It was another great week for SportsTech at the Future Innovation SportsTech (F.I.S.T.) Global Series conference in London. The Stamford Bridge Stadium, home of Chelsea FC, housed the event and welcomed several speakers from all over the world to discuss industry trends, technology, and insights in the global sports landscape.
The F.I.S.T. Global Series was established to create unique events dedicated to SportsTech, Esports, innovation and the intersection of real and virtual sports. The event kicked-off in Toronto earlier this spring and will move to several cities such as Shanghai, Mumbai and San Francisco throughout 2019.
One of the industry leaders that lead a discussion at the London event was Daniel Brusilovsky, the Digital Initiatives Lead at the Golden State Warriors. Daniel talked to the founder of F.I.S.T., Ryan McCumber, about various interesting topics, here are some of the key insights in a short overview:
- The new stadium in San Francisco will be a game changer for the franchise, with about 200 events being hosted per year
- The customer journey already starts the moment a fan thinks about purchasing a ticket, and the Warriors asked themselves how they can assist in that journey
- The new Warriors app will serve two main purposes: 1) Everything surrounding local fan utility (e.g. ticketing, food, navigation services) and 2) Global branding, targeting the casual fan (e.g. exclusive content, immersive experiences)
- The Warriors are in the luxurious situation to have great partners “in their backyard,” e.g. Google Cloud (for business and basketball analytics), HPE for connectivity topics or Accenture as tech & innovation partner
- When asked about plans for an accelerator program, Daniel said that the entire Silicon Valley can be seen as the Warriors’ program, having so many interesting startups in the region (see our North American SportsTech Report for additional insights)
- The eSports audience is a completely different audience, which opens up new opportunities (including venue usage). That also explains why one of the Warriors’ eSport teams is located in Los Angeles, acting as a bridge to another city/region
Startup Pitch Competitions
The event continued with three Startup Pitch Competitions throughout the day with a focus on three distinct tracks; Fan, Athlete, and Gamer. Each competition included a handful of unique and interesting startups in each respective sector, producing a winner in each category before the Final Pitch Competition where only one startup would be named the London F.I.S.T. Global Series Pitch Competition winner.
The gamer Startup Pitch Competition was judged by a panel of experts in the field including Adam Whyte from Edge, Stephen Duval from 23 Capital, Ӓnna West from The eSports Company and James Ruth from MLS and eMLS.
AFK Creators is a full-service Esports marketing agency that helps brands and publishers to find the best talent and strategies to realize their vision while supporting content creators and streamers to develop their brands and achieve their long-term goals.
eScout would take first place in the Gamer category. eScout is a football scouting app that allows users to upload videos highlighting their skills to football clubs and a worldwide audience while they also have the chance to win prizes.
LDN UTD is a fan-driven, grassroots esports organization that aims to provide young gamers with a path to become professionals. Gamers upload their content and fans vote for their favorite gamers to compete for the chance to represent LDN UTD and pursue their career as a professional gamer.
WellKom is a wellness management platform that has guaranteed solutions for individuals, teams and organizations in order to help them better manage their lifestyle and attain significant and sustainable improvement in overall mental and physical health.
Heavy Kinematic Machines finished first in the Athlete sector. Heavy Kinematic Machines is a technological startup that develops SOLO Workout Tracking System. The system uses advanced sensors to collect the essential information about training data, your performance and overall progress.
Oliver is a smart shin guard that collects data from footballers and processes it through sport-science software to deliver football-focused insights to players and coaches. Oliver set out to open access to football data for everyone by eliminating barriers.
ORB has a mission to prevent misdiagnosed head injuries within contact sport. To achieve that goal, ORB have developed a smart mouthguard designed for rugby that makes sports performance tracking easy.
SAKPROJECT produces shin guards and compression gear using an innovative, 3D contactless scanning process and state-of-the-art materials that follow every player’s leg geometry and allow for customization.
Statathlon is a startup based in Greece and the UK that helps sports teams understand, interpret and utilize the data they collect to improve their competitiveness and prevent injuries.
Last, but not least, the Fan Startup Pitch Competition was judged by another expert panel including Charlie Greenwood from Triple Scout, Marion Reichel from FC Koln, Daniel Brusilovsky from the Golden State Warriors and myself :)
BBox Sports is a subscription box company based in Amsterdam and Lisbon, creating fashionable sports items and exclusive experiences tailor-made for fans. The boxes focus on connecting the fans with the sport's history, filled with unique and surprising elements.
Deuce makes it simple, fun and affordable for everyone to play more tennis by providing an app that allows users to book a court from partner clubs throughout the UK. The app also provides coaching services for users that would like to improve their skills, meet other players and have fun at sessions with qualified coaches.
DraftHedge is the first mobile fantasy sports financial market where players can buy and sell futures contracts in individual athletes, profiting or losing based on performance. The company offers a transparent system modeled after free market price discovery and game play that players of any skill set can enjoy.
Imaginactive is making the workout experience entertaining by combining audio drama and fitness. With the Apocalypse Survival Training app users can follow along with an exciting action-adventure story that can be paired with a run, bodyweight circuit, or yoga and stretching.
WallJAM won in the Fan category and is a sports technology company which offers a new and exciting way for leisure operators, rights holders, and sponsors to engage and reach out to their fan or customer base, through mashing physical play with a digital output. Through innovation WallJAM is delivering the gamification of ball sports, working with big brands to deliver and create memorable experiences.
The final saw eScout, Heavy Kinematic Machines and WallJAM faceoff. The three startups representing three different categories of SportsTech stakeholders impressed the experienced panel of judges, but Heavy Kinematic Machines would take the day and was voted as the winner of the 2019 F.I.S.T Global Series London Pitch Competition.
SportsTech in London
We were happy to be involved in the London leg of the F.I.S.T. Global Series! The companies that participated in each Startup Competition were interesting and we look forward to hearing more about their developments. Heavy Kinematic Machines can soon be heard in our podcast show.
Be sure to checkout the London SportTech Report to learn more about all of the exciting technology and initiatives going on in Europe’s SportsTech capital.