By: Matthew Morton
As an organization, Talener certainly loves sports. We have season tickets to the Yankees in New York, we are constantly looking to hire ultra-competitive former college athletes as sales reps, and we are always having good natured, sports-themed contests such as the recent March Madness sweepstakes (BOS-OS put up a real good fight!) However, in the technology industry, sports have always been a major component. Whether the subject is large enterprise sports reporting sites such as espn.com, cnnsi.com, cbsportsline.com, fantasy sports, gambling on sports online (illegal in US, but there are loopholes), or the analytics aspect on delving into statistics to improve competitive advantages, sports and technology are linked very heavily. Here are four aspects of how sports and technology are intertwined in the 21st century:
-The first down marker in football.
-The “strike zone” in baseball: essentially shows whether or not an umpire’s call was actually a strike or a ball.
-Tennis: Computerized high quality view of whether the ball was in or out of bounds.
-Golf: Digital view of the trajectory of the struck golf ball.
-Fantasy sports are a billion dollar/year industry. Giants like ESPN, Yahoo and CBS capitalize on ad revenues by providing dynamic fantasy sports applications.
-Gambling online in sports is illegal in the USA, but companies such as Bodog.com are run out of Latin America, and gambling online for sports are also more than a billion dollar industry.
-We all know that pro athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson are big into the twitter scene, but at what point is it overkill?
-Buffalo Bills’ Wide Receiver recently tweeted that if “North Korea was to drop a bomb on the US, they should start at Gillette Stadium (where my storied Pats call home).
-What are the consequences for tweets like this? Where do pro teams draw the line? Interesting debates.
What does this all mean for us?
Obviously, the sports industry has been on our radar and will continue to be for many years to come. In New York, we have worked with the Giants, NBC Sports, and according to the legendary Kim Siembieda, we have a signed MSA with ESPN. In Boston, we have set up a target list of companies in the Sports space such as the Red Sox, Celtics, the Athlete Performance, and XOS Digital (build CMS’ for sports.) Groups such as these will continue to hire on the web and software side, and in terms of entry points, it’s always easier to get fired up about calling a company when you’re intrested the field they are in!