Navigating the Future of Technology in Sports: Evolving Technologies and Business Use Cases

Navigating the Future of Technology in Sports: Evolving Technologies and Business Use Cases

The changes in the sports scene are truly staggering – who would have thought years ago that we would go from offline watching to streaming live games on our phones or creating virtual sports teams? Sport is not just about gaming anymore. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that’s ripe with opportunities for companies and sports tech startups ready to step into the spotlight.

That’s why, in this article, I’ll focus on delving into the broad topic of sports technology, checking out what’s on the horizon. We’re going to explore the things sports apps and devices are gearing up to offer in the near future.

Whether you are a sports professional, a die-hard fan, a coach, or just someone who loves to cheer from the sidelines, each of this group is in search of an ideal sports app that can comprehensively cater to their requirements and desires. Let’s discover the future of sports technology and vast possibilities for sport-related businesses!

Unveiling the Current Landscape, Needs, and Challenges in Sports

The landscape of sports and how we experience it has evolved over the years. With the continuous advancement of technology, our needs have undergone a transformation. Whether as fans, coaches, or athletes, we now seek innovative approaches to enhance our sporting experiences or secure success on the international stage.

In this section, I will closely examine the current state of the sports realm, pinpointing specific needs and challenges prevalent in the industry.

Sports Go Digital

From its traditional offline roots to the dynamic digital sphere, enjoying sports used to involve attending live events, listening to radio broadcasts, or watching matches on TV. However, this offline experience often restricted fans to local teams and events, limiting access based on physical proximity or broadcast availability. The shift to the digital realm has opened up diverse avenues for experiencing sports, catering to various preferences and broadening the ways we engage with the sporting world.

Redefining the Way We Watch Sports

Today, the digital revolution has broken these limitations. The advent of online streaming platforms has democratised sports consumption, allowing fans around the world to watch their favourite teams and athletes with just a few clicks.

Furthermore, this transformation has become a lucrative avenue for the sports industry, introducing a fresh revenue stream through user-paid live streams, where fans willingly invest in exclusive access to events. In fact, with technology continually improving the viewing experience and making it more immersive, 77% of Gen Z and 75% of Millennials express a preference for watching sports outside of venues (Capgemini).

However, what we are willing to watch is also changing. Esports events now draw massive audiences, both online and in-person, reflecting the mainstream appeal of competitive gaming. Take the League of Legends 2023 World Championship, which achieved the status of the most-watched esports event ever, boasting a peak viewership of 6.4 million. The second-highest viewed tournament was the Free Fire World Series 2021 in Singapore, attracting a peak viewership of 5.41 million (Statista). It’s not surprising that major brands and investors are increasingly recognising the potential of esports and sports gaming, further fueling the industry’s growth.

Precision Training in the New Era of Sports

The impact of the digital revolution on sports goes beyond just enhancing the fan experience – it fundamentally transforms the relationship between athletes and coaches. Traditional coaching methods, often grappling with the challenge of meeting each athlete’s unique needs, are forced to explore innovative solutions within the digital realm.

Coaches are increasingly drawn to the prospect of transitioning from physical spaces and traditional boards to dynamic virtual platforms. This change equips them with a suite of tools to craft personalised training plans, conduct real-time performance analysis, and deliver tailored feedback. Coaches dedicated to unlocking the full potential of each player actively seek (and will continue to do that) solutions that enable them to do so with unprecedented precision.

Simultaneously, athletes, driven by the pursuit of optimal skills, heightened body awareness, and sustained peak performance, are also turning to cutting-edge digital solutions. These tools provide a more reliable resource than personal observations or traditional methods. Athletes now demand detailed metrics of their performance, along with insights into their overall well-being and specific areas for improvement, recognising the potential of digital technology to augment their understanding and enhance their athletic capabilities.

Innovation for Fairness and Thrill in Sports

Our shared need for precision, fair play, and heightened tension during matches shapes a willingness to incorporate new sports technologies. Both fans and players are open to embracing innovations that measure and uphold these fundamental aspects, reflecting a commitment to the integrity of the game.

