In today's fast-paced world, technology is rapidly transforming the landscape of sports. From recruitment strategies to performance enhancement and fan engagement, the role of technology in the sports industry is becoming increasingly vital. To gain insights into the future of technology in sports, the Sports Pro Podcast sat down with Mitch Heath, Co-Founder of Teamworks, and Katia Zavershinskaya, a Premier League tech expert. They discussed the unique nature of sports tech and the crucial factors when choosing a technology partner.
As the sports world shifts from paper and pencil to technology adoption, Mitch Heath predicts significant changes on the horizon over the next five years. He envisions a new wave of innovation that will lead to the incorporation of a true operating system model. This model, similar to those seen in other industries, will enable seamless communication among various technological components, resulting in enhanced insights and data. Mitch says,
"The next wave of innovation… will move towards... a true operating system model that you've seen in other industries where all those different pieces, all those best-in-class pieces of technology start talking to each other, and we start getting better insights and better data as a result."
Over the next five years, this complete operating system will redefine success in sports, focusing on efficiency, collaboration, player well-being, and holistic achievement. The digital transformation will modernize the backend operations of sports organizations and allow teams to maximize player performance.
This evolution is driven by several key factors, including a new generation of tech-savvy players who expect seamless and integrated technology experiences. Mitch explains, "We have a generation of players who are being smarter about distractions and saying I don't want 30 different apps with 30 different logins. This should be a more seamless experience." App fatigue is already provoking greater tech adoption within organizations, and player buy-in is essential for its continued success.
Furthermore, sports organizations seek an advantage over their competitors, and a growing global fanbase demands connectivity. Katia emphasizes that technology unlocks significant growth opportunities, such as improving communication within organizations, understanding player performance data, creating customized fan experiences, and providing value through education.
To maximize the impact of technology, it must be efficient and effective, reducing screen time so athletes can focus on their performance. Katia adds,
"Technology should not be a distraction but rather be efficient and effective enough that it will reduce screen time so athletes can focus on the field, pitch, court, etc."
Centralizing athlete performance analytics and data points is crucial for meaningful use. Sports organizations must streamline their processes to adapt to the constant changes in the industry and the mobility of key players and staff.
"Sport as a vertical has a lot of very interesting nuances. There have been attempts to use horizontal tools from other industries, but ultimately, sport is extremely mobile. All the key players and staff are not sitting behind a desk all day long. They are up on the move, they are traveling, and we have to reach them where they are."
Customization is key, as is partnering with vendors who understand the intricacies of the sports industry and its unique challenges.
“There’s more value-add in bringing partners and bringing vendors that are within the industry. That understand how we operate as an organization, understand the challenges, understand the ways of how we bring the technology to light.”
- Katia Zavershinskaya
It’s time to redefine ‘winning.’ In the pursuit of optimizing player performance, a holistic approach is essential, considering data from all aspects of an athlete's life, including performance, nutrition, mental health, and more. This comprehensive data model provides a fuller picture that can better optimize player performance.
It’s something that Teamworks specializes in, with a complete solution that enhances the athlete lifecycle with one app that connects, focuses and empowers both the athlete and the administrative support team:
As the sports industry continues to evolve, it's crucial to ask: Is your technology working for you?
Teamworks offers solutions that can optimize operational efficiency and enhance the player experience. Embracing technology and fostering collaboration will undoubtedly shape the future of sports, making it more efficient, engaging, and successful.
‘What I love most about working in sports is that there’s a high standard of excellence. We as an industry are people that want to win, we want to be great. We want to push the envelope. This is not an industry where people want to be mediocre and maintain the status quo…. It’s important to have partners that recognize that and have the same level of ambition and expectations for themselves...’
-Mitch Heath, Teamworks Co-Founder
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