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New Disruptive Contender Has Emerged In Sports And Entertainment: Artificial Intelligence

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

The Rise of AI Automation and Generative AI in the Sports Industry

Illustration is AI Generated by Bing DALL·E

This is a summary of Chapter 3: Disruptive AI Change The World of Sports. Published in Survival of The Strategic Fittest on Medium. Read the full version HERE

The world of sports has always been a realm where human skills, physical power, emotional strengths and strategic thinking have reigned supreme. From the early days of ancient Olympic Games to the modern era of professional sports, it was the fittest athletes, smartest coaches, and cohesive teams who held the key to victory and entertaining the masses.


However, while that is still true, the tides of change have arrived, and with them, a new disruptive contender has emerged: Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation and generative AI.


First, let’s get an understanding of how impactful the AI evolution will be on the sports and entertainment world economics. From team and athlete performance improvement to sports operations and fan media engagement everything is about to change.


Impact of AI on the Sports and Entertainment Economy by 2030

The forecast is predicting that by 2030, the impact of AI on the sports and entertainment economy is expected to be profound, with significant advancements in automation, generative AI, and fan engagement. According to a report by PwC, the global sports market could see a revenue increase of $30 billion by 2030 due to AI integration. (Source: PwC Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019–23)


AI-driven technologies will enhance player performance analysis, optimize game strategies, streamline operations and scale the audience media exposure leading to improved outcomes and increased revenue streams. Furthermore, generative AI will revolutionize fan experiences by personalizing media content, creating immersive virtual reality experiences, and generating real-time insights for enhanced engagement. This means the game will change for all levels and parts of the industry.

The sports and entertainment industry is poised to undergo a radical transformative shift, driven by AI-driven innovations, reshaping the economy and redefining the boundaries of sports and entertainment.

Now, let’s delve into a few examples of how this technology is transforming the game.


The AI Automation Revolution In Sports Is Building Momentum

AI automation has brought revolutionary changes to various industries, and sports is no exception. AI automation has permeated every aspect of the sports ecosystem. AI automation is the use of artificial intelligence to automate manual tasks in the sports industry. It is already being used to manage ticket sales, monitor player injuries, and improve the efficiency of back-end operations. For example, professional basketball teams like the Dallas Mavericks are using AI to predict injuries and prevent them from happening by monitoring the player’s movements and stress levels.


Player Performance AI Analysis: In the past, coaches and scouts relied on their experience, gutfeel and instincts to assess player performance. Today, AI algorithms can process vast amounts of data, including player statistics, video footage, and even biometric data, to provide comprehensive performance insights.


This information helps coaches make data-driven decisions about player selection, tactics, and training regimes, giving their teams a competitive edge. As an example, in my latest venture ENTEM we use AI to unlock the sports team and athlete potential where performance meets emotion. The proprietary AI powered sports emotions AI platform provides next level sports emotions analytics and engagement with fans and athletes.


The ENTEM competitive advantage helps teams win more games by elevating team performance, creating a better team culture, and maximizing athlete and fan engagement.

We have researched and developed a solution that utilizes the primary driver behind game performance as the key variable: Emotions. This revolutionary approach is different from existing solutions in that we measure the predictor and antecedent variable of game engagement and performance, rather than the outcomes.


Emotional AI in Sports: Understanding emotions during game performance can help coaches facilitate tactical decision-making during high pressure game context and development of game strategy. For example, if you know your team is emotionally high, you can adjust defensively versus offensively. Coaches can also use emotional AI analytics to understand team dynamics and how to improve team culture for optimal performance. For instance, player energy and emotions from the sidelines can affect game performance and those who see it. Insights from emotional AI analytics can also assist the team in understanding where they need to be emotionally during the game and adjust coaching accordingly. Additionally, coaches can identify the drivers and impact of fan engagement on game performance.


Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation: Sports injuries can be detrimental to both players and teams. With AI automation, medical staff can utilize machine learning algorithms to predict and prevent injuries based on factors like fatigue, workload, and biomechanics. AI-powered rehabilitation programs can also accelerate recovery by tailoring exercises and treatment plans to individual athletes, reducing downtime and maximizing performance.


