Last week, more than 80 industry executives weighed in on the upcoming trends to watch in 2017 along with various predictions for what could be expected in the next calendar year.
Responses were limited to 75 words or fewer and included sports industry professionals across the worlds of technology, virtual reality, social media, sports science, eSports and other niches within sports.
We sifted through the answers and wanted to highlight some of the more common points made throughout the article along with compelling quotes from the participants.
1) Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
In 2016, everyone tried out VR and AR integrations, from FOX Sports and its college football games to the Big Ten Championship football game, NFL and NBA with its weekly virtual reality broadcasts on LEAGUE PASS.
Heading into 2017, expect further advancements made on both the hardware and production in addition to more virtual content offerings.
Some professional and college teams dabbled in augmented virtual reality over the past year, but in the next 12 months, look for a heightened focus on AR experiences as teams and brands look to further engage their target fan or consumer.
“Live sports productions in virtual reality will become “Second Screen 2.0.”
While the first version of the second screen didn’t provide any substantial commercial benefit, the promise of VR and all of its exciting permutations, like mixed reality and augmented reality, will give audiences new and exciting things to do.
Produced pieces in VR will complement these efforts perfectly — audiences will come for the live VR, but stay for the AR and VOD.”
— Michael Davies, Senior Vice President Field and Technical Operations, FOX Sports
2) Sports Science
It isn’t just enough anymore to give a professional athlete a piece of wearable technology to track performance on the playing field or monitor his or her daily routine.
The next step is for players, coaches and trainers to better understand what do with that data once it’s been captured and read.
Additionally, there was a consensus from companies like WHOOP, Volt Athletics, Moov and others that actionable data combined with daily monitoring will help athletes perform at their most optimal level.
“Technology currently isn’t playing a widespread role in athletic development because it’s not practical, affordable, and effective.
That will change. Athletes will demand more than tracking from their fitness wearables.
Steps, calories, heart rate — users might know what their body is doing 24/7, but there is a disconnect between having the data and knowing what to do with it.
Turning trackable data into actionable recommendations will fundamentally change the relationship between coach, athlete and sports.”