moments. With ShotTracker’s X-Y-Z data stream, game action comes to life in a more engaging visual representation than the traditional 2D products in the marketplace. Developers can use ShotTracker’s Gamecast SDK to customize design as well as advertiser integrations.

ShotTracker Secures $11M Financing Led By Evertz Technologies And Verizon Ventures

Pexels-Markus Spiske

DDSports Inc. (ShotTracker), a revolutionary sports technology that captures rich performance data via sensors and provides statistics and analytics with sub-second latency, today announced an $11M USD funding round led by Evertz Technologies Limited (“Evertz”) and Verizon Ventures. ShotTracker will use the funds to accelerate its deployment across NCAA Division I Power 6 Basketball Conferences, expand hiring, further key partnerships and enhance sensor capabilities and data capture for players, coaches, fans and broadcasters.

ShotTracker brings elite-level real time analytics to the court. The company’s patented technology tracks data in three parts: a ShotTracker-enabled ball, sensors on players’ jerseys, and court sensors that map the court in 3D. Data is processed through the company’s proprietary algorithm displayed on the ShotTracker app and dashboard and will also be integrated with Evertz cloud based live production solutions. The real time data can be used to automate camera productions from remote locations and can be licensed by media and sports data companies.

With more than 63 Division I men’s and women’s basketball programs and a growing relationship with Learfield IMG College and their partner schools, ShotTracker’s cutting-edge technology is well-positioned to deliver deep data and analytics as well as video, scoreboard and broadcast integration. For its media company and broadcast customers, it currently delivers experiential activations and crossover content opportunities distributed via digital and social platforms.

The Evertz partnership brings to ShotTracker a global leader in providing professional video/audio infrastructure and cloud-based solutions to content creators. The partnership with ShotTracker’s advanced real time analytics, will enable content owners to create tailored content for their audience across multiple platforms. With automated camera operations, advanced statistics, and cloud services, producers can augment live production by telling unique stories that enhance the audience’s experience (in-venue and/or the broadcast) while realizing additional revenue opportunities.

“Combining ShotTracker sensor data and our DreamCatcherTM suite of products will enrich live productions — on-premise and cloud-based — for broadcasters, leagues, teams, and fans.” said Vince Silvestri, Evertz VP of Software Systems. “We are excited to be working with the ShotTracker team to bring enhanced and personalized game experiences to fans everywhere.”

“As real-time data tracking and analytics become critical components for coaches and players, instantaneous and interactive delivery powered by 5G is critical,” said Michelle McCarthy, Verizon Ventures Managing Director. “ShotTracker’s real-time sports data will transform fan experiences, athletic performance, sports broadcast and more. We’re proud to invest in a team of industry veterans as they pave the way for data capture in game play to improve all areas of the sport.”

“The entire ShotTracker team is excited to have the opportunity of working with two such farsighted technology leaders as Evertz and Verizon Ventures, each of whom brings special capabilities to enable us to fulfill our vision of what truly real time statistics and analytics can mean,” said Bill Moses, ShotTracker CEO. ShotTracker Founder and COO, Davyeon Ross, added: “The impact of tying the cameras to the ShotTracker sensors, in cost savings and in the quality of unique content which then can be delivered, will be dramatic and literally game changing for the sports world.”