Fan Engagement: AI automation has revolutionized the way fans interact with their favorite sports. Video broadcasting Chatbots and virtual assistants provide personalized updates, answer queries, and even engage in simulated conversations. AI-powered recommendation systems analyze fan preferences and provide tailored content, enhancing the overall fan experience.


Generative AI Is Winning In Sports and Media

Generative AI takes AI automation to the next level by enabling the creation of new and original content, often indistinguishable from human-made creations. In the sports industry, generative AI has opened up exciting possibilities and transformed traditional businesses.


Sports Content Creation: Writing match reports, game analysis, and even sports journalism can now be automated through generative AI. With access to vast amounts of data and natural language processing capabilities, AI algorithms can generate compelling and informative sports content quickly and efficiently.


This AI technology is already being used to create more personalized and engaging sports experiences for fans. For example, the NBA has partnered with an AI company to create personalized highlight reels for fans. The AI system selects the most exciting plays from each game and creates a custom highlight reel for each fan based on their preferences.


Sports Game Strategy and Simulation: Generative AI can simulate game scenarios, helping teams devise winning strategies. By analyzing past matches, player performance, and other relevant data, AI algorithms can generate multiple potential outcomes and recommend optimal strategies. Coaches can then fine-tune these suggestions based on their experience, creating a powerful partnership between human intuition and AI analysis.


Disruptive Impact On The Entertainment Industry

Generative AI and automation have been making a significant impact on the entertainment industry, revolutionizing content creation, personalization, and audience engagement. Here are a few examples of real companies that are leveraging these AI technologies to take industry and category leadership:


Netflix and other steaming services has been utilizing generative AI algorithms to personalize content recommendations for its subscribers.


Sony Music has employed generative AI in its A&R (Artists and Repertoire) department to discover and develop new talent.


Epic Games and Ubisoft are examples of how the video game industry has also embraced generative AI to enhance game development and employed AI algorithms to create realistic and immersive in-game environments.


Instagram and TikTok uses generative AI algorithms to recommend personalized short video content to its users.


Disney has been leveraging automation technologies in its theme parks to enhance visitor experiences. For instance, they have implemented AI-powered systems for crowd management, queue optimization, and personalized recommendations, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable experience for park attendees.


The impact of generative AI and automation on content creation in the entertainment industry is both promising and raises certain implications and concerns.


Impact on Traditional Businesses and The Future Winners

The impact of AI automation and generative AI on traditional sports and entertainment businesses cannot be overstated. The sports industry is highly competitive, and companies that fail to adapt to these new technologies risk losing their market share. For example, traditional sports broadcasters are already facing stiff competition from new players like Amazon and Netflix, who are using AI to create personalized sports content for viewers.


The rise of AI automation and generative AI presents both challenges and opportunities for traditional sports businesses. Those who embrace these technologies stand to gain a competitive advantage, while those who resist risk falling behind.


Big Data-driven Decision Making: Traditional businesses that adapt to AI automation can harness the power of data-driven decision making. Whether it’s scouting talent, optimizing player performance, or understanding fan preferences in a new media context, AI algorithms can provide valuable insights that lead to informed choices and increased success.

The future winners in the sports industry will be those who can leverage AI automation to improve team, athlete and business performance and apply generative AI to provide unique and personalized content and experiences for fans.

Teams and organizations that can use these technologies to improve player performance, increase fan engagement, and reduce costs will come out on top. For example, the Golden State Warriors have been using AI to analyze player performance and improve training programs, giving them an edge over their competitors.


Transformation is The Key

In conclusion, the sports and entertainment industry is undergoing a significant transformation due to advancements in AI automation and generative AI. These technologies are changing the way sports are played, analyzed, and broadcasted. Traditional businesses must adapt to these changes to stay competitive, while future winners will be those who can leverage these technologies to reimagine their future strategy and one of the Strategic Fittest. Beyond survival into category leadership.


The survival of the strategic fittest is dependent on the ability to embrace new AI technologies and ride this disruptive wave to victory.


Let's start with a conversation.

Read more and follow me in my full Medium Publishing series "Survival of The Strategic Fittest" HERE

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