The sports technology sector is like the space race of decades past. What is created to enhance human performance in the sporting arena will have a huge impact on other areas of society.

Great strides are taking place around the world, including here in Ireland.

Each week we will bring you a round-up of the latest stories that are making a stir.

Today we look at the speed of change, the power of simulation tools, the hybrid eveoltion of cycling and the warning to look closer from two of the worlds biggest sporting organisations…

 

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INTEGRATION THE ORDER OF THE DAY

ESPN’S coverage of Monday Night NFL Football is ever evolving and this week it was revealed how using immediate customer feedback from twitter helped to change one key element in the game.

On the opening game of the season the broadcaster introduced a new graphic but the mustard colour was distracting in that people thought it was a penalty flag being thrown. In days gone by that would only have emerged through ‘letters to the editor’ and it might never have become apparent just how much of a distraction it was.

On twitter though opinions flare quickly and with broadcasting executives monitoring the chatter, they asked the producers could the colour be changed. They said yes and it was, at half time.

Instant love and a sense of belonging from the twitterati. Job done.

 

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MACLAREN AND DATAROBOT FORM NEW PARTNERSHIP

 

McLaren Racing sported a new brand on their cars at last weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, that of DataRobot

DataRobot delivers a unified platform for organisations across industries to unlock the full potential of AI. It has the capacity to power over a trillion predictions in a simulation.

As part of this new relationship, DataRobot’s AI Cloud technology platform will be integrated into the McLaren Racing infrastructure, delivering AI-powered predictions and insights to maximise performance and optimise simulations.

“DataRobot is a leader in its field, bringing its innovative technology and platform to top businesses around the globe,” said Maclaren CEO Zak Brown.

“McLaren Racing continues to lead in innovation and technology, and partnerships with the likes of DataRobot allow us to progress, improve and support our team in our ongoing push for optimum performance. We were delighted to welcome DataRobot as they joined our partner family for the Qatar Grand Prix.”

 

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CYCLING CONFIRMS HYBRID ECHAMPIONSHIP

 

The inaugural Cycling Ireland eRacing National Championships will take place on Saturday, 15th January.

We live in a world where virtual and real are blending and this will be an interesting experiment with ten male and ten female competitors taking part on KICKR Smart Turbomachines side by side. It promises to be like the liveliest and most competitive spin class you could ever imagine.

The venue has yet to be confirmed but the Championship will be live-streamed.

The finalists will be selected from the best performers in a qualification event to be held online on December 18th who also meet a number of criteria including membership of Cycling Ireland, a public Strava profile and dual power recording.

That event will be over one lap of the Watopia Figure 8 course, a total distance of 29.8 kilometres.

The finalists will then race side by side race using the full Wahoo ecosystem including a KICKR Smart Turbo Trainer, KICKR Climb and KICK Headwind.

Cycling Ireland virtual races and training activities have proven popular over the past 18-months with Cycling Ireland hosting the largest sporting event during the early stages of Covid-19 restrictions in the summer of 2019 when 1,900 people took part from their own homes.

At its peak, a single round of the Cycling Ireland Zwift Series achieved over 35,000 live stream views.

In 2021, over 21,000 people have participated in a Cycling Ireland organised eRace or mid-week structured workout on the Zwift cycling platform.

Sport for Business Perspective

Cycling has always been attractive to those willing to invest in high end bikes, gear and equipment.
Bringing that enthusiasm into a willing world of virtual competition was always a natural and taking it into the hybrid mix that this Championship represents offers the best of both worlds.

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ALL THAT GLITTERS…

 

Crypto had a massive week last week with news that the Staples Centre, home to the LA Lakers had signed a $70 Million deal with Crypto.com.

This week it was not so good with both Manchester City and Barcelona having to cancel two partnerships only announced in the last month with different companies in the space.

It seems that due diligence may not have been what would normally be expected and when question marks started to be asked both clubs rushed to distance themselves.

Any disruptive technology will attract the brightes but also the darkest of characters and personalities.

It’s impoortant to be able to figure out which is which.

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Have you got a story about Irish Sports Technology? Let us know at rob@sportforbusiness.com and be part of the story on Sport for Business

 

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