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

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

Published in Sports Management Nov Dec 2016 issue 128

Moving outside the box

The ATP World Tour Finals have been held at London’s O2 arena every year since 2009, but when venue operator AEG added an F&B unit in a space traditionally used for the annual tournament’s temporary infrastructure, a new plan was needed for this year’s event.

“We had to work around a reduced footprint,” says Adam Hogg, ATP’s event director. The answer was, quite literally, to go outside the box. “The solution was to build a lot of the infrastructure outside.”

Together with AEG and long-term partner Arena Group, ATP decided on a three-storey, 13m high building with 4,400sq m of space.

The new I-Novation construction comprises two separate buildings. One houses a players’ lounge and restaurant, while the other incorporates a hospitality space.

According to Grahame Muir, CEO of Arena Group UK, this new construction could change the way temporary structures are deployed at major sporting events.

“We’ve designed and delivered something quite special,” Muir said.

“It fills a niche in the market, where clients require a tall structure, higher roof loadings and increased thermal and acoustic properties. It delivers a permanent feel and does not resemble a traditional frame structure.”

www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com

The two temporary structures are separated by a practice court
The two temporary structures are separated by a practice court
Grahame Muir, Arena Group CEO
Grahame Muir, Arena Group CEO

Money for walking

US-based activity tracker supplier Misfit has teamed up with digital crypto-currency provider Bitwalking to make it possible for people to earn money while getting physically active.

The partnership, announced on 26 October, will bring currency mining to wearable devices by allowing Misfit users to generate ‘walking dollars’ (W$) directly from their devices.

This digital currency can then be spent at the Bitwalking Store and third party partners or can be traded with other users.

Misfit is the first wearable technology brand to become Bitwalking-certified.

“Your steps convert into currency; a step is worth the same value no matter who or where you are,” said Nissan Bahar, CEO of Bitwalking.

Preston Moxcey, general manager of Misfit, added: “Incentives work? – ?and they can help people stay motivated to be active. Bitwalking amplifies the impact Misfit can have through innovations in mobile currency.”

www.bitwalking.com

Users can earn digital currency by walking
Users can earn digital currency by walking

A good night’s sleep

Ensuring professional athletes rest and recover properly has been taken to a new level by a partnership between National Basketball Association (NBA) team Dallas Mavericks and US-based “performance bedding” specialist Bedgear.

Bedgear has worked with all Mavericks players and members of coaching staff to provide personalised performance sleep systems with specially-designed bedding and pillows to fit each athlete’s sleep position and body frame.

This is a first for a basketball team – whose members are traditionally taller than average. Each system has been researched in order to find an ideal fabric for a player’s needs, along with the best size, thickness, fluffiness and firmness.

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said: “We’re always looking for innovators that will help enhance the Mavs’ performance – whether it’s physical, mental or some combination of both.

“Sleep is such an important part of an athlete’s life, especially when we travel and have back-to-back games, and I’m excited to see how the guys react to the products and programme.”

www.bedgear.com

Each system is designed to fit the athlete’s body
Each system is designed to fit the athlete’s body

Professional tracking for grassroots players

A Netherlands-based tech startup aims to make professional-level performance data accessible for all amateur football players by combining a wearable tracker with a mobile app.

DashTag is based on players wearing a small sensor, which measures real-time biomechanical and positional data such as speed, mileage, time, acceleration, energy level and position. The DashTag mobile app then connects with the sensor, recovers the data and displays it in an easy-to-understand format.

Players can analyse, compare and share their performance indicators and scores with fellow players, coaches and friends via social media – in the same way that professional players are able to.

“Sport engagement will rapidly change – technology will connect the sport stats and relevant info of each individual player at every level,” said DashTag CEO and founder Epco Berger. “With DashTag we want to play a leading role.”

DashTag recently secured seed investment of €250,000 following a successful campaign on crowdfunding site Leapfunder.

www.getdashtag.com

? Epco Berger, DashTag CEO
? Epco Berger, DashTag CEO
The DashTag app allows players to share scores and performance indicators with teammates and coaches
The DashTag app allows players to share scores and performance indicators with teammates and coaches
The DashTag app allows players to share scores and performance indicators with teammates and coaches
The DashTag app allows players to share scores and performance indicators with teammates and coaches
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