Imagine sitting in the front row, just behind the flowerbed on the central court at Roland Garros on the day of the final, or foot of the ring in Las Vegas for a fight heavyweight boxing … while quietly of your couch. In a few years sports fans on television will be able to live major sporting events in a manner entirely new, equipped with virtual reality helmets that will offer them a unique feel. “People can live on their couch a basketball game as if they were sitting at the foot of the basket. It’s amazing,” enthuses David Blitzer, co-owner of the NBA team the Philadelphia 76ers. This is only a futuristic vision of the examples presented in Sport Business Summit being held this week in New York, on how new technologies are transforming the high-level sport. Currently, virtual reality helmets technology is still “in its infancy” warns Jens Christensen, head of VR Jaunt specializing in these devices that flood the sight and hearing and virtually allow to avoid the immediate environment. But when the helmets are developed, they have the potential to completely revolutionize the way sport is experienced by the audience. “It will be almost a medium in its own right,” predicted Mr. Christensen. The co-owner of the basketball team of the Boston Celtics, Wyc Grousbeck, is a little circumspect about this prospect. Sport, the crowd rises as one man when a beautiful basket is scored, the emotion of the stadium are easily transferable only through screens, he considers. A game, “it is an event that transcends the mere smartphone,” said Mr. Grousbeck.
But for Eric Shanks, Fox Sports Media Group boss, a heavy market weight, “seen under the prism of new media, sports eclipse everything. ” In his cartoons, his group project to film a using drones cyclocross racing to offer a new angle to the audience sitting in front of their TV. For athletes as the cards are fully reshuffled. Some companies offer teams to dig into millions of posts on social networks to see if a particular athlete deserves a larger contract in terms of its attractiveness to the canvas. General Sentiment, a data analysis company based in New York, proposes her to profile supporters of a particular athlete from social networks to help advertisers better target the groups that they want to reach. If, for example, a majority of Twitter “followers” of a team or a player seem to prefer a car brand to another brand in question could be approached for future sponsorship deal, according to Asher Feldman, director of the firm Strategic Analytics. But with the proliferation of media on which sporting events are watched, will quickly raise the question of broadcasting rights. According to Eric Shanks, 80 million people watch sporting events broadcast by Fox from a mobile device. What about when the contracts between leagues and TV channels, such as nine unveiled in October between the NBA and TNT and ESPN? “Who will bid for these rights” in ten or twelve years ?, asks David Blitzer Philadelphia 76ers. “Names (presenters) will change.”
jmb / bdx-gde / sha / mpd (AFP / The Morning)
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