Sports Technology is a sector where some of the smartest thinking in human performance and digital engagement is taking place. It is the equivalent of the Space Race of the 1960s in terms of what it can deliver for the wider world, and Ireland is in a central position with companies like Whoop, Stats Perform, StatSports and Orreco having strong presences on the island.
Each week we bring the Sport for Business network a look at some of the biggest advances and trends that are continually reshaping the ways in which sport is leading the way in technology.
Today we highlight the role of AI in the judging of Boxing bouts; of RFID’s journey over a decade with the New York City Marathon; and at the US expansion of two homegrown sports technology businesses…
AI IN BATTLE FOR BOXING INTEGRITY
Any sport where there is a subjective element to the judging of performance is going to struggle with accusations of bias from time to time.
A recent development in boxing heaps additional pressure on judges to do the right thing, using artificial intelligence to determine in advance the risk of an integrity shortfall.
Officials were asked a series of questions about their own honesty and integrity before the competition and the cognitive way in which their brain responses matched their verbal ones were used to assign a low, medium or high risk category to the individuals.
Two officials were excluded from judging at the men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade earlier this month as a result of the new system.
The sport is seeking to prove its integrity credentials to the International Olympic Committee after a report raised serious concerns over judging at the Rio Olympic Games.
Interesting that it has turned to technology for backup in this most human of activities.
SPONSORS AND TECH UNITE FOR NEW YORK MARATHON
30,000 runners in the New York City Marathon at the weekend wore chips in their bibs which relayed their position on the course to an app developed by Race sponsor Tata Consultancy Services.
Another 25,000 or so runners who took part virtually could add themselves into the tracking of the race by use of GPS technology in their phones, bringing them together on the course in a graphic sense at least.
It meant that runners who could have been taking part in Dublin could see themselves on the map between mile 16 and 18 as running up First Avenue on Manhattan.
RFID chips have been worn in the race for more than a decade but the use of the data, and its visualisation steps up every year. In 2019 the first version of the app was downloaded half a million times.
STATSPORTS LAUNCHING US CONSUMER CAMPAIGN
Newry based STATSports will this weekend launch a first-ever U.S. TV Ad Campaign.
It will be to promote the company’s FIFA-approved sports tracking device, the Apex Athlete Series, aimed at enabling amateur athletes to track their own personal performance stats against those of professional athletes like Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.
This Sunday, 14th November, during the National Women’s Soccer League playoff semi-final, the TV ad will air featuring global football icons, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.
OUR SMALL STEP ON THE KITMAN LABS JOURNEY
In January 2015 Sport for Business hosted The Business of Sports Science as part of the BT Young Scientist Show. Amid conversations on stage with Paul McGinley, Jim Gavin and more, we presented an Award called the Spark of Innovation. Four companies were shortlisted for the advances they were making in this exciting area, and the winner was selected by the audience of Sport for Business members.
The winner was a company called Kitman Labs who were preparing for a move from their Dublin base to a new office in California.
Today they are setting a new industry standard for how elite sports organisations use data and yesterday they announced the close of a $52M investment round led by Guggenheim Investments, a global asset investment and advisory firm with more than $259 billion in assets under management.
This latest tranche of investment brings Kitman Labs’ total outside funding to $82M.
“A powerful and influential network of information and collaboration”
Sport for Business Partners