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Technology: Tech which helped Leicester City; Snapchat teams up with Wimbledon

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

Published in Sports Management 13 Jun 2016 issue 122
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue

Keeping players fit

The amazing feats of Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) – defying odds of 5,000-1 to win the English Premier League for the first time in its history – owe much to technology.

LCFC went through its title winning 2015-16 season with the least number of injuries to players, if measured by the number of days lost to squad unavailability.
The successful management – and prevention – of injuries has been attributed to LCFC players wearing the OptimEye S5 device, which collects data relating to acceleration, direction, position and, crucially, the impact of collisions.

The sensors can collect up to 900 data points per second and use a 10Hz GPS engine, which will pick up the Glonass Satellite configuration – in addition to US Military Satellites – allowing more accuracy of complex athletic movements missed by lower specification units.

As well as allowing synchronised video footage with GPS-based animation of the game, the device generates individualised reports for each player, breaking down performance into velocity, heart rate, acceleration bands, recovery times and effort lengths.

The tech has been designed by Catapult Sport, a company born out of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC), bringing together sport and science.

www.catapultsports.com

Leicester City captain Wes Morgan played the full 90 minutes in each game
Leicester City captain Wes Morgan played the full 90 minutes in each game

Extra lenses for the ref

Referees and officials could become the next generation cameramen – thanks to a video system created by Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT).

The company’s RefCam HD-I (RefCam) integrated sports camera and transmitter were recently used during live broadcasts of the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup.

RefCam includes an HD video transmitter and an integrated high definition camera and can capture unprecedented footage from the referee’s point-of-view – bringing fans an entirely new way to experience sport.

John Payne IV, president of IMT, says: “The RefCam brings viewers closer to the action at live sporting events than ever before and allows fans to experience the event from an entirely new perspective.

“We were excited to have it being used extensively throughout the Memorial Cup broadcast, which offered a superb platform to showcase the capabilities of our technology.”

www.imt-broadcast.com

A view from the RefCam during a game
A view from the RefCam during a game

Snapping at Wimbledon

Social media platform Snapchat has signed a three-year deal to share live moments from the Wimbledon tennis tournament – including user footage from the men and women’s finals.

The deal means that the partnership between All England Lawn Tennis Club – which operates the tournament – and Snapchat has been made official. Last year, the organiser experimented with Snapchat’s Geofilter formats and shared content from the centre court.

Snapchat joins Periscope, YouTube and Twitter as media platforms with which Wimbledon has partnered with, as it looks to harness the power of fan-generated content and increase its social media presence.

The historic event, now in its 139th year, is considered a pioneer in the way it uses social media – and figures from last year’s Wimbledon show that the championship is keenly followed online.

The official Wimbledon app was downloaded 1.6 million times and the tournament website had 71 million visitors during the two-week event.

The Snapchat deal is part of Wimbledon’s plans to harness the power of fan-generated content
The Snapchat deal is part of Wimbledon’s plans to harness the power of fan-generated content

Clothes for winners

A university study has claimed that a new fabric technology designed to lower core temperature can impact positively on an athlete’s performance.

The technology, called 37.5, has been created by Colorado, US-based active particle development company Cocona. Using thermoregulation, the fabric reduces the increase in core temperature during exercise, similar to wearing a cooling vest circulating cold water.

The results of a university study into the fabric, conducted by the University of Colorado, were presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Boston last month. They showed the added cooling effect enjoyed by athletes using 37.5 technology extended their performance at the lactate threshold and decreased the rate of core temperature build up.

Dr. Gregory Haggquist, founder of Cocona, said: “When we see data that shows you can improve an athlete’s performance by 26 per cent at their lactate threshold, it’s pretty remarkable.

“To get that kind of increase in efficiency just by changing your shirt fabric is unprecedented.”

www.thirtysevenfive.com

New fabric technology, called 37.5
New fabric technology, called 37.5
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