The AI Set to Change the Premier League

Welcome back to the Sports Road, ladies and gentlemen. This week was a big one in the sports world… With technology beginning to take over nearly every aspect of our favourite games, it’s time for you to get ahead of the curve – and that’s why we’re here 😅 Enjoy!

Here's what we got for ya today:

  • The Premier League’s Newest AI

  • Meta x Sport

  • NASCAR…

  • UFC 300!

Most Valuable Sports Teams:

Let's get into it!

The AI Set to Change the Premier League

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The opportunities that technology can provide to teams looking to increase fan engagement are invaluable.

Allowing fans deeper, more personalised insights into both the played action and what goes on behind-the-scenes, the connection we are currently seeing between sporting organisations and their fans is unmatched. 

And, as you have probably guessed by now, it does NOT look like that is about to change… Well, it looks to be the opposite, in fact…

Representing a partnership that could go on to shift team-fan engagement for a long time to come, Brentford have teamed up with experts in sports data, Genius Sports, to add a new dimension to the topic of fan engagement. 

This is what we know so far: 

  • Specifically working using Genius’ Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, fans visiting Brentford’s Gtech stadium will have the ability to access real-time augmented highlights. 

  • Being the first Premier League team to implement such technologies, in classic Genius fashion, highlights will be equipped with a variety of data-driven statistics. These are set to include shot speeds, shot trails, player names, and pitch maps.

  • Importantly, in addition to aiding the in-stadium experience, highlights will be shared on social media following the game. 

Colliding perfectly with the vision we have seen of Brentford's higher-ups, such data-driven approaches have already seen success across the Footballing Pyramid.

Here’s to more of it! 🍻🍻

“Everything we do at Brentford is through a fan-first perspective. Whilst we rate highly for matchday experience, we are always looking at ways we can improve and add something a little different when attending a game at the Gtech. As a club that owes much to a data-driven approach, we wanted to meet the appetite for fans who are also extremely interested in this aspect of the game. We think the additional analysis will be enjoyed by the majority of fans whether attending in person or post-match on socials.”

Steve Watts, Marketing Services Director at Brentford FC

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META IS BACK!

We’ll be honest with you guys. We very rarely talk about Cricket here at The Sports Road (sorry Cricket fans)...

Why? Well, in terms of technological innovation, other than a few deals here and there, the sport has seen little-no big changes.

Until now… This could be GAME-CHANGING!

So. If we asked you all who the biggest technology firm is right now, the truth is, we would probably get a mixed bag of answers; a guarantee, however, is that a VERY large number of you would say Meta. 

Being one of the biggest technology companies in the world, Meta currently owns – get this – Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, Threads, and more. And, in sporting contexts, their work is extremely important. 

With social media becoming an integral part of how sports teams operate, popularity online can play a key role in success. Specifically aiding in interactions with fans, gaining sponsors, and more, having a strong online presence is crucial in every sense of the word…

With that, Meta has started work with a variety of content creators, teams, and broadcasters to increase content relating to the Indian Premier League (IPL) on social media platforms. 

Specifically signing more than 250 creators, exclusive content will be carried across Meta’s various platforms. These are set to include features such as ‘Ask Star’ on Threads, exclusive reels on Instagram, and more.

Bringing Cricket to the forefront of millions of people’s minds, this deal could spark incredible growth for the sport and – despite sounding a bit dramatic – be a VERY big turning point in the game’s history… 

“With platforms like Threads that enable fans and experts to voice their opinions and Instagram that allows fans and athletes to share moments and create unique content related to the games, we are dedicated to heighten this excitement through our partnerships and collaborations with creators from all over India… We’re thankful to our partners like Star Sports as well, to join in this journey.”

Paras Sharma, Director of Content and Community Partnerships for Meta, India

The Next Step…

Speaking of the devil, social media's influence doesn’t just end there… 

The truth is, the phenomenon can make or break entire organisations; no matter how big they are. 

I mean, just take the F1 as an example… Growing exponentially over the last couple of years, the organisation did something that others couldn’t…

While many utilised social media, the F1 took it to a whole new level. Signing deal after deal, the company expertly leveraged their online presence to bring fans into a sport which desperately needed it. 

With one in every two F1 fans having started their following of the sport in the last four years, the impacts of the company’s media and tech revolution is clear to see. 

Specifically providing a blueprint for which other organisations can benefit, the F1’s success particularly portrayed the importance of engaging fans into what goes on behind-the-scenes, the drivers themselves, and more. 

As such, NASCAR – who, to be honest, have probably suffered as a result of the F1’s success – recently upped their game. 

Implementing technological solutions to a number of problems faced in the industry, the organisation is seemingly hell-bent on returning to its former glory days. 

With that, this week the company announced a new partnership with WSC Sports – a global leader in AI-powered sport content.

This is what we know so far:

  • Having already worked together in the past, this deal represents an extension of WSC’s and NASCAR’s work together. 

  • Placing a focus on updating NASCAR’s dedicated app, the partnership will particularly revolve around the creation of vertical-style videos. Allowing fans a more easily-digestible platform for which to view the company’s content, these will include race highlights, personalised videos, and more. 

  • Similar to the stories seen across various media platforms, NASCAR is looking to increase fan engagement with their own systems.

“Nascar’s unique style of close, side-by-side racing delivers plenty of highlight-reel moments each week and In-App Stories are an ideal way for us to deliver the type of compelling content fans crave on mobile.” 

Wyatt Hicks, Vice President of Digital Media for Nascar

We Need to Talk About: UFC 300

Ladies and gentlemen, it is FINALLY here!

Wow, UFC 300… What a ride it’s been to get to this point 😮‍💨😮‍💨😮‍💨Having originally looked especially light – particularly at the top of card – we can now comfortably say that we are staring down the barrel of an event that could go down as UFC’s best EVER…

Why do we say that? Well, just listen to some of the stats and facts… 

Saturday night will see 7 fighters from the pound-for-pound list compete, 12 current or former champions, Gold Medal Olympians, a combined 109 post-fight bonuses, and so much more… 

Stacked from the first card up until the very last, to put things into perspective, the very first prelim of the night will literally be contested between two former champions.

I mean, WHAT!?

Headlined by Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill, the card’s Main Event is bound to be fireworks. With both men being some of the heaviest hitters in the entire UFC, each man is technically skilled enough to put on a serious showing for the belt…

Don’t believe us? 

😲😲😲

But unlike many combat sport events now – as we’ve mentioned – UFC 300 has so much more to offer.

From Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira returning against Arman Tsarukyan to determine the next challenger for Islam Makhachev, to Zhang Weili defending her belt, and Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway being bound to give us one of the fight’s of the year, there is almost too much to expect…   

“When you talk about a card from top to bottom, the very first fight of the night until the main event... Basically the first fight of the night could be the main event and that’s how every single fight throughout the rest of the night is.”

Dana White, President of the UFC

Quick Bites

Meme of the Week

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Quote of the Week

"I don't usually plan on being alive the day after my fights"

Justin Gaethje

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Chat to ya next week! ☮️