Baseball and Technology: Perspectives from Tech Industry Executives

baseball and technologyIt seems that there is a two-sided debate when it comes to baseball and technology – those who love it and those who, don’t hate it, but don’t necessarily want it to change the traditional game of baseball. This debate was sparked by new technology as it permeates into the game, and biases and age differences add fuel to the fire.

At a recent New York Yankees game, I had the pleasure of asking some industry leaders and business professionals about their past experiences attending baseball games, and how technology has changed their experiences. I also asked how they see the future of the game changing as it relates to technology. Here is what they had to say:

In the future, I can imagine changes like seats shaking during the game to give an experience that awakens the senses. I can also see there being a personal computer at each of the seats, or maybe in one specific section. Even though we have our phones, it would be cool if there was a screen that had instant replays, interactive games, and of course, there would be targeted advertising. If the stadium knows who is sitting in the seat, the advertisements could be very targeted. It seems inevitable.
Sean Walker, Enterprise Cloud Specialist, SunGuard

I went to the game with my 16 year-old son last week and his phone was in his hand the entire game. He didn’t put it down once and he was bored when he wasn’t using it. I could sit through a game and enjoy it, but I think to get “butts in seats,” the integration of technology is inevitable and necessary.
Jonathan Nierenberg, SVP Business Development, IDT Global Services

I am more traditional and I prefer the experience, but I would use tech for more traditional things. For instance, I can’t tell you the last time I bought a program because they are so expensive. If there was an app that brought back the experience and allowed me to keep score, then download as a PDF, it would double as a souvenir and be worth it. I could also see me using an app with historical data to settle our arguments that we get into during every game. It’s interesting, because the younger generations had no idea this information wasn’t always available. They grew up with Google, they expect everything to be accessible all the time. I think the younger generations will become less and less interested in any experience that doesn’t include technology.
Anthony Davidson, Global Account Director, IDT Global Services

I see sports venues becoming places to do business. When we’re at games, we’re all multitasking and I think using technology to get us closer to the game is something we need. I am more concerned with the technology that will allow me to get involved in a fan experience when I am not there. Maybe I’m at a bar watching the game, but I think technology can make me feel like I am there – somehow. Maybe it’s through interactive games and really visually appealing apps.
Clyde Gillard, Global Client Executive, SAP

Overall, its seems that everyone agrees that technology integration into sports will happen and intensify, it’s just a matter of how it will change the game and most hope that it will stay away from affecting the true “spirit” of the game.

More perspectives to come…