Technology has had a massive impact on almost every aspect of society, with the world now a much different place from the one many people grew up knowing.
Business, healthcare and education are just three of the industries impacted by technology, but its effect on sports should also not be underestimated.
Read on to find out more about the top three ways that technology has changed the sports industry.
A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency designed to work as a medium of exchange. It uses cryptography to verify and secure transactions and controls the creation of new units of a particular cryptocurrency.
Perhaps the most well-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Introduced in 2009, the ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash system’ is completely decentralised, meaning there are no servers involved and no central controlling authority.
Bitcoin is a quick and efficient way to place sports bets online. The transactions are safe because a gambling operator will only have the player’s transaction code, eliminating the possibility of identity theft.
It is usually faster to process withdrawals by Bitcoin than many of the other traditional payment methods – a huge plus for many sports bettors.
The technology has even found its way into Premier League circles, with Arsenal recently signing a sponsorship deal with the US firm CashBet to promote their cryptocurrency.
In addition to being able to fund their accounts in a variety of different ways, punters can now access more data than ever before.
Studying form and analysing statistics is the key to making a profit from gambling and there are now a wide range of websites available where punters can carry out in-depth research on upcoming events.
The opportunity to gather data inevitably makes sports more interesting for fans and can lead to larger audiences for the clubs.
Sports organisations have also embraced data usage to improve their operations by utilising a variety of collection methods to monitor and enhance player performance.
One of the most well-known data collection systems is ProZone. Established in the UK in 1998 and acquired by STATS in 2015, Prozone have been pioneers in the use of performance analysis in football and it has become the go-to resource for many of the game’s top coaches.
The Football Association, FIFA, Real Madrid and Manchester United are amongst the organisations to embrace the technology, while former England bosses Steve McLaren and Sam Allardyce are also fans of the system.
Prozone performance insights are delivered through pioneering software and web applications featuring a mix of animation, video content and statistics. Users can then analyse every player movement and event throughout an entire match.
Technology has transformed the gaming industry in recent years, allowing fans to immerse themselves in their favourite sports.
Perhaps the most famous example of this has been the success of the Football Manager series, with the game now firmly embedded in football’s culture.
Over the past couple of decades there have been numerous examples of the game having an impact on its real-life counterpart.
In November 2000, England played a friendly international against Italy in Turin. When Italian manager Giovanni Trapattoni saw numerous unfamiliar names in the England squad, he asked his own players what they knew about their opponents.
Italian star Demetrio Albertini pulled his laptop out, loaded Championship Manager (Football Manager’s predecessor) and talked his boss through the capabilities of players such as Kieron Dyer and Seth Johnson.
Andre Villas-Boas is also a well-known advocate of the game, with the former Tottenham Hotspur manager admitting he has used it to evaluate the potential of players.
In 2008, Everton became the first club to publicly announce they would be using the game’s database in their scouting.
ProZone also linked up with Football Manager in 2014 to use information from the game’s database in their system.
Television ratings have fallen for many major sports around the world, yet fans are consuming more information than ever before through new technologies.
Live streaming, mobile applications, social video, virtual reality and augmented reality have all impacted the global sports industry.
With improvements in internet connectivity and advancements in smartphone capabilities, sports fans have more options available to them than ever before.
Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have played a major role in this change in consumption, with video and images at the centre of this revolution.
This new method of broadcasting is less reliant on traditional TV and has far greater appeal to a generation of people who don’t wish to be restricted by their geographical location to what content they can consume.
The likes of Facebook and Twitter have changed the way fans interact with sports and nowhere is that more evident than in the way fans can engage with their favourite clubs or players.
If you had suggested a few years ago that you could tweet someone like Alan Shearer or Gary Lineker and get a response from them, people would have questioned your sanity.
Social media has completely changed the landscape, providing access to incredible platforms where fans and athletes can connect. This connection increases enthusiasm and brings sport closer to the fans.
Sports clubs have also embraced social media, using the medium to interact with fans in ways that were never previously possible.
Major clubs like Manchester United inevitably deliver the best performance on all social metrics as a result of their global appeal, but social media has also been proven to make a real difference lower down the scale too.
Blackburn Rovers’ fall from grace in recent years under the ownership of Venky’s has been spectacular, but their on-field slide has been arrested this season by manager Tony Mowbray.
Off the field Rovers have recreated a sense of community through superb output on its social media channels – a hugely important development for an organisation that prides itself on being a family club.