With solutions like VAR already incorporated into professional soccer games, we witness the fulfilment of our inherent desire for accuracy and justice on the field. VAR’s meticulous review of critical moments meets the need for precise decision-making, ensuring outcomes are determined with fairness and transparency. Moreover, this technological enhancement adds a layer of suspense and anticipation, intensifying the drama of each match and contributing to a new dimension in our evolving sporting landscape.

By delving into these intricacies, it becomes evident that the integration of new technology into sports is not merely a passing trend but a fundamental requirement, reshaping how we interact with and derive satisfaction from the world of sports.

Community Aspect

The communal aspect extends beyond geographical boundaries, creating a global community of fans. Regardless of physical location, supporters from different corners of the world converge in a virtual space to share their passion for the game. This globalisation of fan communities enhances the sense of unity among individuals with a common love for the sport.

Digital Fan Engagement in Sports

The evolution of sports into the digital sphere has sparked the creation of vibrant online communities, transforming how enthusiasts engage with their passion. For example, platforms like Fanatics, where sports fans can connect globally, transcending geographical barriers. As I have already mentioned, what was once a local and physical experience has now become a dynamic online lifestyle, with supporters from diverse backgrounds converging in virtual spaces.

Take the eSports community as another example. Gamers from different continents come together on platforms like Twitch, sharing their love for competitive gaming. This global convergence not only fosters a sense of unity among individuals with a common interest but also showcases the universality of sports-related passions in the digital age.

Another game-changing element in the digital sports community is live commentary. This real-time interaction allows fans to actively participate in the unfolding drama, providing a platform to engage with a diverse audience at once. The ability to comment and discuss the game as it happens fosters a sense of unity, connecting fans globally. Whether it’s celebrating a spectacular play, analysing strategies, or sharing in the disappointment of a loss, live commentary has become a catalyst for building a collective experience in the sports industry.

Initiatives like the NBA’s virtual fan experience took it even a step further, providing an interactive platform for basketball enthusiasts worldwide. Fans from various countries can virtually attend games, cheering for their favourite teams, creating a global community that transcends physical boundaries.


Empowering Values

Sports is transcending its traditional role as mere entertainment. Today’s fans desire a deeper connection, aspiring to be more than spectators. Our approach is shifting towards active engagement, where we seek to immerse ourselves in the lives of athletes, follow their journeys, and become integral parts of a larger narrative with like-minded people. It’s about cultivating a sense of shared experience and empathy, turning sports into a platform for collective participation and connection.

The fact that the community aspect goes beyond the elite leagues is exemplified by platforms like LOVB. LOVB is a holistic endeavour that supports every facet of a volleyball player’s journey – from nurturing youthful passion to celebrating professional talent and developing coaches for future generations.

The LOVB community represents a shift in the approach to sports, transforming it from a mere spectatorship to a lifestyle. As you can read on their website, “Focused on creating the most vibrant volleyball community in the world, LOVB is championing the sport of volleyball — and every athlete who plays it — in unprecedented ways”.

LOVB is more than just a league. It is a movement that fosters a sense of belonging and pride, symbolising a commitment to the extraordinary in women’s volleyball.

Investing in Unforgettable Experiences

Sports Fans

The paradigm of sports is evolving, and it’s not just about the game itself but the experience it offers. In sports games, the shift is notable even in how games are purchased. The traditional model of buying a game for a lifetime gives way to more flexible approaches. Gamers can now subscribe to game packages, allowing them to access a variety of titles for a set period. The focus is on purchasing experiences rather than boxed games, exemplified by the changing attitude towards seasons.

Athletic Performance

In traditional sports, athletes are increasingly seeking training conditions that closely resemble competitive environments. This desire has fueled the exploration of technological solutions to replicate competition-like scenarios during training sessions. From advanced simulators to data-driven performance analysis, sports professionals are investing in technologies that not only enhance their skills but also immerse them in an experience that mirrors the intensity of actual competitions.

