Sports 2.0: The Tech Effect

Wireless technology is having a profound impact on sports at all levels, fueling innovation and empowering athletes and coaches alike, as an increasing number of teams incorporate wireless into their daily operations. 

On the high school sports front, for instance, getting noticed by college coaches has become increasingly competitive as thousands of student athletes vie to land scholarship offers from schools. Smartphones and tablets are making their way into the recruiting process, allowing student-athletes to play a bigger role in showcasing themselves and their accomplishments. Using the ReQRuitme tool, athletes can put their stats and video highlights into a mobile profile that gives coaches access to a player’s strengths both on and off the field.  

In the professional sports area, look no further than the NFL. In one short season, the number of teams using iPads for playbooks and game film has increased from two to 14. Coaches who have ditched the 500-page, 60-pound playbooks and stacks of DVDs are tracking Xs and Os, scouting reports and video cut-ups with ease. The Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first to go digital last year, providing players, coaches and scouts with direct access to daily itinerary updates, diagrams, and practice and game clip videos that can be viewed from their iPads. The tablet’s touch-screen lets players and coaches highlight key sections and take notes with a stylus, and all the information is securely saved on the teams’ servers.  

What’s next? The NFL is experimenting with the use of iPads by medical staff on the sidelines to assist them with neurological testing to help determine if a player has a concussion. The tablets, which were tested with eight teams last season, will also provide a player's medical history, including X-rays.

The innovation doesn’t stop there. College football coaches from UCLA to Tennessee to North Carolina are using drone-mounted cameras controlled through wireless technology to videotape practice from unique angles, giving themselves a leg up when it comes to reviewing plays in the film room.

4G LTE mobile broadband connectivity is the driver behind these new, innovative uses of technology by sports teams and individual athletes. The technology is helping to deliver greater efficiency and safety to the game.