The rapidly emerging nexus of technology and sports is changing how games are played and how athletes compete, improving player performance and bringing spectators closer to the game. The world is witnessing a massive change in approach and outlook towards technology adoption in sports. This change is poised to get bigger and better.
Tenets for Making the Technology and Cricket Ecosystem Work Together
As competitions worldwide ramp back up and reluctance to attend live events wanes, smart leaders are seeking high-tech solutions to create innovative, immersive, responsive and engaging experiences. HCLSoftware is leading this charge, and most recently — in partnership with the European Cricket Network (ECN) — is converting millions of spectators in the stadium and at home into active participants. This partnership merges a shared passion for cricket and innovative technology to transform the fan experience. Innovation opportunities are expected to grow through virtual engagement, targeted marketing for adoption, and new opportunities for monetization.
The experiences we created and delivered were not just digitally enhanced but extended into reality. In sports, as in everything we do, it’s not enough to be digital first — we need to be Digital+. Here’s how we did it.
Precision Marketing at Scale
To create an amazing fan experience, you need to personalize your user engagement strategy. HCL Unica, our end-to-end enterprise marketing automation platform, gave fans the exact experience they wanted before, during and after the game. The ECN leveraged Unica’s real-time interaction capabilities, best-in-class segmentation, behavioral insights, and fan journey mapping to engage fans every step of the way across all engagement channels. With Unica, they were able to communicate 120 times to 1.1 million followers and 328 thousand subscribers. And, using Unica Discover, they learned that a majority of viewers were coming to their live scores page first, so they tweaked their mobile website design in response, so users could get there with fewer clicks.
Crowdsourcing Engagement and Scale
We grew our digital footprint and social media presence through an innovative initiative to engage fans — a crickethon. Fans (and coders) could submit ideas for apps and other technology to boost the cricket games of the future — with daily and weekly winners, prizes, a trending hashtag and mind-blowing reach of almost 14 million people on social media channels (including almost 3 million video views of excerpts from the competition).
Custom, Personalized Experiences
HCL Actian and ECN let tech-savvy fans craft their own digital experience with tools leveraging real-time league, player, and tournament data. ECN used Avalanche, our cloud data platform, to scale their data infrastructure and global network to deliver breakthrough performance, concurrency, and cost savings for data-driven fan experiences. With Avalanche, they were able to ingest more than 22 million data points so they could create targeted infographics for the 130 million TV viewers.
Driving the Future
HCLSoftware’s technology encompasses digital transformation, data, analytics and insights, AI and automation, and enterprise security. Our solutions comprise an entire ecosystem that makes the sport and fan experiences of the future possible. These solutions enable various scenarios for our clients.
- Fans and sports communities can increase engagement with digital experiences: live broadcasting with instant replays, social media, team and betting apps, and mobile games. There’s also e-sports, with marketplaces for signed apparel and equipment. For players, technology enables better coaching, testing, performance management and training.
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- Centralized storage of player profiles provides fast, reliable access to data and streamlines club member communication. Athlete workloads can be monitored to analyze fitness, fatigue and game-readiness, and training improved by analyzing player workload and training intensity and monitoring heart rates and GPS data gathered through sensors and linked to reports.
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- Technology also enables smart stadiums with 360-degree replays, wayfinding for stadium navigation and smart parking. Security cameras with facial recognition, automated emergency response, and real-time crowd and access control improve operations.
The future of sports mandates personalized ad-embedded environments, real-time targeted marketing, and mobile betting. It will include analytics and stats related to players and teams, VR/AR training, and precision support for umpires. New revenue streams open up as media and sponsors sell branded broadcasting, merchandise, and kits online. Automation, analytics and AI target key segments on websites and apps.
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Technology is changing the game, literally, for all members of this emerging ecosystem of fans, sports communities, players, stadiums, media and partnerships. Let us show you how HCLSoftware can help you up your game.