We've had data visualisation. We've had data journalism. But there's a missing layer that sport has ignored. Only the most passionate of fanatical sporting statisticians can get joy from the data that accompanies the world's most popular sport. There must be a better way of telling the stories behind the stats. Soccer has as much data as any other sport and with an estimated 3.5 billion fans, it has more audience than anyone else. But entertaining that audience, rather than simply informing them, is where the challenge lies. Richard Ayers, the digital innovator at Manchester City FC, one of the world's top soccer clubs, will reveal where the club is going and explore the best examples in the game. He'll look at the pace of change in Soccer's stats as the top club's strive to engage a wider demographic and will assess parallels in F1 Grand Prix, the differences with North American sports and the impact of second-screen experiences.
Thanks largely to digital innovation, being a sports fan has never been so emotionally charged, or fun, as it is today.
Fans no longer just watch. They participate, analyze, critique, deconstruct, fantasize and connect with their favorite players and teams in real time. They watch with friends, regardless of where they are physically located, thanks to new mobile and social technologies that make it easier than ever to connect virtually. They share reaction and highlights instantly, despite teams’ and leagues’ persistent attempts to control retransmission rights. Players are no longer forced to rely on traditional media outlets and press agents to connect with their fans. With new technologies and readily available social media channels, the players themselves have become their own broadcast channels, and fans can easily reach out to them.
The balance of player, team, fans, and media has shifted. The dynamic has become transparent and fluid. Players have more control of their brand, while fans can follow a player’s every move and analyze (sometimes overanalyze) his on-court performances and off-court antics. Meanwhile, new statistical measures like sabermetrics are helping to redefine the value of a player’s impact on a team and, in turn, how he is appreciated by fans (or not).
In this presentation, we’ll explore specific examples of how sports fandom has changed and share a vision of where it’s headed in the future thanks to MOBILE and SOCIAL innovations.
by Henry Abbott and Jay Dicharry
Where people used to just run, now they are now denigrated as heel-strikers or running around barefoot. Serious bikers use algorithms, and hours, to figure out silly things like how high to adjust their seats. The more we learn about human performance, the more geeky stuff like this seems to matter. But the more geeky stuff like this seems to matter, the more sports seem like work. A conversation about how lessons from the biomechanics lab can be best applied to playing sports in 2012.
9th–13th March 2012