10 Sporting Highs from Web Summit’s Day One

Emily Glen Sport Summit 2
20,000 people, €100 million value to the local economy, 2,000 start ups from 109 countries.  The numbers around the Web Summit are mind boggling, as indeed is the size and scale of what the event has become.  We were there yesterday as we will be today, soaking up the best of how technology is shaping and changing the relationship between sport, business and fans.  Here are the top ten take-aways we downloaded from yesterday’s packed schedule…

1. Sampling a range of sports is better for a child than hyper specialisation in one.  David Epstein, author of the Sports Gene was one of the star speakers and he used his slot to pour cold water, by the bucket load, on the received wisdom of the 10,000 hour rule.

2. Bill James, recognised as the ‘Pope’ of sports statistics admitted to never having read Moneyball, the ‘Bible’ that made it popular.  Just goes to show that you should assume nothing.

3. Research from BT Sport showed that women engage more with live coverage once they know the back story of the participants.  Hat tip then to Camogie for their campaign to bring bring stories to a wider audience.

4. Investment of commercial partners in Women’s sport is key according to Emily Glen who delivered a strong keynote on Women’s sport echoing that which was part of the One Young World event from last month.

5. Success can become a little ‘same’. Richard Arnold of Man United said that despite, or perhaps because of last seasons disappointment, engagement with fans around the world went ‘off the charts’.  We assume that was in a good sense though a proper metric on what is often described as a fan base of somewhere between 650 million and 1 billion can be tricky…

6. We have discovered an equation for how to make the perfect sports star.  In the words of Leonard Armato, who knows a thing or two having represented Shaquille O’Neill, the simple sum is time + passion.  Now we know…

7. According to Ed Lodge concussion costs the sports industry an estimated $12 Billion a year in lost productivity, insurance and medical expenses.  There must be a demand then for getting that figure down.  Cue the announcement later today from the Sports Surgery Clinic.  We’ll be there to cover it for you.

8. Technology is changing daily but the art of sports broadcasting remains the telling of a good story. So says Jeremy Schaap, the man behind much of the great storytelling on ESPN. As in sport, so in life.

9. Alan O’Mara’s life remains unaffected despite his becoming the voice of mental wellness as part of the HSE’s ‘Little Things’ campaign on radio and TV.  Bringing what he learnt from sport into what he does now for SpunOut is something that deserves great credit.

10. Camara Education is doing great things with computers in Africa.  As part of a programme with Electric Ireland they are now looking at doing something similar for sports clubs here.

Join us later today as we distill what might be worth hearing from Rio Ferdinand, Damian Commoli and Nigel Eccles, as well as breaking news around RTÉ Digital, the GAA and the Collison brothers…


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