Automated provisioning, GPS trackers, personal digital assistants, heat maps, and other high-tech products are appearing in the sports area. With the help of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, it became possible to track players’ activity, provide stat analysis, fix the outcomes of matches, and transmit them via digital platforms. Sergey Kartashov (Sergejs Kartasovs), the Senior Partner at Roosh, states that AI helps to become a champion.
Football takes the top in the major kinds of sports around the world. That explains the enormous volume of its global fan base. Sergey Kartashov exemplifies different innovations applied in this kind of sport like:
- VAR (video assistant referee);
- StatsBomb, used by the Spanish league;
- metrics like Fbref and VAEP (Valuing Actions by Estimating Probabilities);
- the heat map;
- Apex Athlete Series—personal GPS tracker;
- additional features to fix offside positions of players on the field, etc.
The businessman notices that all these digital programs and devices have brought substantial changes to the sports world and sportsmen training. Now, coaches can advance players’ training by fixing their positions and each action on the field with the help of computer programs. For example, they allow them to predict the number of goals a team or a player could potentially score at a certain time of the match.
These innovations have also changed their trajectories to other sports: tennis, NBA, hockey, Olimpic games, and others. Here, Sergey Kartashov emphasizes several digital achievements in sports that help to become a champion.
Football club lineup on AI processing
Cutting-edge technology in sports is not associated only with data collection and processing. For example, the AI opportunities allow gathering up a football club lineup. Kartashov mentions one event that happened in 2018—British billionaire Tony Bloom bought Union, a moderate Belgian FC from the first division. He created a program that provides an automated pick-up of players in order to renew the Union lineup. The program searches for low-cost football players and free agents. This innovation is time- and money-saving. So, the saved money they contributed to the stadium reconstruction and club infrastructure development.
According to Sergey Kartashov, various smart applications have become pretty valuable to players and coaches for their capability to record and estimate players’ actions during the match. One of them is called SwingVision. This product uses a smart camera to track the movement of athletes and a ball and provides feedback on shot direction, body position, and footwork. It works offline and should be installed on an iPhone or iPad. This year, the innovation developers intend to launch it for Android.
In the context of the pandemic, many sports clubs face the problem of “empty stands” in the stadium. The NBA club Toronto Raptors could solve this issue thanks to the high-tech solution called the “digital arena.” It allows them to interact with their fans by providing a general chat room, monitoring statistics, taking quizzes, making predictions on the match, and buying tickets with donations to a charity fund. Such implementation has encouraged other NBA representatives to apply similar “digital arenas.”
Another new brand creation that enhances communication between fans and clubs is a blockchain of digital tokens. Such unique tokens enable the fan community to choose the best players in the match, vote and take quizzes, get prizes and gifts, etc.
The Winter Olympic Games is not an exception. Due to innovative technologies, the world is kept posted about each event in Beijing. AI products are valuable assistants in the sports industry.