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Is global sports’ technology focus on the winning line or the bottom line?

17 November 2020

Inaugural Sports Technology Annual Review’s findings published today

Ground-breaking report and Power List compiled by The STA Group and English Institute of Sport

The STA Group and the English Institute of Sport (EIS) today published a new industry report, The Sports Technology Annual Review. The Review, the first of its kind for technology in the sports industry, shares industry insights as well as data, and details advances and trends across sport globally.

The information published draws from over 30 years’ collective knowledge of both parties. The EIS Performance Innovation team has a long history of transferring technology and methods from other industries into the performance space. The STA Group’s insights are drawn from entry submissions to its award programmes, along with reviews of these by expert industry judges. Both bodies have scrutinized thousands of different technologies within a sports context, spanning analytics, performance equipment, broadcast and fan engagement innovations.

The Review also features a sports technology Power List, celebrating the most important, advanced and innovative organisations in the sector globally; brands featured include Formula One, Tour de France, and the NBA.

Findings from The Review include:

  • The UK has emerged as the leading force in sports technology, beating the US by a narrow margin
  • The drivers behind tech are ever-more advanced, with AI (artificial intelligence), MR (mixed reality), and UCG (user generated content) increasingly prevalent Performance technology is evolving in incredible ways, with a strong focus on athlete health and bioscience
  • New innovations mean concepts like ‘bravery’ are now measurable

Rebecca Hopkins, CEO of The STA Group, who co-authored The Review, said:

Creating The Review has been a fascinating and enjoyable collaboration with the EIS, especially as our respective knowledge has been gleaned from such different viewpoints, namely that of business and performance – or ‘suits’ versus ‘tracksuits’. Given this, it is reassuring the degree to which our research and opinions aligned. Our sector is data-rich but we both felt that an insights and opinions would better serve the wider industry and the aim of The Review is to provide that.’

Fellow co-author, Dave Thomas, Performance Innovation Consultant at the English Institute of Sport added:

‘There’s no doubt that technology and innovation regularly capture the imagination of the sporting world. Whether tech is focussed on improving athlete performance, making sport safer or simply generating income, it often has a massive impact across the sector.

‘With so much data, research and information available, the aim of The Sports Technology Annual Review is to provide a definitive report that outlines the real MVPs in sports tech. ‘Part of our role in delivering solutions for athletes and sports is assessing what technology can make a real performance impact, and by combining our knowledge with The STA Group’s own research and insight, we hope this new report shines a light both on high-profile innovations and those having real influence.’

The Sports Technology Annual Review is available to download here.