It intersects many different industries such as media, construction, real estate, tourism, retail, and even education. This makes it an ideal vehicle to expose mass audiences to new ideas and cross-pollinate emerging technologies into other sectors.
The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics increased mass awareness of virtual reality and encouraged millions of viewers to experience it for themselves on their smartphones. Sports leagues and teams have long been on the forefront of leveraging data and analytics to improve operating performance and increase customer engagement. Biometrics and wellness wearables can be vetted to measure athletic performance before being adapted for mass consumer and medical use. Stadiums and their infrastructure that utilize clean, sustainable energy can be models for cities and urban development. These are just a few examples.
As innovation decentralizes, there has never been a better time for global sports to be the showcase of new technologies. In KPMG’s latest global innovation survey, twelve of the top fifteen cities (excluding Silicon Valley/San Francisco) expected to become leading technology innovation hubs are outside the United States. And Asia-sourced venture capital now accounts for forty percent of global venture capital (up from less than five percent just ten years ago)2, another sign that innovation is globalizing.
This article series will explore emerging technologies and how high-profile global sporting events can help accelerate them to reach the tipping point for society-changing mass adoption.
1 KPMG in India, The business of sports, September 21, 2016
2 Wall Street Journal, Silicon Valley Powered American Tech Dominance—Now It Has a Challenger, April 12, 2018