Moreover, the essence of sports is currently extending beyond the field or screen. Now it is about infusing fun into the entire experience. Fans and athletes alike are seeking solutions that provide them with a dynamic and enjoyable dimension. In other words, the emphasis is on transforming sports into more than just a routine or a competition and creating an atmosphere where every moment is an unforgettable experience.


Tailored Experiences for Today’s Fans

Personalisation will be a key theme in the future of sports apps. Fans expect tailored content, real-time updates, and interactive features that cater to their individual preferences.

The majority of individuals belonging to Generation Z express a tendency to check player or team statistics and observe others’ opinions on social media during games more than any other age group. Notably, Millennials stand out as the most inclined, across all age groups, to simultaneously watch another game on a separate device, make gear purchases during a game, and engage with others through social media during matches (Sportico).

That’s why we expect fans to look for apps and solutions that provide a more customised and engaging experience. This personalisation could extend to curated highlights, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and interactive features that allow fans to choose their viewing angles or access additional statistics.

Personalised Solutions For Coaches and Athletes

Many professional athletes experience significant injuries that sideline them for three months or more. Actually, it is exceptionally rare to find an athlete who has not encountered at least one or two serious injuries throughout their career.

These injuries not only deprive players of valuable time they could spend on the field or court but also incur financial costs for their teams. Notably, the 2021/22 season marked a milestone as the first season to document an injury cost exceeding half a billion Euros (€610.75m) across the top five European football leagues. This represents a notable 29% increase compared to the previous season (€472.61m) (Howden Group). Interestingly, this surge was not solely attributed to wage inflation, as injuries also rose at a similar rate.

English Premier League clubs, for instance, incurred injury costs amounting to €219.64m. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) topped the list with an injury cost €40.73m, followed by Real Madrid in the second position (€40.41m), and Barcelona in the third position (€33.23m) (Howden Group). In response, sports teams and athletes will be increasingly turning to technology and big data to gain insights into why athletes are prone to specific injuries and how to prevent them.

However, understanding how various activities or fatigue affect each athlete individually cannot be achieved through a “one size fits all” approach. That’s why coaches are adopting highly personalised methods to comprehend the intricacies of elite athletes’ bodies.

Exploring the Opportunities in Sports Technologies

Countless opportunities open up at the dynamic intersection of sports and technology in a sphere where innovations continually change the way how we engage in sports activities.

From redefining the fan experience to improving athlete performance, the symbiotic relationship between sports and technology presents limitless possibilities that continue to evolve and redefine the essence of sports in the digital age. Let’s discuss how cutting-edge technologies open the door to new dimensions in the field of the sports industry!

5G in Sports Technology

The advent of 5G technology presents a transformative wave in the field of sports, offering many opportunities that directly address the current challenges and needs of modern fans, coaches and athletes.

Transforming Live Sports Streaming

Firstly, 5G resolves the latency concerns that often plague live sports streaming. The near-instantaneous data transfer ensures that fans can enjoy seamless, buffer-free live broadcasts, contributing to a more immersive and enjoyable viewing experience. This directly addresses the need for real-time engagement, allowing fans to feel connected to the action as it unfolds.

High-Quality Sports Experience

Secondly, the enhanced bandwidth of 5G technology makes it easier to integrate high-quality video streams, virtual reality experiences, and augmented reality applications. Coaches utilising augmented and virtual reality platforms for training and analysis can now enjoy smooth, high-definition video feeds (fostering a more effective and detailed approach to game preparation), while fans can access and share content with unparalleled clarity and speed.

Dynamic Fan Engagement

Furthermore, 5G facilitates the growth of fan engagement initiatives. From interactive live commentary to augmented reality experiences during matches, the high-speed connectivity opens avenues for more dynamic and participatory fan interactions. This directly aligns with the changing needs of fans who seek a more immersive and engaging sports experience.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in sports brings transformative capabilities for athletes, coaches, and fans, fostering advancements in performance, injury prevention, and engagement.

