For many people, cricket evokes idyllic scenes of the sport being played on a village green by players dressed in white, stopping for a break to grab some tea and a sandwich, but such traditional scenes betray the game’s more recent relationship with technology both on and off the pitch.
Video replays have been used to help umpires decide on run outs for some time, but many broadcast technologies like hotspot, snicko and hawk-eye are now used in matches as part of the Decision Review System (DRS).
India has been a notable opponent of DRS, but most fans, players and observers accept that technology has changed the sport for the better. For the International Cricket Council (ICC), innovations mean that more correct decisions are being made than ever before. (more…)
The National Basketball Association (NBA) says technology and social media is helping the organisation spread its wings beyond North America and to recreate the arena experience for home viewers.
International expansion is a priority for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who was in London for a match between New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks at the O2, and said the sports industry had an advantage over other forms of entertainment because they’re best viewed live – making it difficult for viewers to skip adverts, and presumably turn to piracy.
However because most matches take place in the US or Canada, they are not particularly time-zone friendly to many markets, including the UK, making social engagement all the more important.
My favourite Grand Prix of recent years was the 2011 Canadian GP. On the final lap of a rain-delayed race, Jenson Button forced an error from the dominant Sebastian Vettel to secure victory. It was a perfect example of all the variables, excitement and fine margins for error in motorsport.
In Motorsport Manager, you are given the chance to act as your own team principal and make the key strategic decisions that could allow one of your drivers to secure a last-lap triumph. Formula One is a famously technologically advanced sport, but there is no orgy of statistics here.
Like many of its contemporaries on mobile, the game is rapid-paced, simple and accessible, with seasons completed in a matter of hours rather than days.
In one of his more recent efforts to be perceived as a forward thinking, progressive sports administrator, FIFA President Sepp Blatter declared the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to be “the first truly mobile and social world cup” – a statement that is hard to dispute.
Twitter’s traffic records were broken, Facebook experienced a surges in popularity and mobile networks reported that live streaming, video highlights and social media use was reaching unprecedented levels.
This was partly fuelled by the sharing of video clips of goals on YouTube and Vine shortly after the ball had hit the back of the net. But despite the obvious exposure and fan engagement opportunities that such activity provides, the Premier League has pledged to crackdown on users sharing clips of its matches.
Be warned, Football Manager Classic 2014(FMC) is a grower. It’s not as easy to love as the excellentFootball Manager Handheld (FMH) series, which has offered wannabe managers the chance to tinker with tactics and shout obscenities at a tiny screen on the commute for a number of years now.
But FMC does offer something more than FMH, which has stagnated in the past few years, offering incremental updates instead of true innovation. It’s just that, like all good relationships, takes a while to get to know and you’ll need to accept and understand its faults and quirks before you can truly appreciate it.
A version of this article was originally published on TechWeekEurope. For more sports technology coverage click here.
Lord Sebastian Coe, the former chairman of the organising committee for London 2012 Olympic Games, says technology has changed sport in ways he couldn’t have imagined when competing in the 1500 metres and 800 metres in the 1970s and 80s.
Speaking during the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the current chair of the British Olympic Association (BOA), explained that IT has become an increasingly integral part of the planning process for major sporting events in order to keep up the increasing demands and expectations of athletes, officials, the media and spectators.
“Science and technology, in particular, have changed the way we train for sporting events, how we take part in them and how we experience them as spectators,” he said.
The Premier League was pretty late to launch an official application for its popular fantasy football game, but boy, is it making up for it now.
Its first app was released midway through the 2012-13 season, but shortly after the conclusion of that campaign, it stopped working. It of course released a new app for 2013-14, forcing players to pay again if they wanted an alternative to the mobile website.
So it should come as no surprise to iOS users they will have to stump up the cash, this time £1.49 (up from 69p) for the official application of the 2014-15 season.
Football Manager’slegendary player database is one of the reasons the series formerly known as Championship Manager has been such a success. It contains 250 pieces of footballing, contractual and personal information for more than 550,000 players and staff.
The first Championship Manager didn’t even have player names, but Sports Interactive’s (SI) research operations have evolved from an amateurish combination of Rothman’s Football Year Books and fanzine surveys to an army of more than 1,000 providing information on footballers around the globe.
When this extensive reservoir of information is plugged into Football Manager’s virtual football world and match engine, it becomes a pretty powerful tool in predicting which prospects are going to become global superstars.
Lord Sebastian Coe’s career as a sports administrator has been so successful it’s sometimes easy to forget he was a brilliant athlete too, winning gold in the 1500 metres at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics and silver in the 800 metres in both of those years.
The former chairman of the organising committee of the 2012 London Olympic Games and the current chair of the British Olympic Association (BOA) and one of three vice presidents of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has quite the CV.
When he talks about a major sporting event, people listen, which is why his views on the Rio Olympics, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the future of the Paralympics mean something. Fortunately for Rio, he is bound by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to share his wisdom and experiences of organising an Olympic Games, something he is more than happy to do.
As football clubs across the country prepare for the start of the new season, the nation’s broadcasters have also been making moves for their own battle for supremacy, which takes place not only in our living rooms but on our mobile devices too.
Last year saw arguably the most significant development in UK sports television since the launch of Sky Sports itself, with BT Sport’s arrival in the market. Unlike Setanta or ESPN, BT has the ambition and the money to mount a serious long-term challenge to Sky’s supremacy.
Sky’s big innovation for 2014-15 is the launch of Sky Sports 5, a football-only channel that brings it perilously close to ESPN 8 ‘The Ocho’, the satirical channel featured in the movie Dodgeball that boasted “if it’s almost a sport, we’ve got it here.”