Modern technologies play a crucial role in the sports industry today, from the recruitment and coaching of athletes to their analysis and media coverage to management and media.
While science and technology have profoundly impacted the sports world since its inception, artificial intelligence and data analysis have made it easier for such trends to emerge. They have also made the industry more competitive than Usain Bolt’s legs and stronger than Mike Tyson’s punches.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions have revolutionized our lives. Artificial intelligence transforms every industry by making machines think, behave and act like humans. AI is revolutionizing sports such as football/soccer and formula 1.
This technology can be used to strategize, train, advertise, broadcast, and other purposes. Want to learn more? You’re in the right place. This article will cover the application and use cases of AI in the sports industry.
The Growth of Artificial intelligence in Sports Industry
In 2020, the global market for artificial intelligence in sports was valued at $1.4 Billion. By 2030, it is expected to grow at a 30.3% CAGR 2021 to 2030. The industry is rapidly evolving, with artificial intelligence covering all aspects of the game, including post-game analysis, fan experience, and in-game activity. Further, Artificial Intelligence is being used to improve the performance of players.
HomeCourt (M1) AI SmartCoach, ESPN Player, and MaxOne(M1) AI SmartCoach use computer vision and machine learning to evaluate the skills of basketball players. This gives them a great way to improve. Players can also track their performance metrics to help them identify the areas they are most skilled in and where they need to improve.
- Due to the cancellation of sporting competitions and the closure of stadiums around the globe with lockdown measures and other government restrictions, AI in sports has seen a significant drop in demand.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants were implemented to increase fan interaction and followers during the pandemic.
- Investments in the Artificial Intelligence development technology for sports have been drastically reduced. After the pandemic, investments are expected to rise.
Use Cases and Applications of AI Transforming the Sports Industry
Acumen Research and Consulting predicts that the Global Artificial Intelligence Market in Sports will grow at a CAGR exceeding 32.8% between 2020-2027 to reach a market value of around US$ 3,555.9 million.
Although statistics and quantitative analysis have been important in sports for a long time, artificial intelligence significantly impacts how games plan, played, and are watched.
This trend can be seen in many sports, including baseball, tennis, and soccer. This data can increase sporting organizations’ value, including ticket sales and player injury prevention.
Scouting and Recruitment
Teams are adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) to their scouting or recruitment tools. Every action on the field of play, including football runs and basketball blocks, is tracked by teams, who have amassed Terabytes of data.
Computer vision is used in sports to track players’ movements and their orientation during play (object tracking, videos). This is how it looks on a soccer player. The model can track and predict player movements by labeling the data using the key point skeleton tool.
Since the beginning, bettors have been trying to make predictions about future matches to win big. To predict sports outcomes, they have looked at the percentage of first and second serves in tennis, as well as the number and types of backhand winners.
However, a human cannot process as much data as an AI-driven algorithm for football prediction can. They also can’t accurately predict enough matches to make them millionaires. Human limitations always limit them, so most won’t become millionaires.
AI cannot predict every match’s outcome. However, it can get closer to a human with a predictive algorithm.
Player Performance Improvement
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used to improve players’ performance. HomeCourt, an app that uses Computer Vision and Machine Learning to evaluate the skills of basketball players, gives them a great way to improve. These performance metrics are reliable and help the players understand where they can excel and where they need to improve.
Virtual Reality Sports Strengthened by AI
Virtual Reality (VR) is a new dimension in sports and gamification. With virtual reality headsets, fans can now compete virtually against each other from all over the globe. Virtual reality platforms with AI technology provide a real-life experience comparable to watching the game in person. These experiences will become more interactive with 5G and will change the face of the sports industry forever.
AI-Enhanced Audience Experience
Automation can be used to create written and video content. This can help improve the user experience. It’s not the only option. AI can also provide subtitles in different languages based on the viewers’ nationality during sporting events.
It can also provide additional stats and insights that will enrich the experience for fans. This machine-learning algorithm-powered feature was introduced during the 2019 Roland-Garros tennis tournament. The innovative user interface allowed spectators to view the matches live and to see which actions had the greatest impact on the outcome.
Artificial intelligence is also used to improve customer service across many industries, such as sports, which can be achieved via chatbots or other smart assistants. Many leagues and sports teams have already adopted these tools to answer fan questions about tickets and parking.
NASCAR is the most well-known high-speed racing sport in America. It is also known for the many dangerous accidents that occur in it. With the aid of self-drive cars, AI can be used to improve the safety of sports analytics. These cars have algorithms that detect malfunctions in other cars and notify the driver immediately. This allows accidents to be avoided or can ensure the safety of drivers.
Predictive analysis is a great tool for improving the performance and health of athletes. The chances of injury can be decreased using wearable devices that track and collect information about athletes’ strains and tear levels. This is only the beginning. AI can help teams shape their strategies and tactics to maximize their strengths.
Thanks to AI, the way players perform is more sophisticated than ever. Coaches can use data and visuals to get insights into their team’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities to change tactics or strategies to exploit any weaknesses in their opponent.
This holds for all sports, from hand swimming to tennis to football to tennis to even hand-swimming.
Improving Advertising Opportunities
Sports analytics uses AI to identify the best moments by monitoring players’ emotions, actions, and expressions. The AI can recognize the language spoken by the commentator and identify the most exciting moments or highlights. The technology can also provide subtitles to live events to make them understandable for mass audiences.
This insight allows advertisers to decide when their ads should be displayed to attract attention. The use of AI in sports marketing may also allow recognition of the best angles for a match. The technology can also provide valuable information to commentators (by looking at previous statistics) to improve live commentary.
AI in Sports Training and Coaching
AI sports games can be used to analyze past and current sports training and coaching programs to design the best. PIQ and Everlast have created an AI-powered wearable device that can help determine how effective a program or training is. This device was specifically designed for combat sports like boxing or martial arts. It captures and evaluates any minor differences in the player’s actions.
Coaches can use artificial intelligence to help them improve their performance by analyzing the position and motion of players, as well as observing metrics like spin and speed. This technology allows coaches to make better match decisions.
The Key Takeaway
Machine learning is a rapidly growing field in sports, with many new AI-based fitness apps and developments every year. Data and technology will improve everything, except the games. It’s all about balance, of course.
Although AI in sports is a good idea in principle, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the fan’s experience. Facial recognition can be used to let fans enter the stadium without them having to purchase tickets. It also prevents bottlenecks, speeds up entry, and removes the turnstile that is, for many European football fans at least, synonymous with romantic images of match day.
AI is undoubtedly the future of sports technology. We are not yet at the end of the road, but we are likely just at the beginning. That’s what makes it exciting.