Modeling for Precision Movement Measurement

AI modelling allows for precise measurement of athletes’ movements, revolutionising training methodologies. Technologies like motion capture systems enable accurate tracking of every motion, helping athletes refine techniques and optimise performance. Video and motion analytics are instrumental for sportspeople looking to enhance their skills and master intricate movements, ultimately contributing to better on-field performance.

Prediction for Injury Prevention

AI-driven prediction models, such as those employed by innovative platforms like Kitman Labs, play a pivotal role in injury prevention. By continuously analysing athletes’ movements, these models can identify patterns indicative of potential injuries.

For example, variations in movement consistency may signal early signs of muscular issues. Coaches and medical staff can intervene early to prevent injuries, allowing athletes to rest and recover. This not only safeguards the well-being of athletes but also contributes to a reduction in overall injury rates, as observed in various sports organisations leveraging Kitman Labs systems.

Formulas for Strategic Decision-Making

AI-powered formulas provide coaches with strategic insights, aiding in decision-making processes. By analysing vast datasets, AI can generate predictive formulas for game strategies, player lineups, and training programs. These formulas empower coaches to make data-driven decisions, optimising team performance and minimising risks. Additionally, the use of AI-driven performance analytics enhances the efficiency of coaching methodologies, ensuring tailored approaches for individual players based on their unique strengths and weaknesses.

Increased User Experience

As I mentioned in the previous section, people crave personalised experiences while watching their favourite teams – and AI comes to help with it. AI algorithms analyse user preferences, behaviours, and historical data to deliver highly personalised content and experiences for fans. Whether through tailored highlights, customised game analyses, or individualised notifications, fans can now enjoy sports content that aligns with their specific interests.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology has emerged as a game-changer in the realm of sports, offering many opportunities for athletes, coaches, and fans alike. These innovative devices, ranging from smartwatches to specialised performance trackers, bring a new dimension to the sports experience, transforming it into a personalised, data-driven, and socially connected journey.

Tailored Training and Performance Metrics for Coaches

Wearable devices provide coaches with real-time insights into the performance metrics of individual athletes. Whether monitoring heart rate, distance covered, or sleep patterns, these devices offer a comprehensive understanding of each player’s physical condition. Coaches can leverage this data to tailor training sessions, adjusting intensity and focus based on individual needs. The result is a more personalised and effective approach to athlete development.

Integration with Sports Apps

The seamless integration of wearable technology with sports apps, such as Strava, takes the user experience to a new level. Athletes can directly sync data from their wearable devices to these apps, allowing for a centralised hub of information. This integration not only streamlines the tracking of progress but also enhances the social aspect of sports engagement. In the context of Strava, users can follow and connect with other athletes, creating a community-driven experience. This social dimension serves as a motivational tool, fostering a sense of camaraderie and healthy competition.

Social Connectivity and Fan Engagement

The influence of wearable technology extends beyond athletes to engage fans in an unprecedented way. Fans, inspired by their favourite athletes, would undoubtedly love to track their progress on sports apps, turning fitness into a social experience. Platforms like Strava enable users to follow runners, cyclists or hikers, join groups, and participate in events, creating a virtual sports community. This social connectivity not only motivates individuals in their fitness endeavours but also establishes a direct link between fans and athletes, enhancing the overall sports experience.

As these devices continue to evolve, the boundary between sports organizations, athletes, coaches, and fans becomes more fluid, creating an immersive and inclusive sports ecosystem where everyone, regardless of their role, can actively participate in and contribute to the collective journey of sports engagement.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) technology not only enhances the way we experience sports but also provides valuable tools for training, coaching, and fan engagement, ushering in a new era of virtual sports participation.

Enhanced Training and Simulation for Athletes

For athletes, VR opens up new frontiers in training and skill development. VR simulations allow athletes to practice in environments that closely mimic the conditions of a stadium or arena. This includes adapting to crowd noise, visual distractions, or specific weather conditions. Such simulations provide athletes with a realistic and controlled training environment, helping them prepare for the challenges they might face during actual competitions. VR becomes a valuable tool in refining technique, decision-making, and overall game readiness.

