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The Increasingly Profound Effects of AI On Elite Sport

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The irrepressible artificial intelligence juggernaut continues to enter industries we all thought it could never enter. Who could say they’d ever live to see a day when smart wearables would become the order of the day in sports?

But that’s not the only way sports are benefiting from AI. There are many more. Let’s see what that could be.

1. Tracking Player Performance

Wearable tech is one of the most profound ways AI has revolutionized elite sports. Sportspeople can now wear devices that collect their performance data for further analysis.

That helps their coach’s approach to targeted training to improve performance. These devices make it easy to monitor every aspect of their performance and see where the tweaks are needed.

This technology makes it easier to get more localized data, such as the number of shots a player makes. That’s besides other metrics like the running speed.

Therefore, AI by allowing this data collection eases performance analyses while identifying the gaps. The coaches can then improve training as they see fit.

2. Player Scouting and Recruitment

picture of a scrum down in American football

Decades ago, sports transitioned from being simply for pleasure to full-scale business. In a sports business, you can’t afford to make too many mistakes that could catch up with you.

That’s why AI analysis is vital in scouting and recruiting new players. Most sports coaches would agree that a player should be a stylistic fit for your team.

The use of data is much more widespread in soccer, with the English Premier League at the forefront. In the same way, Ai will reduce the legwork involved in analyzing opponents and help determine a potential player’s qualities.

While human scouts have been around for decades, AI analyses player targets with more accuracy than a human scout could ever manage.

Not that human scouts are now useless. It only shows that their work is now easier with big data and AI backing them.

3. Fan Engagement

Sports is all about the number of people that follow a specific team. The more fans a team has, the more likely they will make money.

That’s why many sports teams want to engage more with their fans. But in a world scarred by Covid-19 and its effects, you can’t have a public fan forum meeting all the time. There’ll be too many concerns.

Also, not all fans live in the same place, especially if it’s a famous sports team. This is where Ai chatbots come in and boost fan engagement.

AI chatbots need little supervision to communicate the values of a team to a fan. The predictive nature of Ai is such that chatbots can personalize their answers to every fan.

4. Monitoring Player Fitness and Health

In sports, there is such a thing as ‘the red zone.’ When a player is in the red zone, it means they have a lot of fatigue that could lead to an injury soon.

Monitoring players with the help of tracking data enables physical analysis that prevents players from reaching high fatigue levels.

That’s because the coaches can tell the physical demands of training sessions or games on players. They also know to diversify their training.

The monitoring also enables players to earn the rest they need so their bodies can recuperate to the optimum levels.

In elite sports, marginal gains could be the difference between winning a title or missing out by a few points. That’s why Ai has gained such a strong foothold in the industry.

How Else is Artificial Intelligence Impacting the Sports Industry?

picture of a football player reaching for the ball

When analyzing the effect of AI in the sports industry, it’s easy to fixate on performance. However, the sports economy is multidimensional, leading to the sprouting of many other related industries.

Let’s look at the disruption AI is causing in those sports-related industries.

1. Smarter Sports Betting

Sports and betting have a long history, with the latter existing for as long as the former. That’s why any change that affects sports will also affect betting.

Sports betting has taken on a new approach with the entry of AI. Thanks to the tracking data available, sports companies can allow users to place bets on almost anything.

From the number of times, a player will touch the ball to their behavior affecting their game. However, it’s easy to say the biggest beneficiary of AI is the betting company rather than the person betting.

2. Broadcasting and Advertising

Broadcasting and advertising are one of the most massive benefactors of modern sport. People worldwide want to see their favorite team from halfway across the world play.

So what do broadcasters do? They broadcast the games but cleverly slip in adverts. TVs use AI to determine the best camera angles for you, the viewer, to watch a game.

How else did you think the TV show all the angles of the action? The cameras, however, focus not only on the game; they also focus on the advertising boards in the stadium. Nothing for free, right?

What’s the Predicted Impact of AI in Sports?

Robot Coaches

The next step in the AI sports revolution is the development of robotic coaches or even players. Of course, robot players can only play against each other, not humans.

What of the robot coach, though? Robotic coaches would help sports gain the marginal gains they so need. A robot coach sees and records everything; they know which player isn’t putting in their shift.

They can see who didn’t swing their bat hard enough, and they can also see the player moving their arms funnily. We could be several years from that happening, but I feel it will.

picture a basketball about to fall into the hoop

The Bottom Line

Not even the sports industry is immune to the proliferation of AI. AI has changed the way many things happen in sports, and its effect can only increase.

As long as we continue to love and obsess over our favorite sports, the use of Ai will only grow. There is immense potential for its growth.

Do you have a sports project you’d love to have AI try? Reach out and talk to our expert and talk about how we can help.

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