Boris Pourreau, Founder and CEO of Sport Heroes, a Sport Tech Hub cohort 1 alum, provides his view on the rise of #SportTech in mass participation sport events.
Like every crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to innovate despite the social distancing. Digital was one, maybe THE key to being able to move forward: we saw a boom in zoom meetings, medical consultations in video conferences, or online orders for food delivery.
And what about the mass sports events?
Postponed, then cancelled to the great displeasure of thousands of sportspersons who trained to participate in competitions. Collective sport practice became really difficult in the world, but some sports persisted with running or cycling.
Little by little, some mass participation sport events like 10km running adapted and offered 100% online events that you could participate in just next to your home.
While digital has enabled thousands of people to participate in competitions remotely, like the IRONMAN virtual races — due to a new product created by Sport Heroes during the crisis, which culminated with the gathering of up 30.000 participants on a weekend during the lockdown.
In recent years, digital has entered into many sectors, to give access to their products and services to the majority of people. The FoodTech, HealthTech, EdTech, FinTech, or GreenTech naming appeared.
Mass sport events organizers are now entering the SportTech era, with a market evolving to a hybrid model: mixing physical events (when it is possible) for authenticity, and digital events, to engage the greatest number of persons. For example, The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Virtual Club by Square Mile organizes virtual races for more than 100 companies in 10 cities across the world each weekend. Another example: Nords Event Communications are engaging the participants of the Rimi Riga Marathon with the Rimi Riga Marathon Virtual Club.
Sport events organizers and brands can now for instance offer a big physical event as a climax of the year, and organize virtual events throughout the year, to engage their audiences everyday, and motivate them to practice regularly. It is a new way to create links with their audiences, storytell and engage them.