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Cloud possibilities in sports

Vikrant Bhongle
31 May 2022

Sports is an art. Winning is the Goal. Talent is key, but practice is the game. Honing your skills day in day out just to shave 0.01 sec off you time, or to just memorise the track, or learn about your opponent. This takes deliberate and immersive practice everyday.

Now in the digital world, it has become easier for sportspersons and associate teams to capture every detail across the globe to train their players with statistics, analyzing the performance of the opposition team to tackle them, to check playground situations (mostly in the Cricket and F1), among the few. Not only players’ data, now franchises and broadcasters are actively using the data to enhance customers’ experience with advertisements, jackpot offers, to make money out of it.

In the cloud market, the competition between hyperscalers is even hotter than the competition between sports stadiums. To capture the maximum share in the industry, hyperscalers are actively working with sports events and franchises, for instance, National Hockey League, PGA Tour, Formula 1, Bundesliga, Scuderia Ferrari, among others are partnering with Amazon, Real Madrid, Renault Sport Formula One team, NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Special Olympics events, among others are utilizing Microsoft’s services, whereas Google is helping Football Association Challenge Cup, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, National Women’s Soccer League, AISportsWatch, among others in digital transformation.

You can see that all the above-mentioned sports are not related to any single type – adoption of cloud services is spread across all sports events. Perhaps the major reason behind it is to win maximum games, to enhance players skills – this can be the case, but along with these the major reason can be the huge scope of the business/money market behind it which can be achieved through attracting new fans, enhancing their experience, and reaching to the last mile of the globe.

Cloud services can assist any sports event to make it bigger and better by making it available for the larger audience through live broadcast coverage. Along with that it helps to generate and store stats for the future. Why do sports gain interest from the hyperscalers? The answer can be the huge market size and amount of data it generates in each second, which is as important as gold in the market.

Possible use cases

The role of stadiums in the pandemic situation is just for carrying the game, but the future can be interesting. Along with live data and analysis, AR/VR headsets can provide a 360° digital experience for the audience at their preferred location. This could help the stadium to increase its capacity from a limited crowded space to an unlimited audience in the near future.

Technology plays an important part in sports event from preparation level to audience management. Kindly check the below diagram which offers the numbers of possibilities for the technologies to develop a solutions around it.

Capgemini & sports

Capgemini plays an important part in sports events to make them successful and enhance the tournament’s unforgettable moments on and off the field For instance:

  • In Sep 2021, World Rugby partnered with Capgemini for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. Capgemini also became World Rugby’s Global Digital Transformation Partner as part of a new three year-partnership agreement. Through its deep technology expertise, Capgemini will support the tournament’s management systems and play an instrumental role in the delivery of results, including the men’s and women’s World Rugby Rankings. In addition, over the coming three years, Capgemini will work with World Rugby to enhance the digital experience for fans and coaches by applying its market-leading capabilities in data analysis, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud.
  • Similarly, In Sep 2021, The PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe signed a six-year partnership with Capgemini. Capgemini will offers its services for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, 2025 Ryder Cup in Farmingdale, N.Y., and the 2027 Ryder Cup in County Limerick, Ireland, where its industry leading digital transformation capabilities will help to enhance the Ryder Cup for its fans and organizers.

Success stories

One of the success stories for Capgemini in sports events is the digital transformation for the Swedish Football Association (SvFF).

Client Challenge: The SvFF was looking for a new digitized system with improved support for training their football players. Their challenge was to bring together their national teams under one umbrella, and then execute trainings for the players of all ages in a balanced, consistent manner. They needed a system that would lead to reduced personal dependency, be cost-effective, and would provide better and deeper analysis on the players. The system also had to be automated to avoid the manual collection and processing of data.

The Solution: Capgemini, along with SAP, delivered SAP Sports One, a cloud-based solution which enabled SvFF to collect, manage, and analyze information about the football matches, players’ trainings, their health and medical reports, and scouting – all in one place. The system was developed by SAP with Capgemini being the integration partner.

Benefits:

  • SAP Sports One is completely cloud-based and consists of various modules, for example, team selection, training, scouting, and player health. All data from matches and training can be uploaded on to the system by the users, either via SvFF’s own systems or through other integrations.
  • With the help of mobile apps, everyone in the organization is now able to exchange messages and also answer surveys and health questions. All the information, such as players’ illnesses, injuries, and treatments is registered on to the system.
  • The feedback between SvFF and the football association is simplified as all the data about the players is available on the SAP Sports One platform.
  • The scouting tool can be used to keep track of players’ and opponents’ performances.
  • One can also register players’ expenses such as hotel bills and other facilities used during matches, site visits, etc.
  • SAP Sports One has built-in functions for data security and integrity; only the designated people in the organization have access to the information on the platform.

Conclusion

The transformation of sports towards digitization will be an ongoing activity, prompted by the evolution of athlete data and its analysis. Enhancement of betting platforms and the rise of NFTs will be an advantage in sports. That provides confidence to sports organizations and media to combine the best possible solutions for the physical and virtual worlds. Now with the help of Capgemini’s Sustainable IT offering, any sports events can opt for the Sustainable Digital Transformation journey to reduce the carbon emission footprint.

I am a sportsperson, who loves cricket and other games. So I can say, still, lots of work need to be done. That’s because of the huge opportunity that is still available in the sports industry related to cloud services, from the improvement of referee decision-making systems to user experience. Along with that, the metaverse is coming, which opens untapped doors for cloud in sports.

[1]https://alternate.ucwe.capgemini.com/news/capgemini-becomes-worldwide-partner-of-rugby-world-cup-france-2023/

[1] https://alternate.ucwe.capgemini.com/in-en/news/capgemini-and-ryder-cup-announce-six-year-partnership/

[1] https://alternate.ucwe.capgemini.com/se-en/client-story/successful-cloud-based-digital-transformation-of-the-swedish-football-association/