Fan Engagement and Virtual Stadium Experience

VR transforms the fan experience by bringing the stadium atmosphere directly to their homes. Through VR sports apps, fans can immerse themselves in a virtual stadium, experiencing the excitement of a live game as if they were physically present. While there are limitations, such as the expense and accessibility of VR equipment, the growing number of places offering VR experiences is making this technology more accessible. This virtual stadium experience not only adds an extra layer of fun for fans but also expands the global reach of sports events, allowing fans from anywhere to feel connected to the action.

A variety of new applications aim to enhance the entertainment value of games, and VR plays a significant role in achieving this goal. Witness the impact firsthand by watching this video!

Interactive Fan Experiences

VR also introduces interactive fan experiences, allowing fans to engage with their favourite teams and athletes on a more personal level. Virtual meet-and-greets, behind-the-scenes content, and immersive training sessions provide fans with unprecedented access to the inner workings of the sports world. This fosters a deeper connection between fans and athletes, enhancing overall fan loyalty and engagement.

From elevating training and coaching methods to offering fans an immersive and interactive experience, VR is reshaping the way we engage with sports. As accessibility increases and technology advances, the potential for VR to further enhance the sports experience for athletes, coaches, and fans continues to expand, promising an exciting future at the intersection of sports and virtual reality.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is a game-changer, presenting diverse opportunities through innovative solutions. Clubs, federations, and event organisers are at the forefront, developing new apps that amplify entertainment levels during games, and AR plays a pivotal role in this evolution.

Entertainment Enhancement for Fans

AR is transforming the fan experience by adding interactive layers to sports events. Visualisations through AR bring a new layer of excitement, allowing fans to interact with the game in innovative ways. Whether it’s exploring virtual player stats or engaging in interactive elements, AR brings a fun factor that transcends traditional sports consumption. Watch this video, to see what I’m talking about!

Sports Betting Revolution

AR has the potential to significantly change the sports betting industry, offering a revolutionary way for fans to engage with their favourite teams and players. Imagine sitting in front of your screen, watching a sports game, and wanting to place a bet. With an AR device, pointing at a specific player, horse, or team triggers an immediate display of all the relevant data and statistics needed for informed betting decisions. This immersive and data-rich experience transforms the sports betting process, adding a layer of interactivity that was previously unimaginable.

Broadcasting with Hawk-Eye’s Graphic Systems

AR reaches new heights in broadcasting through innovations like Hawk-Eye’s Graphic Systems. These systems introduce broadcast viewers to unprecedented data visualisations, creating an immersive experience. Real-time virtual skeletal replays, dynamic data-driven graphics, and the development of immersive digital worlds redefine how sports are presented. This not only enhances the viewer experience but also offers a fresh perspective, making sports broadcasts more engaging and visually stimulating.

As AR technology continues to advance, we can anticipate even more groundbreaking applications that will redefine the way we perceive and interact with sports.

IoT (Internet of Things)

From seamlessly integrating with streaming apps to optimising player well-being, enhancing venue operations, and revolutionising recruitment processes, IoT is at the forefront of the sports tech industry.

Streaming Apps and IoT Integration

IoT collaborates effectively with streaming apps, providing a seamless and enhanced viewing experience for fans. Through IoT, streaming apps offer interactive features that allow fans to engage in real-time during games. Whether it’s accessing exclusive content, participating in polls, or receiving personalised updates based on individual preferences, the convergence of IoT and streaming apps transforms the passive act of watching into an immersive and engaging experience.

Smart Clothes for Athletes

The future of IoT in sports lies in smart clothing, optimising health metrics by integrating a sophisticated system through communication protocols. Similar to smartwatches monitoring health metrics such as calorie expenditure, sleep patterns, activity levels, heart rate, and more, intelligent clothing serves as a second skin, providing valuable insights into one’s movement.

