While it is not always instantly apparent, the impact that technology has had on sports is vast. Many processes are now easier and quicker, and the industry has seen an increase in attention and revenue because of it. Here are three ways that technology has changed the sports industry.

1. Digital and Social Media

   Because of improvements in technology, sports coverage is more extensive than ever before. Previously viewers had to select between on a few channels to catch the game–now there are a plethora of options. Coverage is available everywhere, all the time. Plus–coverage is now available live and full-replay. In recent history missing the big game meant having to wait until then following morning when you could read about the results in the newspaper, or hear them from your friends. Now, however, people are able to record, save, and replay any footage.

   The media channels that broadcast sporting events are now able to use technology to share information at a pace quicker than ever before. News and updates are send quickly to smart phones the moment the news occurs. In addition, social media is creating opportunities that never would have been considered possible. A few years ago, if you had suggested that you could “tweet” Lebron James and that he might “tweet” back , it would have sounded like nonsense. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media have provided access to an incredible platform for fans and athletes to connect. This connection raises fan enthusiasm and contribution to the sporting events. Instagram and other social media sites have connected the sports community.

   Fantasy sports are another new digital implementation to the sporting world. This is a fun way that fans are able to have yet another outlet to their favorite teams and players.

2. Buying Tickets

   Not too long ago, buying sports tickets was sometimes as hassle. If you had extra tickets or you wanted to buy some, your only option was scalping. Trading or otherwise obtaining tickets was a costly process that took time and was not very efficient.

   Now, however, sports fans are able to buy tickets online in a matter of minutes. New online platforms like Eventbrite have made it easy and convenient to check in and coordinate the entire ticketing process, which entices more people to attend sporting events. Other companies like Barry’s Tickets focus on getting cheaper tickets last minute, completely changing the “scalper” method of buying tickets outside stadiums. This has spiked growth across e-commerce, with websites like Facebook and Craigslist offering fans the chance to purchase and sell tickets without having to navigate through ticketing websites. Apps now offer ticket purchases, with ticketsnow and StubHub bringing ticket orders to the palm of people’s hands. For sports fans, making a last-minute decision to go to the game is now a reasonable possibility.

3. Equipment and Experience

Technology has entirely revolutionized the manner in which we are able to design apparel and equipment. From shoes and uniforms to gloves, helmets, and pads–sporting equipment is now more high-tech and high-functioning. The experience of going to a sporting event is very different, too. Scoreboards are now high-definition, fans have access to wireless internet, and recreational devices like batting cages and hitting machines have become more popular.

The increase in technology has provided a convenient opportunity to athletes to be able to elevate their skill. Teams now have the ability to view and analyze videos of themselves in action, and can learn to improve technique and form. These technologies assist athletes and coaches in viewing the plays and motions of the game. The same technology can be used to watch how the opposing team plays, too.

   One of the biggest improvements in sporting tech is smart helmets. With concussions damaging the sport, something had to be done to protect athletes. New helmet technology offers sensor and magnet tech built in, which is able to detect and disperse force, thus decreasing the changes of head injury. In fact, the magnets themselves play a role in displacing the force of impact. When an impact occurs, the helmet communicates to the coach that the player has been hit. This way, the coaches can take action immediately in completing concussion diagnoses. Tech isn’t just making sports better for the fans–it’s looking out for the wellbeing of the players.

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