How sports use data – where next? (Blog 6)

2 December 2022 | Written by Andy Nutting

Use of sports data in a digital world: closing blog by Andy Nutting

Our Information Governance Manager Andy has been exploring how sports organisations are using data, drawing on our work with national governing bodies.

In this final blog, he looks at the future of how sports use data.

During this series we’ve explored:

But what’s next?

Over the next 10 years the role of sports owners and administrators will continue to change fundamentally. And this change will be driven by data.

The World Economic Forum has declared data a new class of economic asset, like gold, oil and currency.

There will be challenges facing sport organisations in the use of data analytics both from a sporting performance perspective and sports marketing context.

There will be a need to interpret and untap different types of data and process information to useable forms to enhance segment targeting, relevant messaging and a flexible marketing approach.

All of this will need to be considered in the context of uncovering new business opportunities, gaining significant competitive advantage by making sense of granular data with an evidence-based approach that will identify shifts and changes in audience and behaviour.

Web 3.0 and the Metaverse

The emergence of these two trends are set to have an impact on the landscape of sport.

Web 3.0 is thought of as the next evolution of the internet, based on the core ideas of decentralisation, openness, and increased usability for users. Whereas the Metaverse is a set of ‘virtual spaces or worlds where experiences are created with other people, despite not being physically with them’.

Although web 3.0 and the Metaverse technology are still in their infancy, with their full potential far from realised, sport organisations are already exploring how they can leverage their assets and communities to increase fan interaction and engagement through these technologies.

Live events and new realities

Sports events are needing to become more experiential as customers seek more immersive experiences, where they can engage with events.

This will require the industry to deliver new concepts and formats to provide a continually engaging and exciting fan experience.

Sky Sports, partnering with The Hundred cricket tournament, are already creating avatars using motion capture and augmented reality. This provides a new broadcasting experience and brings fans and players together in a way not seen before.

The thrill of live sport is based on shared experiences. Sport is aiming to embrace these new technologies to bring together the joy of shared consumption in a virtual world.

In doing so, organisations provide sporting experiences that are potentially not limited by physical presence, which unlocks infinite opportunity.

Looking to the future

For now, if you’re a fan, sit back and absorb the changes that will be made to your favourite team or pastime over the next decade. It’s all due to the digital revolution that is happening around us each day!

If you run a club, you’ll need to be seeking or continue to seek opportunities about how digital and data can keep you competitive and make you heard above everyone else.

Also, don’t forget ‘doing digital’ is not enough. You need to embed digital in every aspect of the business, transforming people, processes, and technology.

This isn’t easy but will provide you with significant opportunities. Remember if you’re not doing this, your competitor probably is.

Data protection considerations

Whilst sports clubs will focus on the potential of data to promote, enrich, and engage the organisation and its professional staff and fans alike, it should not be forgotten that much of the data being used will be classed as personal data.

You’ll therefore need to consider the implications of the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.

Also, don’t forget the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) when using personal data for marketing and communications.

Need additional support complying with these laws?

Veritau works with sports clubs and organisations tread through the minefield of data protection compliance. We can ensure you don’t end up offside, or given a red card by the regulator.

Our qualified experts have a wealth of knowledge in:

  • Data protection legislation
  • Information security
  • Use of personal data for marketing and communications

Veritau already provides advice and guidance to sports bodies such as Basketball England and British Taekwondo.

To find out more about what we do, get in touch with our team.