COVID-19 is likely to accelerate AI’s impact on sport. Here's a look at the area that will be most affected - The fans.
The sports business’s recovery from the global pandemic will rely heavily on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered solutions as it confronts a plethora of broad challenges in the uncertain months ahead. AI can be seen across every facet of the sports industry, from scouting and recruitment, training and performance analysis (i.e. Mustard just raised $1.7), maintaining player health and fitness, and broadcasting and advertising.
However, the acceleration of AI will be particularly evident among media and fan experience - as teams, leagues, and organisations try to make up for lost gate revenue. This is already leading to the creation of more high-end content, such as advanced statistics, customized highlights, and immersive experiences – as explained by Eric Prisbell for Sports Business Journal.
Earlier this week (MLB) launched Film Room powered by Google Cloud. The platform draws on a bank of more than 3.5 million archived clips with a built-in editor and distribution system – allowing users to create and share their own content on a variety of different digital and social channels.
Furthermore, Facebook's virtual reality platform Oculus has entered into a multi-year partnership with the NBA. The partnership aims to provide fans with innovative and new experiences for watching games at home, such as the “Oculus Front Row View” camera angle and NBA League Pass games available in virtual reality.
As a result, COVID-19 is likely to accelerate AI’s impact on sport. There’s an expectation that further developments will continue to be made over the coming months as the behind-closed-doors matches force higher take-up of new technologies for both clubs and fans.