Over the past decade or so there has been a strong push to ban performance enhancing substance in major sports in the US, a few of the major leagues have made great progress in doing so. However, in recent years, with the development of new technology, namely electronic sports and video games, the use of performance enhancing drugs has spread. It’s hard to believe that there are world-wide tournaments for electronic sports that generate millions of dollars in revenue and prize money, but with the technologically driven world we live in, this is just another booming outlet for innovation. Since there has been such a great development in the electronic sports community and there are such large amounts of money at stake, it would behoove those involved to make sure their business is clean. With this though in mind, the e-sports community has adopted a drug testing program for all of its gamers. Unlike professional athletes, gamers to not typically abused anabolic steroids or human growth hormone, but rather prescription drugs such as Adderall. Drugs like these help players focus and give them the much wanted competitive edge. With the new development in drug test programming, we can now ensure that sports, yes albeit electronic, are kept clean and the integrity of the industry cannot be questioned.
There is an independent baseball league all the way out in California testing something very interesting out, a computerized strike zone. Eric Byrnes, a former player, will be the one in control at the games. He apparently has been pushing for this for years and it seems to finally be creeping its way up. Other people round the league have either voiced their approval/disapproval for the product, but I see both sides to it. I think this really could eliminate some controversial calls, but I think there are more negatives to this than positives. For starters, technology is one of the most unpredictable things in the world so it would be a high risk to trust this product with something so important. Also, the MLB has recently voiced their concerns and have tried numerous tactics to combat the lengthy time it takes to play a baseball game. If this ever were to make it into the MLB, I think it will only be used for replay purposes and not to determine if the ball thrown was a ball or a strike.
In recent years, there has been a major emphasis placed on player safety in many sports, but most specifically in football. Concussions are a brutal part of the game and they are inevitable, so as time has gone along teams have begun creating tests in order to manage athletes and make sure they are healthy. For a while now, the main way to test for concussions was implementing tests for athletes to take healthy and then re-take the test after suffering a major blow to the head. This method has been working but some believe there are ways for athletes to get around this baseline tests and sideline checks from team doctors.
The University of Miami Hecht Athletic Center is testing a more accurate and objective manner for sideline testing – the I-Portal PAS Goggle System. The goggles are being developed by medical schools at both the University of Miami as well as the University of Pittsburgh, with the help of medical equipment manufacturer Neuro Kinetics, Inc. The NFL is cosponsoring a $500,000 grant with Under Armour and GE to develop similar devices, and the Department of Defense is also looking into goggles to help with head trauma for battlefield soldiers.
One camera in each eye makes up the technology and through a series of tests, the goggles can determine whether or not a person is concussed. The 3D assessment measures reflex responses in the eye and the symmetry of pupil dilation, which provides more data on a person’s state of brain trauma. Implementing the device should be relatively simple, but they need to be hooked up to a computer, which will take more planning and effort when taking the device on the road.
Developers are looking to have three different models out within 18 months. They hope to have an inexpensive version for youth sports that will run around $200, a college and pro sports model, and a clinical health model. There is still a year and a half left of testing and no FDA approval yet, so don’t expect to see the goggles hit the sidelines for another two years.
This upcoming weekend, golf fans will be able to access the PGA Tour on its new Over-The-Top subscription service, PGA Tour Live. Fans will be able to access the service through a free trial or by subscribing. Unlike other similar services, such as Watch ESPN and NBC Sports Live Extra, fans will not need a service provider to access the live content. Interestingly, the PGA Tour’s streaming service was developed in partnership with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), which serves as the Internet and technology arm of MLB. It is rare to see two different professional sports leagues working with each other, especially at a time when both the PGA Tour and MLB are losing viewers.Then again maybe desperate times call for desperate measures. Both the PGA tour and MLB stand to potentially benefit from this new relationship. The PGA Tour can deliver its sport to new and younger viewers, while MLB can turn this partnership into more partnerships with other sports leagues.
For the first time, golf is making a huge attempt at going digital. Interestingly enough, MLB Advanced Media will be the partner to help them do it. The PGA tour made a huge announcement yesterday that starting this week, the tournaments will be streamed live. This means that users will be able to subscribe to a digital service in order to view the live streaming without having a service provider. Golf and baseball working together seems odd enough seeing that the sports are completely different and have different fan bases but the PGA Tour is hopeful that working with such a successful technology branch of another league will help to improve their own viewership and attract attention.
What is being referred to as the “Over-the-Top” subscription service, is attempting to reach out to the younger crowd that is tech-savvy and enjoys live streaming over watching the game on television. Now that the two ends are working together to help each other grow and with competition out of the question (for now), the digital possibilities seem to be endless. By taking control of the internet and not limiting their audience, the PGA Tour will expand their marketing and increase their number of fans and viewers.
SkyCam is well known in the sports world for providing an incredible perspective on football games. The camera system hangs above the field, suspended from the stadium by a series of cables. The SkyCam follows players all around the field and provides a great aerial view. This is a common feature of football broadcasts these days but is more rare to see during a broadcast of a soccer game.
That will change tonight during the MLS All Star game in Denver. SkyCam will provide a unique perspective of the best the United States has to offer on the field. As they test themselves against English Premier League powers Tottenham, SkyCam will put their new product to the test. The Wildcat is an upgraded camera system that allows the camera to travel faster and provide smoother video. The action can be seen on Fox Sports 1 as well as the Fox Sports Go app on tablets and smartphones.
Time Magazine, popular all around the globe, has decided to go in a different direction than many newspaper and print media. They have decided to cut dependence on print ads and circulation revenue and focus on something that is much more popular….sports. Time has “acquired three youth-focused digital sports companies and an events business as the publisher looks to place bets on growing areas of media and reduce its dependence on print advertising and circulation revenue.”
Breakdown of the three acquired companies:
- SportsSignup and LeagueAthletics.com- provide online management tools for youth sports leagues that enable parents, coaches and players to check such information as team schedules and statistics. The two businesses serve about eight million athletes, 300,000 teams and 8,500 leagues.
- iScore Sports – sells apps priced at $9.99 each for fans of baseball, football, basketball and soccer. The apps enable users to create a digital scorecard and track games play by play.
Time, Inc. is trying to reinvent themselves and create a business with more longevity. We all have seen the rapid decline in the print industry over the last 10-20 years. With the increase of innovation and technology, everyone has everything they could need right at their fingertips. There is no need to go buy a magazine or a newspaper, they have it all in an app now. This is exactly why Time is trying to branch out and acquire new areas that will help them advance. They are trying to offset the decline of its traditional print business by increasing its digital footprint and venturing into new markets. The sports deals will help the company reach a new audience and collect data that could be valuable to advertisers. Time is smart to have come to their senses and finally jump on the bandwagon of this new digital age. You know what they say… if you cant beat them, join them!