Smart clothing is a kind of sports technology that gathers and analyses data about an athlete’s physical state, providing personalised insights that enhance performance and overall well-being. Coaches can utilise this data to tailor training sessions accordingly, offering a streamlined approach without the need for distracting devices or smartwatches on the athletes’ wrists. Moreover, through real-time monitoring and data analysis, IoT aids in preventing injuries and optimising rehabilitation.

Smart Stadiums Optimisation

With the integration of IoT, communication between the stadium workforce and fans is seamlessly streamlined, addressing real-time challenges and enhancing overall safety protocols.

One of the key aspects of venue operations optimisation involves crowd management and security. Through IoT, stadiums can deploy advanced systems that monitor crowd movement, density, and behaviour, allowing for proactive measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees. In cases of emergencies or unexpected situations, the real-time communication facilitated by IoT enables quick and coordinated responses.

Moreover, IoT extends its impact to energy management and control within the stadium. The technology allows for the monitoring and adjustment of energy usage, including lighting and occupancy control. By harnessing the power of IoT, stadiums can optimise their resource utilisation, reduce operational costs, and create an environment that prioritises both safety and sustainability.

Revolutionising Recruitment and Scouting

The integration of IoT technologies provides a comprehensive understanding of athlete performance, fitness levels, and potential, revolutionising the recruitment and scouting processes.

With IoT, we can measure metrics such as speed, agility, endurance, and skill proficiency in real-time. Moreover, smart wearables and connected devices allow for the measurement of cognitive responses, decision-making speed, and game intelligence. All of this helps coaches and talent scouts to make more informed decisions when identifying promising athletes, ensuring that talent is recognised not just on subjective judgment but on quantifiable performance metrics.

Then, the continuous monitoring facilitated by IoT enables the tracking of an athlete’s development over time. This long-term perspective provides insights into consistency, growth trajectories, and areas for improvement.

Final Thoughts: The Future of Sports Industry

We have only just begun to explore the extent to which science and technology can improve the performance of sports teams and athletes. As coaches and sports physicians increasingly recognise the benefits of combining traditional methods with sports technology, players are poised to achieve higher levels of fitness, demonstrate improved techniques and performance, as well as a reduced risk of fatigue-related muscle injuries.

At the same time, the evolution of new technologies and the growing interest in watching sporting events from the comfort of home point to a future in which fans can expect an increase in opportunities and innovative ideas for sports applications. Continued developments in both sports science and technology provide a more dynamic and engaging landscape for athletes and fans alike.

Promising. This is how I would describe the future of the business landscape centred around sports apps!

CTO at TeaCode

Michał is the co-founder and CTO of TeaCode. With over 10 years of experience, he’s an engineer driven by the challenge of solving the unsolvable. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology, providing him with a strong foundation for his technical expertise. He provides software development consulting for TeaCode’s clients and oversees several large-scale global projects. He focuses on crafting modern, agile solutions.

He’s a true leader as he manages the team of over 30 brilliant developers. Thanks to Michał, our company continuously raises the bar in technology, delivering the latest and most advanced solutions to its clients. He fosters excellence and innovation. Beyond his pivotal role, Michał is a specialist in technology for sports and industry, prioritizing green solutions and process optimization. He stays at the forefront of technological trends, particularly in AI, ensuring TeaCode delivers cutting-edge solutions consistently.

Michał Pierzchlewicz
Michał Pierzchlewicz

Michał is the co-founder and CTO of TeaCode. With over 10 years of experience, he’s an engineer driven by the challenge of solving the unsolvable. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology, providing him with a strong foundation for his technical expertise. He provides software development consulting for TeaCode’s clients and oversees several large-scale global projects. He focuses on crafting modern, agile solutions. He’s a true leader as he manages the team of over 30 brilliant developers. Thanks to Michał, our company continuously raises the bar in technology, delivering the latest and most advanced solutions to its clients. He fosters excellence and innovation. Beyond his pivotal role, Michał is a specialist in technology for sports and industry, prioritizing green solutions and process optimization. He stays at the forefront of technological trends, particularly in AI, ensuring TeaCode delivers cutting-edge solutions consistently.