The Emerging Role of Innovation in Sports Competition

(ESPN Sports Science)

(ESPN Sports Science)
(ESPN Sports Science)

Innovation, Massive Knowledge and Digital are the present ‘candy spot’ for enterprise. However, these three focal factors are additionally the ‘candy spot’ for international sport.

All three are instantly linked to one another and in the context of sport, whether or not elite, group or someplace in between, a properly balanced mixture of these three focal factors is important to each technique design and execution.

In a earlier article I wrote about Massive Knowledge and the alternative to derive perception from knowledge.

That is extremely related as a result of in a super state of affairs, perception moderately than instinct drives our determination-making.

Perception additionally drives innovation and helps us discover the ‘unknown-unknowns,’ or excessive worth issues value fixing.

And, the mixture of Huge Knowledge, Digital and Innovation technique, execution and iteration will get us nearer to clients, nearer to the group and nearer to profitable the large video games and gold medals we want.

Governing organisations just like the Australian Sports Fee, and their equivalents all over the world are sometimes tasked with two main goals: growing participation and growing efficiency (or extra merely, profitable gold medals).

And since of these key aims, Massive Knowledge, Digital and Innovation are requirements, each now and in the years to return.

We’ve begun to see some incredible examples of ‘the candy spot’ for sport with the work IBM’s been doing with tennis, the wearable units like Electrozyme and Catapult we’re seeing in each the buyer and elite sector, and relating to connecting with followers, the work Melbourne based mostly startup eCal is doing with skilled sporting groups is sensible.

An example of the ‘sweet spot’ for sport: IBM’s Australian Open Slamtracker
An instance of the ‘candy spot’ for sport: IBM’s Australian Open Slamtracker

These and quite a few different examples are nice to see as they strengthen the sporting ecosystem at giant.

However, for present groups, corporations and organisations executing and optimising their present enterprise mannequin, the shift to the incubation and exploration of new concepts, new strategies and new enterprise or income fashions in search of ‘innovation’ could be a daunting process.

This probably daunting activity additionally presents an enormous alternative.

The alternative to diversify income fashions, ship higher worth to clients and even predict the efficiency and damage outcomes of our prime Olympic athletes.

And with that stated, I consider it’s a activity value pursuing.

Earlier than going into innovation’s position inside international sport, let’s take a second to know what innovation truly is.

‘Innovation’ as an idea is usually misunderstood however I are likely to assume of innovation as one thing that’s new, uniquely helpful and is commercially (or its equal) profitable.

My favourite description of innovation might be seen right here.

What this implies is that innovation delivers distinctive worth.

And there’s all the time going to be a task for the supply of distinctive worth in sport, or some other business for that matter.

So the position of innovation in sport, is basically about strengthening and rising the whole ecosystem, in addition to regularly growing the worth that individuals (athletes, groups, organisations, sponsors, followers, media and so on.) inside the international sporting ecosystem obtain.

For this to happen, inside new or present organisations, the mixture of strong technique, with the talents and assets to execute on Huge Knowledge, Digital and finally the supply of Innovation are wanted.

This doesn’t happen accidentally and solely by means of deliberate effort is that this achievable.

We’ve seen many examples lately, and we’re more likely to see a mess of examples in the years to return. The solely query left to ask is whether or not or not you’ll be one of them.


Nathan is a former elite golfer who having suffered a profession ending damage has shifted his focus to sports know-how. He’s at present Entrepreneur in Residence at Edgelab Ventures and founding CEO of insights platform Sports Ollo. Nathan writes about sports know-how and innovation, damage and golf. This story initially appeared on