As a business development professional specializing in sports technology, Beau Adams of Cypress, Texas is always interested in the impact of technology trends within his space. He recognizes that many developments that are reaching a head in the sports industry in 2022 — especially as experts acknowledge all of the ways digitization can improve experiences while pushing sports to a new level.
Given the landscape has paved the way for a wide variety of sports technology trends in the present, many people interested in sports may not be aware of which will likely be most longstanding. Here, Beau explores a few sports technology trends that are leading the way in 2022 and will continue to rise as they attract investors and push the needle for evolution in the industry.
Sports NFTs Expected to Surge in Popularity
Whether you love them, hate them, or do not understand them, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have experienced a boom in popularity as of late, especially in collector focused industries such as sports. Recent analysis provided by Deloitte’s has shown that sports media is predicted to generate over $2 billion in transactions in 2022 alone.
Deloitte finds that player cards and video clips of iconic sports moments are the most likely to be the most popular and profitable usage of NFTs. The study also predicts that four to five million sports fans worldwide will have either purchased or been gifted a sports-based NFT by the end of the year.
With the increasing popularity of sports NFTs. Beau Adams and other sports technology experts recognize that we can expect to see a lot of experimentation on NFT platforms as leaders find the best balance of ownership structures to entice consumer demand while remaining in-line with existing rights to these assets. This includes evolving existing platforms for sports related NFTs while finding innovative ways for the technology involved in NFTs —such as blockchain — to push development in the space.
Proof of Concept for Sustainable Technology in Large-Scale Sporting Events
For years, sustainability has been a topic across industries as we look to reduce our carbon footprint and maintain our environment for posterity. Sports is no stranger to ideas to improve sustainability, but in 2022 experts are expecting these methods to reach new heights.
A shining example of improved sustainability in the sports sector is the technology that we will see debut during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This is largely due to the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), a system created in the Middle East for rating and evaluating buildings based on their sustainability impacts. This system will officially be used to the eight stadiums that will host the World Cup.
There are multiple features of stadiums that will host the 2022 World Cup that show an interest in more sustainable practices. For example, the Ras Abu Aboud stadium will be the first stadium in the history of the tournament that is fully dismountable- meaning it can be dismantled after the games to make way for a waterfront site and public green space.
Sustainable technology used in Qatar’s new stadiums reflect the growing priority of environmentally-friendly practices in sports
The Doha Metro, which will handle the task of transporting fans around the country during the World Cup has also made news for its regenerative braking systems that will serve to reduce its carbon footprint during operation. Qatar will use similar technology for electric cars and buses that will transport fans to the stadiums as well.
While the sustainable technology that will be used for the FIFA World Cup is far from the only example in sports, it stands out as perhaps the most prolific. For years, experts have theorized ways that we can reduce emissions and environmental impacts associated with the tournament, and now we will have proof of concept for making necessary changes in future events.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence has already seen some usage in the sport’s industry, but experts such as Beau Adams predict that its utilization will only increase in the later parts of 2022. Beau notes that there are a variety of different ways that we can expect AI to bolster experiences and contribute to analytics in sports.
One of the most interesting applications of AI in sports is optimizing athletes’ performance while assisting with coaches’ ability to provide feedback on techniques. Athlete’s AI stands out as a strong example of this type of technology. The company empowers athletes to stream or upload training sessions or matches where AI algorithms can later provide post-match analysis.
Helping athletes determine metrics that they may need to improve on points to a potentially bustling, new market for athletics, and we can expect to see investments in similar technologies throughout the remainder of 2022.
Beau Adams recognizes that there are a variety of other ways that AI will stand out as premier technology for improving logistics in sports as well. AI is expected to be a great asset for sports betting as it can be utilized for data to determine odds for matches. We may also see AI used more for features such as video highlights, virtual officiators, and new ways to add value to the experience of live sports.
Investments in Digital Platforms for Athletes
As technological innovations continue to change the way that athletes and fans interact with sports, it is crucial that they do not fall behind. Beau notes that, in the digital age, athletes will need to use platforms that help set them apart from the crowd- especially if they are looking to be picked up by sports recruiters in a sea of talent.
In 2022, we can expect more investment into platforms that give players a one-stop-shop to show their highlights, data from games, and evaluate athletic programs that may suit them as they take the next step in their athletic careers. Breakout Athletic Network- a digital platform founded by Beau Adams- takes this into consideration by providing athletes with a place to build their athletic resumes. Breakout Athletic Network collects and stores data that includes highlights, game stats, academic progress, and other metrics attractive to recruiters.
While athletes do have existing platforms to choose from for shining light on their progress as athletes, they are often spread out and do not include a one-stop-shop for displaying this data. The growing need for innovative platforms that completely streamline the creation of digital resumes for athletes will reach a head this year, and investments will pave way for even more development.
Looking to the Future of Sports Technology
It is undoubtedly an exciting time for sports, as the impact that digitalization in the space has paved the way for a wide variety of innovations. Expect that — in the remainder of 2022 — we will see a profound interest in technological innovations that serve to accentuate our experiences and provide a more personal touch to the games that we enjoy. Investments in these interesting developments will undoubtedly influence the trajectory of tech for years to come.