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A sporting showcase for technology

In the run-up to the Super Bowl’s 50th anniversary, Bill McDermott reveals how technology innovation will be the winning factor in the business of sports.

Innovation has always been a game-changer in sports. From instant replay to in-helmet headsets that allow quarterbacks to communicate, advances in technology not only impact the way people play, but whether they win or lose.

In this highly competitive world, SAP is a triple threat with solutions that help sports organizations simplify operations, improve player performance and increase fan engagement before, during and after the game.

Last week, SAP CEO Bill McDermott had a chance to showcase our expertise at the Super Bowl 50 Sports Innovation Summit.

In February 2016, the National Football League (NFL) will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl. As part of the festivities leading up to the event, the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee invited NFL executives, Silicon Valley business leaders and other guests to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA to talk about technology’s role in sports. Levi’s Stadium, where Super Bowl 50 will be played, is one of the world’s most connected sports venues, and therefore, the perfect setting to discuss how technology is becoming more intertwined with the business of sports.

The event was intended to set the tone for Super Bowl 50-  the most technologically advanced Super Bow and set the stage for future NFL Super Bowl tech summits.

Participating in the inaugural summit was a great opportunity for SAP: we are in the unique position of being the only company that is a partner of the SB 50 host committee, Levi’s Stadium, and the NFL.

Bill opened the day with a fireside  keynote with Lynn Swann, former professional American football player, Hall of Famer, sportscaster, and politician.

In their conversation, Bill emphaszed that every sports franchise is now a technology company.Because sports is big business – the industry generates as much as $700 billion yearly, or 1 percent of global GDP –  technology’s benefits extend far beyond the field. The boardroom conversations happening in companies around the world are focused on digitizing work, customer experiences, supply chains and assets. SAP’s solutions can help enable franchises to Run Simple – on the field and off.

The discussion explored how technology solutions are enhancing the fan experience in the stadium and at homeand how big data and analytics can help improve player performance.The event continued after the keynote with three panels. SAP was well-represented with Quentin Clark, Chief Business Officer, participating in the Player Tracking and the Connected Athlete session. Further panels featured NFL executives and players speaking on the future of sports and media.

The future of sports

When it comes to the future, the possibilities are endless. Wearables, as an example, will transform the amount of data we can access and analyze. Fans may even be able to experience a game live from the player’s point of view someday.”Imagine not just watching a game but experiencing it in virtual reality live,” said Bill in his closing comments.


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