Despite a long and bumpy road, the Olympics are finally set to begin. With the opening ceremonies just days away, we wanted to take a look back, and a look forward, into how the year long postponement and the advancements in society and technology since the previous olympics will affect the sports world.
- The Covid Impact
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Olympic Games were postponed and rescheduled a year later, for the first time in history. Athletes who dedicated and trained their entire lives for that moment were crushed. Estimates from the Tokyo Organising Committee, the Japanese government, and the city of Tokyo show that postponing and rescheduling the games cost nearly three billion dollars. Companies who spent millions for sponsorship rights saw their contracts expire before the games ever began.
The emotional and financial burden of the pandemic was not exclusive to the Olympians, hosts, and sponsors however. Athletes, teams, leagues, organizations, and events which shape our local communities felt the burden as well. Here at Playbook, we pivoted our resources and focused on our Conquer Covid initiative, helping small sports businesses navigate the process of claiming government relief and finding the extra money they were entitled to. We acted as an asset for sports businesses, providing consultation and expertise to help get them back on track.
- Digitization of the Olympics
The 2020 Summer Games will be a major indication of the digital transition taking place within our society and the sports industry. For the first time ever, the Olympics will utilize advanced robotics to improve both event management and the spectator experience. Field support robots will be used to collect equipment and clean up after track and field events. Mascot robots will greet fans and interact with kids. Humanoid and remote communication robots will allow organizers to interact with and improve the experience of fans within the city of Tokyo that could not attend the games in person. Delivery support robots will act as food and drink distributors for attending fans. In addition, new facial recognition technology will be employed to improve organization, cut line wait times in half, and assist security by rapidly identifying athletes, fans, and officials upon entering and navigating Olympic facilities.
These inclusions are just the beginning; in no time the greater sports community will employ similar technology and so much more. Playbook is a rapidly growing all-in-one sports software. While we don’t have our own robots, we’re here to streamline and automate time-consuming, manual processes that take time away from the field or court. Just like the Tokyo Organising Committee, Playbook Sports is innovating and supporting sports businesses through digitization and tech-based solutions.
- Opportunities for Athletes
After more than two decades, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has officially altered its attitude towards athlete sponsorships. The Olympic Charter previously included a policy which prohibited athletes from working with and promoting their sponsors during the Olympic games. For the first time, athletes will no longer be barred from engaging in such partnerships and promotions, allowing them to reap a number of benefits. This move on behalf of the USOPC is representative of a greater movement within the United States to promote the livelihood of high level amateur athletes. It was only a few weeks ago that the NCAA amended legislation which had long prevented college athletes from profiting off of their name, image, and likeness.
These and future policy changes will create many different opportunities for athletes within the United States. As founders of NYC Basketball League, we have partnered with over 15 NBA players including Devin Booker, Kemba Walker, Kristaps Porzingis, Zach Lavine to provide youth basketball camps. While the doors continue to open, Playbook Sports will work with athletes as they support and participate in the youth sports opportunities that shape our communities.
We can confidently say that we are innovating and spearheading new sports management solutions, moving the industry forward just as all the developments over the past year have done. Click here to learn more about the Playbook story, and be sure to stay tuned for more to come.