Transformation of the sports industry with AI technology



Artificial Intelligence or AI has become a significant tool which many industries have used to enhance and develop their businesses such as in health, education and agriculture. In this article, I will talk about the role AI has in the sports industry.

AI plays an important role to benefit and create awareness to athletes, spectators, coaches, board members, sport committees and sponsors, to help transform the sports industry to a new level of progress and performance.

We can adapt AI use with many sports games, starting from the use of AI to improve athletic skills, by using it to analyze movement of athletes during the game along with other statistics so that we can assess the ability of the athlete more efficiently. For example; the use of AI in table tennis to analyze the direction, paddle swing angle, the speed of the ball and the movement of the players. In swimming, AI is also used to analyze movement of the athlete and analyze the opponent movement at the same time. Thus, the athlete and coach can estimate and evaluate the ability of the opponent so that they can find a way to improve the players' techniques afterwards.

Moreover, AI can transform the way of watching sports games. In the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in July 2020, AI will be used to analyze the sport game competition in track and field and further indicate the performance of each athlete and prediction of a match result in real time. This will increase the enjoyment of watching.

The prediction of a match result makes the game more exciting to watch. Recently, AI has been used to predict the result of a football match in The 2018 FIFA World Cup, using several variables such as team members, coach information, FIFA world ranking, team attribute, team’s win and loss records to name a few. Even though AI still shows some mistake predictions since there were not enough data to analyze. But if we can get more information as much as possible, we could get the results more accurately.


Other use of AI is to help estimate and evaluate the sponsorship of the sports game showed in media channels such as TV and social media, by using Machine Learning to detect the sponsors positioning brand logo on the screen and promote each sponsor in real time. For example; the time duration, size and resolution of sponsored logo showed on the screen to make sure the sponsors themselves can track during the live streaming of the sports match and they can easily change the advertisement to any platform in a timely manner. This is also related to the transparency in evaluation of the sponsorship investment as well.

Even though AI benefits the sports industry, it hasn’t taken over humans yet. Humans need to continue to provide informative data to AI. In my opinion, data needs to be collected thoroughly from economics, geography, the athletes to team manager or coach; these are important factors to be concerned to make the best out of AI. Thus, the technology is still in its’ infancy, if we use it in a proper way, it can really promote and support the economy in each country.


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