Welcome back to The Sports Road! Let’s not beat around the bush. Sport is changing. With never-seen-before technologies gripping our favourite games, it’s getting pretty hard to keep up. Luckily, that is EXACTLY why we’re here. Bringing you the very best sport and tech has to offer, enjoy!
The MLB is Changing FOREVER
Nascar’s HUGE Announcement
It’s Your Time…
The Weirdest Partnership yet…
Let's get into it!
Being at the tail end of the season – as usually tends to be the case – most people would expect news of new technological innovations to cool down.
And following announcement after announcement during the early Summer period, for the most part, that’s exactly what happened with the MLB.
Until now… But before we get into it, we have to bring you all the way back to the MLB All-Star game from a couple months ago…
In an exciting game which saw the National League (NL) team win for the first time in over a decade, it’s not actually the players that we’re interested in today.
Broadcasting the game in a format never before used, in preparation for the match, the league announced the release of their very own ‘virtual ballpark’.
Being one of the league's biggest steps into the Metaverse to date, the venue essentially designed as a hub for their global fan base to interact with each other.
Made in partnership with UK tech firm Improbable, the project promised to feature live streams, exclusive content, and mini games where participants could compete for rewards.
Why’s that all important? Well, this week will see the continuation of the project and maybe even give us a glimpse into what the future of Baseball actually holds…
Hosting its first ever regular season game this Wednesday, the virtual ballpark will sync with Gameday 3D to offer fans an unforgettable experience.
Giving people from all over the world an opportunity to watch a three-dimensional representation of the game, those watching should be in for a treat. From previously impossible angles, to interaction through spatial audio, and literally being able to participate in activities like a scavenger hunt, this will not be — how should we put this – a normal viewing experience 😅
“With the virtual ballpark, we want to continue to give our fans options to experience the game they love in unique ways and test the boundaries of baseball content delivery… Gameday 3D allows us to experiment even more within the virtual ballpark and should allow our fans to further immerse themselves into the experience of a game. Thanks to the Rays and Angels supporting this initiative, we can watch Major League Baseball in a format unlike any other.”
Kenny Gersh, MLB Executive Vice President, Media & Business Development
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There’s no denying that over the last few years Motorsports have been on the up in a BIG way…
And while on the surface that sounds like a good thing, a large majority of the new fanfare has gone straight – and only – to the F1.
Having revolutionised the way fans use media to interact with their favourite athletes, support for the company has grown unbelievably. I mean, to put things into perspective, one in every two of their fans started watching the races in the last four years alone!
Being the case, as you can imagine, the league has become pretty hard to compete with. Just ask NASCAR…
Having once been heralded as Motorsports elite, support for the company seems to have tailed off; especially with younger crowds.
Despite that though, it doesn’t look like they’re ready to back down just yet… Having recently placed more of an emphasis on the role of media, NASCAR is still in the game.
Releasing a number of different virtual experiences as a means to engage a wider group of fans, the company has also looked at technology's role in improving on-track performance.
With perhaps the biggest innovation yet being that of the ‘Smart Tire’ (yes, it is exactly what it sounds like 😂), NASCAR recently signed a deal that could change the game even more…
Teaming up with performance and data tracking specialists, Catapult, the partnership will see the firm become NASCAR’s official supplier of race control systems.
Under the terms of this new deal, NASCAR will implement Catapult's flagship RaceWatch ID technology.
Allowing officials an opportunity to review on-track situations with higher levels of accuracy, the tech actually works in a similar way to that of VAR.
Offering the real time integration of multi-camera video, race radio, positioning, and telemetry data, officials will be able to look at decisions with far better context and efficiency.
“We are honoured to add NASCAR to our customer base of elite teams and leagues around the globe. Our comprehensive software solutions and our dedicated employees continue to earn the trust of customers who rely on us for mission-critical decisions… NASCAR is one of the top motorsport organisations in the world. Collaborating with them strengthens our solutions and highlights the distinctiveness of the services we offer.”
Will Lopes, Catapult CEO
A couple weeks ago we told you guys to expect some massive movements in the Padel scene, and it looks like they may be coming faster than we expected…
With the sports two biggest organisations being merged by the Qatari Sports Investment group (QSI), a lot of numbers were brought up. Numbers that – to be honest – sounded a little hard to believe.
I mean, with the sports value set to triple to $6 billion over the next few years, for a sport that most of us had never really heard of, avenues to building popularity were pretty hard to see.
Well, until now… Padel could just be the next big thing. Alright, alright. Long intro, we know 😅😅
Born out of founders Leon Haverkamp and Bart van Monsjou’s frustrations at how difficult it was to simply find a pick up Tennis game while working abroad, Scala Sports has a VERY clear goal.
Make sport easier to play!
While the idea sounds simple, the two actually had to create a digital platform to make that happen.
And guess what? It looks like they’re going global!
Receiving strong backing from the Dutch Sport Tech Fund, Scala Sports is planning to break into the American scene.
“We hope to serve 300 American cities in the coming years. This means that we need to expand and professionalise our team, from IT to service employees. That is also what we will use the growth money for… We not only want to scale up the platform internationally, we also want to add more sports. In addition to tennis and padel, think of other racket sports such as pickleball and badminton, but later also golf.”
Leon Haverkamp, Co-Founder of Scala Sports
Making the sports far more easily accessible, Scala Sports could contribute to the growth of lesser known racket sports all over the world!
Look, for those who don’t know, the NFL is absolutely massive… Shocker, we know 😅😅😅
However, being primarily an American sport, the league has had its fair share of struggles in accommodating their international fan base.
Struggles that, in the last decade or so, have more or less vanished.
Why? The NFL International Series – the league’s primary way of engaging global fans into their sport.
Allowing the NFL to host regular season games abroad, the initiative has been a huge success.
From London, to Germany, and Mexico, the matches have actually managed to bring together some VERY interesting partnerships…
So interesting, in fact, that you’d think to yourselves that the two have no reason whatsoever to be linked.
Enter, Tottenham Hotspur.
Alright, alright. We know that we can sometimes be harsh on Spurs, but the truth is they’ve had an unbelievable season so far…
Guided by Big Ange, both the squad and fans have seemingly fallen in love with the game again, bringing four wins out of their first five games this season.
That’s not what we’re here to talk about though…
Announcing an extension of their partnership with the NFL earlier this week, the London club has agreed to let the American Football league continue to use their stadium – one of the world’s most technologically advanced.
“NFL gamedays at our stadium are special occasions where we see fans from around the world descend on Tottenham, bringing so much vibrancy to the High Road and supporting our local economy. As the NFL continues to grow its fan base throughout Europe, we are extremely proud to be given official status as the Home of the NFL in the UK and look forward to seeing the excitement that gamedays bring to Tottenham for many more years to come.”
Daniel Levy, Chairman of Tottenham
Being the only stadium in the UK actually purpose-built for NFL games, although pretty wacky, the deal makes sense…
Lol Alexa Grasso just walked right into the camera. #UFCNoche
— Dsizz (@Dsizz__)
Sep 17, 2023
DC is funny as hell sometimes man
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist)
Sep 17, 2023
Brighton’s starting XI today:
£0 • Steele
£0.8m • Veltman
£1.8m • van Hecke
£0 • Dunk
£2.9m • Lamptey
£2.6m • Groß
£0 • Dahoud
£0 • Lallana
£6.8m • Adingra
£2.6m • Mitoma
£0 • Welbeck
That is insane. De Zerbi is a magician 🪄
— Sam (@FPLSeagull)
Sep 16, 2023
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