The NFL Is at the Forefront of Sports Technology

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Sports Technology

The big game was this past Sunday, and if you are like millions of other people, you tuned in to see the spectacle of the game, the halftime show, and Taylor Swift. Behind the scenes, the National Football League has been utilizing emerging technologies to help them solve some of their biggest problems. Let’s go into three ways the NFL is using technology to improve their product.

Improving Player Safety

The NFL is extremely popular because fans get to see world class athletes working together to compete. With this incredible athleticism comes inherent violence. The situations players are put in with the speed and power makes injury an inevitable part of the game.

In the early part of the 21st century several retired football players were in the news with bizarre behavior and many others were suffering from devastating headaches. It turns out that when the brain is jostled in the skull over and over again, it can cause a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.

After some controversy, the NFL finally decided that in order to address these serious issues, they would alter some of the rules of the game to support player health. Make no mistake about it, football is violent and injuries are expected. As they collected data on their players using IoT technology, they began to make adjustments to the game to support player health.

Analysis of Player Performance

Player safety is not the only issue that data collection improves. The NFL is constantly reviewing data to improve the product, executives and coaching staff are reviewing individual data to build better teams, and helping players do their jobs better. The NFL has actually partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create what they’re calling The Digital Athlete. This technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to build a comprehensive view of a player. This technology was implemented for the first time throughout the league in 2022. This will substantially help decision makers and players perform more effectively.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is the technology that produces the down and distance lines on your TV feed. Many digital overlays help to improve viewer experience. This is now being taken to the next level. The NFL has leaned-in to this technology for the past several years. They even set up a 360-degree AR portal that allows fans to experience the halftime show immersively.

The league has given its blessing for teams to use technologies like ARound. This AR platform promotes advertising and fan-integrated experiences at a live game. In many ways, AR technology is the future for fan interaction and team and league–sponsored marketing.

The NFL is one of the most popular entertainment choices for Americans. The sentiment is growing globally; and technology is at the center of it.

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