Sports Career and Tech – An Alley into the Future

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By Chief editor

Posted on July 3, 2024


4 min read

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Sports is said to be traced back historically to 7000 BCE, fast forward now, and it continues to hold an important space in the world of both the participants, stakeholders and audience alike. From the Champions League, the Super Bowl, Wimbledon to the Cricket World Cup, the sports market evaluation for 2023 was pegged at $512.14 billion*.

As our present evolves, so do the elements that keep the show going, including in the world of sports – tech is slowly turning the direction in which sports is moving, including the careers that align with this field.

Influence of AI

There is no undermining the role of AI and what it can achieve if used ethically and wisely. It has the power to fuel growth in sports through increased engagement, churning data, analysing and forecasting, and creating newer avenues in sports business. There are multiple ways in which AI is helping push this ship forward, including using data analysis to predict performance of players and also using player analytics to assess injuries and risk, preventing them and improving the player’s performance. Sparta Science Human Data Platform use high speed force plate system to collect 3000 data points/second in baseball which help in creating what’s called Movement Signatures helping optimise players during training.

AI is also being used to enhance and improve sports equipment. In sports like football, shoe insoles capture data, in golf club designs are being monitored and enhanced, and in tennis the racquets. AI is also being used to monitor team performances so coaches can make decision real time that help. NBA works with a tech firm Second Spectrum for exactly the same purpose. Not far behind is its contribution in fan engagement, e.g. La Liga uses AI for immersive fan engagement, including personalised content and player related performance prediction and probabilities that keeps them intrigued and informed. Not to forget for unbiased judging, while VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in football may have received a lot of flak in recent times, it is here to stay.

Beyond the Field

All the action doesn’t happen on the field, much of it happens devising marketing strategies, devising audience engagement and constantly improvising on these. Hyper personalisation uses AI and Machine Learning to create targeted marketing strategies. This is used to target content that fits individual fans, making content marketing tailor made. Social commerce also uses technology to match products with fans, increasing direct sales. To top it all comes User Experiences and Customer Experience, which goes way beyond immediate sale success and helps build a long-term customer base. Augmented Reality is turning into an efficient tool in Customer Experience. Decathlon had developed an immersive shopping experience for Apple Vision Pro through an app where customers could view outdoor and cycling products in 3D in their personal environment, learn about them and buy them. Digital artists too are creating graphic animations and imaginative realties for brands which were never thought possible.

Now, the internet is also moving towards a cookie less tracking experience for user behaviour, something which will be revolutionary.

The Double-Edged Sword

Technology in sports can be a double-edged sword but we can’t deny its advent and potential. Along with its efficiency and mettle, it also brings deep worries straddling data privacy, ethics, biases and so much more. This makes it even more important for humans to help create a safe future where AI is an ally and not an enemy. Each element that technology helps improve will need humans for safe and fair processing. In this very statement lies a huge opportunity for novel careers, jobs that are being invented as we speak.

The Opportunities

Sports as a field is brimming with opportunities and so are the careers revolving around the prominence of this category. Multi-billion-dollar deals are signed every season and the valuations are encouraging. This is the time to deep dive into the sector, do focused courses that give you the edge in diverse areas in the field and help you pursue your passion with the right knowledge. In this month’s edition, our team explores various conventional and unconventional career pathways you can delve in the world of sports and as cited above, if you want to prepare yourself for the sports workplace of the future and the Man-Machine collaboration, explore courses that could make you a psychologist, marketeer or manager but with proficiency in AI. You could also train to be an AI Ethicist, which will soon be the most interesting and important career in the future.