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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.
by Alexis Wangmene, Anne Buford, Laura Dixon, Rc Buford and Taylor Smiley
In his role as General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs RC Buford has enjoyed being part of four NBA Championship celebrations. In his work with kids in Africa and the Middle East Buford has literally changed hundreds of lives. For this session he is joined by Anne Buford, the executive producer of Elevate, and Taylor Smiley, managing director of PeacePlayers International. Join these three as they discuss the amazing impact basketball has had on boys and girls around the world.
by Yago Colás
In this presentation, I will share the story of a groundbreaking pedagogical experiment that quickly gained national and international attention: teaching “Cultures of Basketball” at the University of Michigan. Inspired by my lifelong love of the game and informed by my scholarly interests in the role that stories, particularly informal stories, play in shaping our daily lives at the individual and collective level, “Cultures of Basketball” quickly surpassed my wildest expectations. Its appearance in university course listings provoked hundreds of student e-mails begging for one of the 24 spots in the course. The impromptu course diary I posted on my blog drew the attention of local newspapers, ESPN.com and other major online venues in this country and abroad, as well as hundreds of readers per day. Finally, the in-class experience provided challenges unlike any I’d faced in my 20 years of university teaching: negotiating the balance between formality and informality, emotional experience and intellectual inquiry, student and student-athlete (students included 8 members of Michigan’s men’s basketball team), the freedom to openly explore uncharted pedagogical ground and the imperatives of academic integrity, all while making my first foray into blogging and micro-blogging social media.
Sport by its very nature is social. How do you bring sport and activity to a new level of engagement? How do you motivate people to get moving? What influence does music have on motivation? Do we create more fun if we make it a game or a competition – is social the catalyst? This session is sponsored by Nike.
by Spencer Hall
Ron Prince went from being a disgraced former Kansas State head football coach to being the internet's first job candidate for everything from coaching vacancies to the Presidency of Libya. How did this happen? Via the chaotic and boundlessly enthusiastic meme-building of the sporting internet, the ever-expanding space that has surpassed ESPN as the primary destination for sports fans who want something more than a box score and canned television commentary to feed their bottomless appetite. Spencer Hall of SBNation.com and EDSBS.com will outline the basic growth of the online sports community from its origins in message board and single author blogs to its current configuration of content farms, networks, independent sites, and Twitter feeds. The discussion will trace the current trajectories of online sports communities, follow the money to see what's attracting investors' dollars, and make a few guesses about where it's all headed. There will also be at least one hundred photoshopped pictures of athletes doing silly things, so if the rest disappoints you the pictures definitely will not.
Until quite recently, there was a single source of record for your favorite sports team: The beat writer. For decades, the local paper determined what sports fans would consume and how they’d consume it.Not until the explosion of the internet were sports fans able to fulfill their desire to know more about their team -- and know that stuff immediately. The web completely innovated the experience of being a sports fan. Pretty soon, athletes were communicating directly with fans. Highlight dunks were published online seconds later. Reporters began to tweet notes from practice instantly.Today's modern sports fan demands immediacy, and this appetite is driving a new kind of sports coverage, one that relies on innovation, both technically and editorially. Our panel will explore the rapid innovation that has occurred in sports journalism, and promises to continue at an exponential rate. We'll seek to answer the question: What will the sports beat look like in 10 years?
An NFL star live tweets his own traffic stop. An accidental DM reveals a shocking trade rumor. Instead of press releases, Tiger Woods breaks news about Tiger Woods by having @TigerWoods share a link to TigerWoods.com. These are just a few examples of sports stars bypassing traditional media outlets to tell their stories directly to fans. Athletes and teams no longer just control the message, they can be their own messenger. So what is a sports reporter to do? In an era of real-time box scores and self-created scoops, has the role of the traditional reporter doing locker room interviews and post-game recaps become irrelevant? Two respected and highly engaged sports journalists discuss how the immediacy and reach of Twitter have changed the very nature of their jobs—and how sports media must adapt to the "always on" world.
by Garrett Gee
Garrett Gee will be speaking on the 7 FACTORS that can make you fundable in the eyes of the world's top investors. Hear the unique story that took him from small-town boy playing collegiate soccer at BYU in Utah, to successful Silicon Valley funded founder and CEO of Scan. Scan creates web and mobile tools which enable both enterprises and individuals to benefit from mobile transaction technologies (QR codes, NFC, and more). These benefits include mobile commerce, social media, lead generation, analytics, networking, and more. Their iPhone app, generated 7 million+ downloads in their first 10 months of operation. Their site, scan.me, launched in January of 2012. More information can be found about Garrett online at garrettgee.me.
Come check out some of Nike’s top skateboarding pros!
by David Bairstow and Doug LeMoine
Making a great product isn’t really all that different than making a World Series run. In both cases, the organization must assemble the right mix of talent, motivation, independent spirit and willingness to be coached. The right combination of these qualities results in a team who moves faster, makes better decisions, gets to better outcomes, and has more fun. None of this is easy, but it’s do-able, and we’ve assembled some vivid examples of how to do it right (or wrong) from things we know well: design, finance, and baseball. We’re going to discuss the tools and practices that we use to ensure that our teams are talented and high-functioning, and we’ll draw inspiration from our own roles in assembling design teams at Cooper and in building mobile products at Thomson Reuters. What role do performance-enhancing drugs play in product development? Tune in to find out.
9th–13th March 2012