Basketball is Changing: Here's How

It’s Friday, and you know what that means… Welcome back to The Sports Road, ladies and gentlemen! The world of sport is changing, and it is more important – and more difficult – than ever to keep up. Luckily, that’s exactly why we’re here… Enjoy! 

Here's what we got for ya today:

  • WNBA: The Future

  • It’s YOUR Time…

  • Experience the NBA Like Never Before

  • UFC 299

Most Valuable Sports Teams:

Let's get into it!

WNBA: The Future

The WNBA is growing, and with that, the product is only getting better and better…

Leading the charge for women’s sports globally, the league continues to act as a pioneer in the scene; specifically introducing new technologies into the game that have never been seen before. 

I mean, really. From joining into the NBA Launchpad, to extending data monitoring efforts to unforeseen levels, and introducing AI chatbots to aid fans (both old and new) in understanding the played game, the list only seems to be increasing. 

And, it does NOT look like they’re ready to stop anytime soon. That’s right. This week, the league has secured another HUGE partnership… 

Signing on with experts in digital data ecosystems, Genius Sports, the WNBA has become the first U.S Women’s Professional Sports League to apply league-wide 3D optical tracking data!

This is what we know so far: 

  • In specifically utilising data recovered through Genius Sports’ Second Spectrum platform, the system will work using a spread of cameras placed in each WNBA stadium with the aim of collecting low-latency, 3D player pose, and ball tracking data.

  • The deal is set to last a number of years, and the system is said to eventually offer great benefits in coaching and front-office capabilities.

  • In addition to these, the technology is set to offer teams the ability to access advanced data in real-time. This includes metrics such as shot quality, shooter impact, paint touches, play-type efficiencies, points per chance, contest quality, and more.

“We are delighted to partner with the WNBA to help them unlock the next generation of data analytics through our revolutionary optical tracking capabilities… For the first time ever, every WNBA team will have access to our groundbreaking suite of analytics, video production tools and our advanced tracking system that underpins the basketball ecosystem.”

Jack Davison, Chief Commercial Officer at Genius Sports

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There’s no denying that MotorSports have absolutely been on the up in recent years. Unfortunately for NASCAR – historically one of the biggest companies in the scene – much of the recent fanfare has headed in one direction…

The F1… Shocker, we know 😂But really. In recent years – to the detriment of NASCAR – the F1 has absolutely exploded.

Using a unique combination of media resources to create relationships with their fanbase like no other sporting organisation had done before, the F1 has carried out initiatives from Netflix shows, to arcades, and other unique and marketable opportunities.

With that, however, it could be argued that the firm set out a model for success; one which, recently, NASCAR seems to be taking a page out of.

In developing a series of online games, as well as securing partnerships with mainstream media outlets, NASCAR seems to be on a path which could determine the future success and fanbase of the organisation.

So what are they doing now, you ask? Absolutely revolutionising the way in which we – as fans – interact with sport. 

Alright, alright. That may sound dramatic, BUT this is very cool… 

Ever thought how cool it would be to actually compete in a race? You know, against the proper professionals… Well, if we’re to go off what Steve Phelps, NASCAR President, said earlier this week, that may actually be a reality. 

Having already developed a VR game in which fans can compete against one another, Phelps said that NASCAR are currently looking to develop a VR experience which would allow fans to virtually compete in races happening in real-time 🤯

While the system is to reportedly be ready within the year, the hyper-realistic system could actually be played both on the Apple Vision Pro and Meta VR headsets. 


Tech: Making Good out of…

Ah, the Detroit Pistons…

If we’re being totally honest, things are really not looking up on the court for the Detroit outfit… 

Having been dubbed by some as the NBA’s worst-ever team by some and going on a league record 28 losses in a row, being a Pistons fan has been pretty difficult recently 😅

Despite that, however, almost a quarter of Pistons fans are international. Extending their fan base all across the world, it looks like the team is set to use technology to increase fan connectability and, you know, perhaps increase everyone’s morale…

Partnering up with Meetkai, an AI and Metaverse firm, the Pistons are planning to create their first ever digital experience. 

Appropriately named the ‘Detroit Pistons World’, the platform will act as a multi-faceted home for Piston fans. 

Set to include a marketplace wherein fans will be given the opportunity to buy a whole host of Piston merch and memorabilia, the system will function using MeetKai’s AI Digital Twin technology.

Additionally, however, the system will also offer exclusive content and themed games. While it's still yet to be seen if these will come with real-life rewards, the experience is said to be extremely personable. 

“Both MeetKai and the Detroit Pistons are thrilled about this partnership. We're hitting the ground running on the development of the "Detroit Pistons World," and couldn't be more excited to offer its fanbase a never-before-seen, virtual experience like no other… This world will not only expand and extend basketball fandom into new realms, but be a special opportunity for the Pistons to reach new audiences globally in new ways.”

James Kaplan, CEO and Co-Founder of MeetKai

We Need to Talk About: UFC 299

Now this has been a long time coming…

Let us cast your minds back to August 2020 – four years ago 🤯Specifically, we want to remind you of a fight fought between two of the UFC’s Bantamweight divisions biggest upcoming stars – Sean O’Malley and Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. Sound familiar?

In a fight shrouded in controversy, Chito Vera left the winner. But things did NOT end there. With O’Malley refusing to acknowledge the loss – in which his leg was damaged early in round one – tensions between the two continued to rise as they both drove up the rankings.

These tensions would eventually lead us to Saturday night wherein Sean O’Malley, who is now Champion at 135, will defend his belt against…

You guessed it, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera!

With both fighters improving drastically, this bout is a mouthwatering prospect for UFC fans… Both bringing a cerebral approach to the fight, it promises NOT to disappoint. 

Possessing a flashy style which seems to consistently put off opponents, lulling them into his right hand, O’Malley will be looking to put a stamp on his rivalry with Vera and, perhaps finally to some, cement himself as a STAR in the UFC.

But, let’s not beat around the bush. Marlon Vera will be coming into this fight with a different mindset to any before. Being his first chance to achieve gold in the UFC, as Michael Bisping put it this week “Chito is looking like a nasty b*****d. He’s knocking people out in training.” Do NOT count him out.  

Away from the Main Event, however, UFC 299 may be one of the UFC’s best cards EVER… With veteran stars such as Petr Yan, Gilbert Burns, Kevin Holland, and Dustin Poirier all putting their legacies on the line to fight young up and comers, you should most definitely be expecting fireworks.

Seeing the introduction of Michael ‘Venom’ Page (MVP) – a flashy, unpredictable fighter coming out of the UK – and names such as Song Yadong, Benoit Saint-Denis, and Jack Della Maddalena all testing themselves against the elite of UFC talent, this card could also create a new generation of stars…

Trust us, you do NOT want to miss out.

Quick Bites

Meme of the Week


Quote of the Week

"You’re Getting Knocked Out"

Sean O’Malley to Chito Vera

Picture of the Week

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Chat to ya next week! ☮️