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Game Changers

A look at the technology and innovation currently making waves across the world of sport

Published in Sports Management 18 Apr 2016 issue 118
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue

Pitch perfect

Artificial turf manufacturer TigerTurf UK has unveiled a new system which offers a solution for disposing with ageing artificial pitches. The new TenCate Ecocept product makes use of recycled plastics and old artificial surfaces in the construction of brand new artificial grass pitches.

Up to 90 per cent of Ecocept is made from otherwise landfilled products such as end of life plastics and rubber crumb. As a result, each pitch has the potential to save as much as 140 tonnes of materials from going to landfill – the equivalent of £30,000 in costs – compared to traditional installations.

Additionally, the carbon footprint of each new pitch is further reduced by the layer’s high load-bearing capacity, meaning fewer truckloads of soil are removed at the installation stage.

Paul Langford, managing director at TigerTurf UK said: “The traceability of materials and what happens to surfaces after they are recycled is an increasingly important issue within the industry, and we’re thrilled to be able to deliver a simple but comprehensive solution.

“Research and development is at the heart of everything we do and it’s fantastic to be able to demonstrate this commitment with the launch of this innovative new system. Not only does Ecocept give a new lease of life for surfaces which would otherwise end up in a landfill, but its versatility and performance extends the array of benefits TigerTurf surfaces can offer”.

www.wiganlatics.co.uk

The new Ecocept turf is being installed at Wigan’s DW Stadium
The new Ecocept turf is being installed at Wigan’s DW Stadium

Michelin dining meets football

German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin has partnered with Michelin-star chef Tim Raue to open a new fine dining restaurant at its 74,000-capacity Olympiastadion home. Called Studio Tim Raue, the ultra-modern food haven has a capacity of 200 and will cater for the club’s VIP guests.

The menu will be altered for each home fixture, while the design – which includes corrugated steel works and graffiti – will reflect Berlin’s reputation as an “edgy but cool” city. The restaurant’s open plan setting will also encourage networking among diners under the club’s motto, ”Hertha BSC – where community meets football”.

Ingo Schiller, the club’s chief financial officer said: “From the very beginning, the new restaurant was designed to meet the needs of our local Berlin-based fans. It’s something completely new and different.”

It is the latest in a growing trend of combining fine dining with top level football. In the UK, Chelsea FC and restaurateur Marco Pierre White collaborated to open Marco at Chelsea Football Club, while two-star Michelin chef Raymond Blanc has worked together with Arsenal FC to create the club’s premium Diamond Club offer.

www.herthabsc.de/en/

Michelin-starred chef Tim Raue
Michelin-starred chef Tim Raue

Pitching a wearable

The Major League Baseball (MLB) season began on 3 April and for the first time, the league’s official rules committee has allowed the use of wearable tech during games. MLB players can wear a Motus Baseball Sleeve to keep tabs on elbow stress and the Zephyr Bioharness to monitor heart and breathing.

The use of the wearables have been approved mainly for injury detection and prevention purposes by tracking player habits. According to the new MLB rules, data from the devices cannot be transmitted during games and can only be downloaded after games.

The MLB has approved a batch of iPads for use by each team, which do not have Bluetooth wireless technology. No other electronic equipment is allowed in dugouts during games.

Clubs may use the data only for internal purposes and all data will be shared with the player. It cannot be provided to broadcasters or used for commercial purposes.
The devices can be used to help pitchers avoid surgery and help rehabilitate them by monitoring valgus torque – stress on the elbow.

www.motusglobal.com

The Motus in action
The Motus in action
An example of what the data analysis tool looks like for coaches
An example of what the data analysis tool looks like for coaches

Just the ticket

Canada-based Nanotech Security has been chosen to provide unique authentication and brand-protection technology for admission tickets during this year’s UEFA Euro 2016 football championships. Nanotech’s KolourOptik technology will offer intense high definition (iHD) colour imaging capabilities and anti-counterfeiting security features – replacing older hologram technology used at past UEFA events.

The KolourOptik technology is able to accurately control the wavelengths of light at nano-scale, producing an ultra-high resolution image that can only be seen from specifically engineered viewing angles.

Nanotech will use a complex mathematical algorithm and advanced manufacturing technologies to accurately embed more than two billion nano-sized holes on each of the 5.8 million UEFA Euro 2016 admission tickets for the tournament – which takes place in France from 10 June to 10 July. Completely ink free, the system only uses the reflection of light to produce intricate images of the Euro 2016 mascot – “Super Victor”.

More than 15 million people applied for tickets via the official UEFA ticket portal and the fans who have made successful purchases will start to receive their printed tickets this month.

“Our goal is to ensure that only holders of an official ticket are granted access to the stadiums,” said Martin Kallen, CEO of Euro 2016. “We are very confident with the tickets produced for the tournament and we are certain that fans will love them as well.”

www.nanosecurity.ca

The tickets will replace the old hologram with nanotechnology
The tickets will replace the old hologram with nanotechnology
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