The Sports Technology Awards – Celebrating the Sector’s Cutting Edge – Rebecca Hopkins
By iSportconnect | September 16, 2014
Even the most casual of sports fan cannot fail to have noticed the increasing influence technology has on sport and for people at the sharp end of the industry, this influence is even more significant.
The coaches, referees, sports agents, broadcasters and athletes who are immersed daily in sport, prosper hugely from technology’s offerings and so it’s only right that the people behind the innovations are justly recognised.
In a year that has seen a World Cup, an Olympics, a Commonwealth Games and a Ryder Cup as well as the launch of new initiatives such as Formula E, there have been some stand-out uses of technology.
The introduction of goal line technology at the World Cup finals caused headlines before the tournament, whilst vanishing foam captured audiences’ attention during the contest. Socchi’s LightRail Zippers attracted positive comment whilst the speed skater skins delivered some great results despite drawing tough criticism.
When the Ryder Cup starts in a fortnight, spectators will receive a RFID (radio frequency identification) wristband, giving them a shortcut to social media and sponsors as well as a myriad of activities around the course.
When the Sports Technology Awards launched in October 2013, it was with the aim of celebrating a flourishing sub-sector of the sports industry; the organisers expected the first year to be relatively small, largely domestic within the UK and that the winners would be from ‘the usual suspects’ of leading brands – how wrong they were on all fronts.
Last April over 400 senior managers from 15 different countries and 130 clubs, brands, governing bodies and sports marketing agencies sat down for the inaugural awards in Central London.
Whilst the major brands of the industry were well represented and picked up their fair share of silverware, one of the truly exciting aspects of the day was how many shortlisted and winning companies were virtual unknowns.
Small yet burgeoning businesses were taking on industry giants and devising technology that will undoubtedly play a key part in sport in the very near future.
Now returning with the 2015 event the awards, a British creation, are the only initiative worldwide dedicated to championing and celebrating innovative and inspiring advances in sports technology.
The sector is vast and the awards reflect this, with categories spanning training and playing equipment, software, apps, apparel, broadcasting and nutrition as well as team and performance management.
The awards deliver tangible benefits for the winners, as well as an excellent international PR opportunity, as John Wilson, Marketing Director at Wattbike which won Best Training Technology at the 2014 awards, explains, ‘Winning the award gave us a huge boost knowing we have global recognition for creating something unique and special.
‘It has strengthened our brand by giving us highly-valued, independent credibility and has provided a platform to create new sales opportunities, including accelerated acceptance within Olympic and professional sports globally.’
Judging this year are Olympic athletes, international referees and officials, coaches and clinicians as well as specialists from technology, business and national governing bodies. Joining this year’s line up are football legend, David Dein, world champion swimmer, Karen Pickering and international referee, Howard Webb.
The ceremony will be held in central London on 27th March 2015. Those interested in entering should visit www.sportstechnologyawards.com, email Victoria Hughes at email@example.com or call 020 7118 1288.
Rebecca Hopkins is Managing Director of ENS Ltd, a London-based sports agency tasked with promoting and protecting brands in sport. They specialise in sports PR, crisis management and online public relations.