TIME FOR SMART SPORTS
Use of Technology is revolutionizing the sports domain
Use of Technology is revolutionizing the sports domain
Technology is usually used in sports to collect data and do analytics on the performances of teams or individual players. In the Indian landscape, technology would help if used at the ground level to organize the selection of the players/scouting of players in schools or colleges, to track performances of players who have shown potential to be future representatives of Indian sports.
The adoption of IT in the Indian sports landscape is imperative for two key reasons: data digitization helps maintain records, statistics, and data about players for profiling, tracking progress etc. and advanced data analytics aids team performances especially for sports like cricket which involves extensive data capture and analysis.
AT DEVELOPMENT STAGE
The overall IT adoption in Indian sports is still in the nascent stage for a number of reasons. One of the prime reasons for that is the overall structure of sports industry in the country has seen major growth only in the recent 7-8 years. The sports industry has also received attention and investment from private sector, for further development of infrastructure and enabling tools, only during this period.
Additionally, the extent of digital following for sports compared to the overall digital connected base is seeing growth only now and is still lower than the benchmark in developed countries. The problem is less about one particular thing, and more about many aspects.
However, it is also a case of simply needing time to develop in a very complex market and determining the unique needs and interests in India, and problems that IT can help solve in Indian sport. “We have built a platform that will encourage people to play sports. The problems that people who are interested in sports are that they don’t have a partner and a lot of times they are clueless about where to play a sport, where to find coaching classes or coaches. Through our location based app people can connect with like-minded people interested in sports and they can explore various sports options in their city. Therefore, we have created a marketplace for sports, where the people who are interested in sports can get the right information on the sport clubs, coaches and latest events on sports,” says spokesperson of Playyoursport.
The initiatives have been slow even for cricket, the number one sport in the country and only since 2008, has there been greater participation and initiatives with respect to IT for developing various aspects of the game. ESPNcricinfo leads in data arching of international, national local cricket in India – from international competitions to the Under13, Under 14, Under 15 levels, standardizing player databases, records and covering these sports.
Since its inception in 1993, ESPNcricinfo has played a leading role in digitizing and making available almost all of the data available on Cricket. “Currently, we have a player database of 75, 338 and counting and final match scorecards of over 60,000 matches – dating back to 1877. Apart from Statsguru, a state-of-the-art tool customized for searches on statistics, we have over 2,000 record pages, bulk of which is updated in real-time. Over the years, we have dedicated teams working to constantly improve our software and systems for enhanced data analysis, digital publications and multi-screen experiences,” explains Ramesh Kumar, head of ESPNcricinfo and ESPN Digital Media, India. Statsguru is an interface that links to an in-depth database of historical and current cricket data. It allows users to slice-and-dice data in thousands of different ways allowing analysis and interpretation of cricket scenarios and hypotheses. This is a tool which is used by players, selectors, cricket bodies, coaches, analysts, media and administrators to analyze data about teams and players across multiple dimensions.
ESPNcricinfo’s Insights is a path-breaking analytics tool which brings together all the statistics and trivia based content and expertise under one umbrella. It is a onestop destination where users are able to interact with statistical nuggets like player versus player comparisons across game formats, taking into consideration factors like playing venue, opposition, results for past as well as ongoing matches. This will be further developed and portions will be offered to key stakeholders in the cricket industry and community like cricketing bodies, clubs and schools, analysts and potential consumers to aid analysis.
It is uniquely equipped to interpret cricket data and add a qualitative perspective to analysis, in order to provide insightful cricketing content. Leveraging our in-depth coverage of cricket, www.espncricinfo. som/insights is a go-to destination for fans looking for statistics and analysis around ‘The World Cup’ cricket tournament. A first of its kind, it allows fans to interact with statistics in an easy and engaging manner. It uses our in-depth database of cricketing statistics and records to offer users’ ways to discover, interact with and share interesting data, trivia and statistics around the game.
By approaching the most granular of cricket data right up to a ball bowled in any international cricket match from a descriptive, diagnostic and predictive perspective, ESPNcricinfo Insights is a game changer, providing fans with comprehensive insights at any point before, during and after a live match. Fans are able to play around with interesting nuggets of information and data, like player versus player comparisons, across game formats, and taking into account factors like venue, opposition, result of the game for past as well as matches of ongoing match.
IS THE INDUSTRY BLIND TOWARDS TECH NEED?
“There are multiple factors affecting the situation. With the penetration of internet across the country and increasing number of mobile consumers, I don’t believe that sports industry is unable to identify the huge potential. However, there is still a significant lack of interest, probably because of the sports culture in India, which is single-eyed on cricket,” said Sumeet Soni, CEO of Zapbuild Technologies who launched an Android application, Catch the Cup 2015 to keep the sports lovers updated with all the latest happenings in the world of Cricket.
Since last year, the company has launched two Android applications for covering CommonWealth Games in Glasgow and now, ‘Catch the Cup-2015’ for the live coverage of Cricket World Cup. Both of them have received an excellent response with more than 20000 downloads for CommonWealth Games application around the globe.
The idea is to always target the masses and keep them updated on anything that is happening, in real time. People on the move or working against time crunch can use their mobiles to keep them abreast with the live scores, medal tally and latest news, without any significant time lag,” adds Soni. With the conception of several different leagues, growing infra-
structure in other sports and definitely, the efforts by the Sports Authority, the things seem to be improving. This will have an overall positive impact on the IT penetration in the industry, as well.
NEWS FOR THE AUTO LOVERS
Those buying Ford EcoSport will continue to get updates from ESPN Cricinfo even while in their vehicle, thanks to the introduction of SYNC with Ford AppLink. Ford EcoSport will be the second product after 2014 Ford Fiesta to support this award-winning in-car technology, enabling customers to conveniently access their favorite smartphone applications through simple voice-commands. “Consumers today are leading an increasingly connected lifestyle and wish to stay up-todate even while on the move. Ford AppLink addresses this unmet need and helps them stay connected without ever compromising on convenience,” said Anurag Mehrotra, executive director Marketing Sales and Service, at Ford India.
The introduction of Ford AppLink on EcoSport is a testament to the opportunistic intersection of sports and IT. Safety, convenience & seamless connectivity are the three cornerstones of SYNC with Ford AppLink technology that allows greater communication between smartphone apps and AppLink equipped
vehicles through voice commands.
SLOW BUT STEADY
There is slow transition from the traditional to more advanced and modern systems, be it the Goal-Line Technology used in the FIFA World Cup 2014, HawkEye used in Wimbledon or Cricket Leagues or LED Stumps among others. This adoption in Indian sports industry will definitely take off though it might be slow initially. However, a recent survey conducted by Gartner reveals that India will be one of the leading economies in the world, in the next 5 years, and moreover, with the new and improved infrastructure, the picture looks bright.
“Consumers today are leading an increasingly connected lifestyle and wish to stay up-todate even while on the move. Ford AppLink addresses this unmet need and helps them stay connected without ever compromising on convenience” ANURAG MEHROTRA, executive director Marketing Sales and Service, at Ford India
“we have dedicated teams working to constantly improve our software and systems for enhanced data analysis, digital publications and multi-screen experiences” RAMESH KUMAR, head of ESPNcricinfo and ESPN Digital Media
“There are multiple factors affecting the situation. With the penetration of internet across the country and increasing number of mobile consumers, I don’t believe that sports industry is unable to identify the huge potential. However, there is still a significant lack of interest, probably because of the sports culture in India, which is single-eyed on cricket”
SUMEET SONI, CEO of Zapbuild Technologies