Sports, business & technology

Cool trends in sports and technology

Kangaroo TVTo see how profound an effect technology has had on sports and business, one needed to look no further than last week’s Sports Events Marketing Experience (SEME) East 2008 in Washington, D.C., where an entire panel was devoted to the subject. Titled “New Technologies: Impacting the way we view and market sports,” panelists Earl Patton, Jr. (sports marketer for Sony Electronics), George Assimakopoulos (founder of EyeTraffic Media) and Eric Herd (director of sales and business development for an online sports site that is so new, he couldn’t disclose the name quite yet) identified trends to watch for in sports business and technology. Here are a selected few:

Interactive Voice Response (IVR): You’re probably already, unfortunately, acquainted with this thanks to automated voice messages whenever you call a customer service line. Thankfully there are positive uses to IVR, which provides answers to your voice responses, such as the MySportsPulse site that I mentioned in an entry last week. Assimakopoulos provided a non-sports example: 1.800.GOOG.411. Yes, Google has done it again, providing yet another free tool that will change your world, in this case, providing 411 services for free. The advantage for marketers is that they can link your cell phone number to targeted search results (although in my case, I don’t know how well that would work because I have a Virginia cell phone number in New York).

An increasingly engaging experience at the stadium: Kangaroo TV ( seems to be leading the way in this area, providing handheld devices that emit DirecTV signals to fans at events like NASCAR and Formula One races, and soon the NFL. Instant replay, real-time statistics and more are available through a handset that the fan can operate right at the event. So if a favorite driver or runner only crosses your path every lap, a fan can still track his or her progress (just don’t look at the handset too much or you’ll miss all the live action).

Creative forums for social networking communities: Traditional fan sites are a thing of the past, with previously far-fetched ideas and campaigns now gaining steam online. One of these is, which collects money to buy LeBron James incentive gifts like Yankees season tickets in the hopes that he’ll join the New York Knicks in 2010 if he opts out of his contract with Cleveland. If he doesn’t join? He doesn’t get the loot, and all the money goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Another site is, a sports ticket stock market site developed by an MIT graduate that takes wagers on future match-ups with tickets serving as the prizes. The site resembles a large database, so the basic gist is this: Let’s say that that the Yankees will play the Cubs (I know, it won’t happen, but work with me here) in the 2011 World Series. If I put down $1 and I’m right, I can win a ticket to go to the 2011 World Series…for just $1. It’s an innovative take on what is referred to as the “secondary ticket market,” and it certainly beats some of the high prices on and similar sites.

Patton also compared sports to social networking, indicating that the success of combining both worlds was due to the fact that sports already provide a “pre-populated social network without technology,” making it that much easier for advertisers to determine which segments to target. How true this statement is. How many times have people immediately bonded upon learning that the person they just met is or isn’t a Red Sox fan?


April 6, 2008 - Posted by | basketball, Web sites | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. As long as the technology you are using, won’t get you in harm’s way, go ahead and use it, otherwise it’s a waste, no matter how sophisticated the gadget may be. I am an electronic engineer, and I believe there is more harm than safety in them, because of our evil society. USE TO YOUR OWN DISCRETION!. Thankx

    Comment by rydlp15 | April 7, 2008 | Reply

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