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AI gives players the competitive edge, both on and off the pitch

  • To survive and grow in an increasingly competitive world, sports organisations need to reinvent themselves. Digital transformation programs and solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence will be a key differentiator to compete on and off the pitch, while increasing reach, acquisition, loyalty, and sales, inside and outside the venue. 

    Sebastián Lancestremère, Sports Managing Director at Microsoft Corporation will be speaking at the upcoming flagship data and AI event, Big Data Belfast on Thursday, 26th October. Sebastian leads the Microsoft Sports practice, helping clubs, leagues and federations to become digital and sustainable businesses that completely reimagine the fan experience and discover new monetisation models.

    According to Lancestremère, “The future of sports technology is incredibly exciting thanks to the use of data-driven insights and the growing potential of Generative AI.  At Microsoft, our vision is to support the sports industry’s evolution into a “Sportainment” and “Datatainment” industry, with organisations transforming into media houses and data organisations.  

    “This transition will create richer, more personalised content, products, and services, boosting current revenue streams, and creating new ones. Our work in this space to date hints at a future where the convergence of traditional industries through digital transformation is expanding into sports technology and the business of sports. Generative AI is a ‘once-in-a-generation’ technology that will enable us all to better serve the fan and create new experiences – which, as always, remains the touchstone of the industry.”

    Similarly, to how AI in retail analyses consumer behavior to personalise recommendations and optimise the customer journey, AI in sports offers tailored content and enhances fan interaction, thereby providing sports devotees with a more enriched and customised experience. 

    Beyond the fan experience, the integration of smart and cognitive technology into sports venues will also be transformational - not only in driving efficiencies but in aligning with sustainability commitments. Technologies such as, Domotics, AI, and IoT can converge to support crowd management, security threat detection, and building management, all helping to minimise waste, water and energy consumption.  

    The utilisation of AI and wearables also has a huge impact on sport itself, providing coaches and athletes with real-time insights about game strategy, body movements, techniques, psychological analysis, and injury prevention.

    Ahead of the event, Lancestremère highlighted the importance of opportunities to collaborate with a cross-section of industry leaders to discuss the transformative impact that AI can bring to different businesses. He continued: “It is vital we are coming together in Belfast to learn from perspectives and experiences and to discuss the potential opportunity that AI can bring to the business community here in this market. We are at the formative stages of this new era of AI so it’s great to see our partner, Analytics Engines bringing together, and showcasing how, market-leading organisations are using data and AI to innovate, ultimately creating better products, services, and experiences for their customers.”

    This article appears in the Big Data edition of Sync NI magazine. To receive a free copy click here.

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