The SportsTech ecosystem consists of media, wearables and performance enhancement, smart stadiums and fan engagement, data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and eSports. Swiss exporters aim at different target groups to adopt their innovations: the athlete and his team, the club or league, the sponsor, the media or broadcaster and the fan, who is sometimes also an amateur sports practitioner.
Performance measurement made in Switzerland
“In addition to top professionals, second tier clubs and semi-professionals, serious amateurs are increasingly performance driven as well”, says Julien Moix, COO of Advanced Sports Instruments (ASI), who was part of the Swiss delegation at this year’s Sports Technology Awards in London. ASI specializes in electronic performance and tracking systems. They started to develop tracking for paragliding five years ago, and today see huge opportunities in the UK market, specifically for football and rugby.
Fans want to know what happens off the field
“Storytelling in sports is becoming increasingly important. Fans are interested in what happens off the field, too”, says Samuel Gähwiler, CEO of Levuro,. The startup delivers an engagement and social media marketing campaigning solutions and was awarded best broadcaster and live sports experience. “We involve the athlete or our partner in the story and produce the highlights of livestream specifically for live, mobile, social, OTT and TV.”
The UK offers great opportunities for Swiss SportsTech companies
Yoveo (with iRewind), who was awarded Sports Technology Agency of the year, creates personalized videos in real time at big sports events for event organizers or brands. “The UK is an important market for us because it is not only known for large sports events and a huge fan base, but is also home to numerous international sports organizations”, points out Yoveo Co-Owner Marco Demont. Gähwiler of Levuro adds: “Our clients are sports associations and country organizations, athletes or TV stations who want to increase engagement of their videos and posts on their social media channels”.
The annual Sports Technology Awards in London were held on 3 May 2018, where Switzerland featured as a partner nation. Marieke Hood, Head of Swiss Business Hub UK + Ireland in London, says: “With its incomparable density of international sports organizations, Switzerland is unanimously recognized in the UK as a political center for sports. We are proud of our Swiss companies and excited to see the potential of Swiss technologies and expertise in the UK!”
Technology to help raise awareness for people with disabilities
ETH Zurich was awarded Best Participation Technology with CYBATHLON, a non-profit project which aims at pushing the development of useful, assistive technology for people with disabilities. “The costs for assistive technology ranges from a 100 dollars to several 10’000 dollars, depending on the included technology. Through our CYBATHLON races, we want to determine and award the most useful and functional technology – and in the long run, CYBATHLON promotes competition in the market in order to make these technologies affordable”, says Peter Wolf, COO Cybathlon 2016 and Deputy Head of ETH Zurich’s Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, which launched Cybathlon. “At the same time, we aim to raise awareness for the challenges (and potential solutions) people with disabilities face in everyday life. By informing the public and stimulating discussion on inclusion, we work on removing barriers between the general public, the users and the developers.”
From Switzerland to the UK to the world
“We are now looking at neighboring markets like Germany”, says Gähwiler of Levuro. “But if we succeed in getting international clients with big projects, things can happen very fast – in which case the client is the trigger for further expansion.” Marco Demont, Co-Owner of Yoveo says: “We focus on markets where video is growing strongly, at the moment mainly the UK, the US, and some regions in Asia.” For Advanced Sports Instruments, France and Belgium are key “because they are a cultural fit”, stresses Julien Moix, COO. “And Japan, as they are crazy about football, rugby and baseball.”
About the Sports Technology Award
The Awards, which celebrates tech-led innovations across all sports, attracts entries from over 30 countries representing 50 sports, in 15 categories which are reviewed by 32 leading industry-figures spanning players, athletes, sports governance and business visionaries.
More information about SportsTech
Leaders Special Report: OTT 2018: The latest in direct-to-consumer sports offerings