The fundamentals of sport will always be about the players, managers, coaches, and storied equipment, such as pucks, balls, and bats. While the equipment may develop and aspects will be added – such as masks to hockey goalies in 1959 – sports tend to uphold their fundamentals as they push forward. However, over the last couple of decades, technology has been much more influential on the sporting scene. Ranging from tech which influences matches to the expanse of information now attainable to fans, tech is now a core part of just about every facet of sports.
Helping officials with video
It took far too long for many top-tier professional sports to embrace the abilities of video, but for the most part, its eventual embrace has improved sports a great deal. Sports feature fine margins by their very nature, with the high-speed of the best competitions making it difficult for any human official to catch every single infringement. The systems put in place by the staggered-action NFL and NHL work well, enhancing the games and getting the right decisions. However, in a league with more flow and continuous action, the Premier League, video assistant refereeing has introduced a string of controversies. As of mid-March, though, VAR had influenced nearly 90 goals and incidents in the elite soccer league, proving how influential it has been.
Connecting fans to players on another level
Back in January 2010, Manchester United famously announced that their players don’t have personal profiles on social networking sites. In the years since, social media has become a key part of the fan experience and is a part of being a sports star. The ability to follow one’s favorite players and interact with them, makes the attachment to the sport, player, and their team even more robust. It’s why all of the biggest stars use their social media platforms to the fullest, with Cristiano Ronaldo being the most-followed person on both Instagram and Facebook.
Competitiveness inspiring a superior experience
Around the world, sports and betting have gone hand-in-hand for decades. Still, with the availability of the internet and the increasingly crowded space for online bookmakers, the competition drove brands to forge bigger and better offerings. This has only benefitted sports fans who bet, with bet365 even offering the latest betting news and tips across all sports to help their players pick well-informed bets and, as a result, enjoy the experience more. Not only does betting have its obvious potential upside, but going through the research to pick a good bet helps to enhance the knowledge of a fan and increase their connection to players and teams.
Using a controller to learn the game
If you didn’t play a sport at school or don’t have a group of friends with whom you follow a sport, it can be challenging to break-in or learn a new game. This is particularly true in sports where there’s a slew of technical terms and phrases to understand – such as in baseball or football. While fans all over the world will use them to control their favorite players and teams in a simulation, sports video games like Madden have proven to be very useful in learning the sport at hand – thus expanding the fan base.
These applications of key technologies and platforms, as well as the new entirely tech-based sport of eSports, show just how integral modern technology has become to modern sport in all areas.