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Spotlight Asia - Part 1 (Sports Technology)

The overall sports technology market is estimated to be worth USD 8.9 billion in 2018 and USD 31.1 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 20.63% during that period. Basketball is the fastest growing segment for the sports technology market. Companies like Whoop, STATSports, Hyksos, and Motus are working on developing new ways to integrate wearable technology in basketball and other sports.

Internet and cloud technology penetration, the emergence of professional leagues, and digitalization of sports are driving the adoption of sports technology in APAC. The continuous growth in internet adoption, social media analytics, cloud computing, IoT, and smart devices is the major technological growth prospect in the region. Leading players in the sports technology market includes IBM (US), Ericsson (Sweden), Cisco (US), Fujitsu (Japan), SAP (Germany), Oracle (US), NEC (Japan), LG (South Korea), Sharp (Japan), Samsung (South Korea), Fitbit (US), Apple (US). Both on and off the ground, sports technology is playing a bigger role than ever.

 

The rising Sports Tech industry in Asia


Southeast Asia is starting to move away from e-commerce to other verticals like fintech. There’s one category that escapes the chart, probably due to its uniqueness: sports. Asia-Pacific’s total sports industry revenue was approximately US$27.5 billion in 2015. It’s a significant market that generates media and sponsor attention, apparel sales, and demand for sports science and analytics.


Sports startups can be more diverse than people realize, with opportunities from coaching tech to esports analytics – even in Asia. These ideas are driving the sports tech industry and could be the answer to improving sports performance around the world.


While North America and Europe have comparatively stronger sports brand names, East Asia has also demonstrated the potential for extreme fan culture, especially in sports like baseball. It should be no surprise that social engagement and prediction apps are getting funded in Asia. Fan engagement app Rooter being the recent one.


Besides cricket, the predominant sport in India, the Mumbai-based startup also engages enthusiasts of football, tennis, and basketball. Singapore-based sports prediction social network SportsHero has raised US$2.5 million on the Australian Securities Exchange in February this year. Firms like Razer want to shake things up. They’ve launched the Razer Synapse, a software that tracks players’ gameplay. Players can analyze their in-game movement through heat maps, clicks they make, and keyboard button presses. Fat-fingered or slacking teammates can be booted.


This is similar to sensors in player jerseys in physical sports that track their movement and stats. Like sports apparel brands, Razer sponsors 14 sports teams in total, out of which 6 are Asian. It’s an exciting time for sports startups. After all, they embody the spirit of tech, allowing both human and algorithm to get faster, better, and stronger.

 

The future of Sports Technology and KPI for Gen Z users


Technology is now an integral part of how fans consume sports. Sixty-nine percent of fans report that the use of emerging technologies has enhanced their viewing experience – both inside and outside the stadium.

Report by Capgemini Research Institute states that Asian fans (74%) are much more likely to have experienced emerging technology in the stadium with India leading at 88%. 71% Asian fans would be willing to pay more if new technologies enhanced their stadium experience, as compared to 40% of North American fans, 34% of European fans, and 33% of Australian fans.

Effective use of emerging technology in sports represents a significant brand value and growth opportunity. When a fan has a good experience with technology – either in or out of the stadium – it has a positive knock-on effect in terms of their overall engagement. A positive tech-enabled experience offers a significant commercial upside. Report also points out that 49% said they have often increased their spending on team/brand merchandise following a good experience, and 42% have increased this spend a few times. 92% said they increased their spend on online subscriptions for watching matches (either often or a few times).

 

Israel's Sports Tech Market


Israel’s Unique Innovation System has led the country to have the highest concentration of technology companies outside Silicon Valley and the highest number of NASDAQ-listed technology companies after the U.S. and China. Over 350 global tech leaders have a local presence in Israel. Israel was spending 4.3% of GDP on R&D, being the world’s top spender on R&D relative to the size of its economy over the last five years. Technology accounts for 40 percent of the country’s exports, which make up about a third of Israel’s GDP. In 2016 Israeli high-tech companies raised a total of US$4.8 billion in 659 funding deals.

While the US remains the epicentre of the sports tech industry, market players are always on the search for game-changing solutions capable of bringing new value to the global sports industry.


The number of Israeli start-ups entering the sports tech arena in recent years has been growing rapidly, doubling in number from around 50 to nearly a 100 in the span of just two years. These companies are leveraging Israel’s high-tech sector’s vast experience and unique expertise in various fields such as big data analytics, computer vision, AI and IoT, to create cutting-edge solutions and applications for the global sports market. As interest in the Israeli sports tech market continues to grow, additional investments are expected to follow.

 

References


(Emerging Technologies in Sports Reimagining the Fan experience, 2020)


Sports Technology Market. Markets and Markets. Retrieved from https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/sports-technology-market-104958738


(2017, May 4). Sports Tech in Asia. Tech in Asia. Retrieved from https://www.techinasia.com/sports-tech-in-asia


(2017, March). Sports Tech Innovation in the Start-up Nation. Deloitte. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/process-and-operations/us-sports-tech-report.pdf


This information has been compiled by Advaith Mahesh.


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