The sports and entertainment industry is constantly reinventing itself.
What started as exclusively in-person found its way into homes over the airwaves. Soon enough, broadcasters put live games on television. Most recently, sports has embraced the onset of digital live-streaming over the internet.
Thanks to 5G, sports and entertainment are ready for the next chapter. The rapid adoption of cloud-based, autonomous technology has infected nearly every industry. To stay competitive — on and off the field — the sports industry is doing the same.
5G networks are enabling more immersive fan experiences
Central to the sports industry, of course, is in-person attendance. Nowadays, attending a game is about more than just watching the athletes on the field. More than ever, the industry is recognizing that their product isn't merely the sporting event — it's the entire experience.
According to research from PwC's 2021 Sports Outlook survey, businesses industry-wide say that leveraging technology to create enhanced fan experiences will be their top opportunity in the future. Thanks to 5G networks, stadiums have already started experimenting.
Augmented reality, for example, is reshaping the way fans experience pregame festivities. Most recently, the Carolina Panthers debuted a giant AR mascot that leaps around the stadium.
5G connectivity enables fans to share this type of content via social media. It also has the potential to give fans access to alternative camera angles, audio commentaries and advanced statistics — giving the most die-hard fans the best, most analytical insights.
As for the business end of things, 5G is also capable of boosting revenue. According to research by McKinsey, fans are demonstrating a willingness to pay more for the value of 5G experiences.
It takes a lot of hands to put on a show. This is especially true when it comes to sports and entertainment. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has restricted the amount of people that can work on a broadcast at any time.
5G technology is working to mitigate the shortage of staff by enabling better remote broadcasting. In fact, 46% of broadcasters say remote production will be a significant trend for the future, per a recent report by Haivision. More workers are able to support the broadcast offsite at even greater speeds, thus improving the production workflow.
5G-enabled IoT devices are helping athletes prepare
On top of the immersive fan experiences and streamlined broadcasting, 5G is also improving athletic performance. Through internet of things (IoT) enabled devices, teams and athletes can prepare faster and more efficiently than ever before.
For example, in 2019 Verizon helped Team Penske prepare for the Indianapolis 500. According to Verizon, their 5G-enabled technology gave the team faster, real-time data collection. Data that would have otherwise been analyzed the next day could be received and applied within a few laps around the track.
Elsewhere, IoT devices are revolutionizing the sport of cycling. Endurance sports are all about accounting for every factor during a competition: the weight of the bike, rotation of the tires, the aerodynamics of the gear and many more. Real-time collection removes some of the anecdotal data once required by the sport and puts concrete numbers in the hands of the cyclist.
Wearable IoT devices give cyclists the opportunity to make race-changing decisions on the fly. The latest in IoT technology increases the number of sensors per device, enabling further analysis of factors like drag or running power.
Across the board, 5G and IoT are changing the game for sports and entertainment. Although always improving, these innovations are leaving their mark on the industry. To learn more about Perle and how we can help your business, check out our customer success stories.
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