A New R.O.I. in Sports Business?

A Lesson Learned From the I-Tech Cup!

The Future of ROI in Sports is Changing. HYPE Sports Innovation gathered all the data around the I-Tech Cup and has compiled a summary of all must-know data behind the event.

A New R.O.I. in Sports Business?
A Lesson Learned From the I-Tech Cup!

For generations, spectators in sports have been involved in games at a bare minimum capacity.

But, with the introduction of new emerging technologies, fans today are moving from passive watching to active participation on the matchday – before and after the full-time whistle. Creating an environment in which fans spend more time participating with brands, clubs, and federations could dramatically impact and increase the ROI.

For example, spectators are now given the opportunity to access match statistics in real time with mixed reality. Fans can hand-pick the camera angle of their choice from a range of viewpoints – including from the perspective of any player or referee running up and down the pitch. Gamification has proved to be another exciting and powerful tool that can engage mass audiences in real-time to create a better sporting experience by giving them the chance to vote for the MOTM or vote for the song that will be played at full time as an example. 

What is the I-Tech Cup?

Organized by MTR7 and with the support of the Innovation Partner, HYPE Sports Innovation (the largest holding company in SportsTech with over 250 companies), the I-Tech Cup is a format designed to consume football in the most futuristic way, in-stadium or at home. The much-anticipated game between Spurs and AS Roma featured at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, Israel on Sunday, 30th of July.

Exploring new innovations to engage with football fans like never before, the I-Tech Cup brought together and tested the best local technologies in the country that carries a reputation as a global hub for high-tech companies, but the event also invited several global tech solutions that had the prowess to further lighten up the prolific matchday.

The Impact on ROI?

Efficient application of emerging technologies will require sport right holders to spend much more than what they are accustomed to but creating an integrated, state of the art, tech-heavy ecosystem will only open windows of opportunities to generate new streams of revenue.

Not only will the scope to widen one’s sponsorship portfolio will scale up, but sports organizations will be enabled to offer an upgraded high-value proposition to drive new partnerships and build long-standing relationships with the core stakeholders of the business – ultimately leading to an ideal return on investment in the long run. 

As mentioned, with the introduction of new emerging technologies, fans today are moving from passive watching to active participation and ultimately to be able to IMPACT the game.

On matchday – before and after the full-time whistle that will make fans spend more time on improving ROI.

This new fan experience and technologies has proven to skyrocketed the ROI. For example just in February 2021 Top Shot did over $224M in sales, generating over 45M in a single day.

Also, Tennis Australia shared in its 2020-2021 annual report that they had a net loss of more than $100M, the AO Art Ball Collection sold out in only three minutes following the public drop with a price floor of 0.26 ETH (around $875) and a trading volume of 223 ETH ($751,287). 

What were the innovations showcased in the I-Tech Cup?

The I-Tech Cup provided an unprecedented opportunity for some of the finest local technologies to showcase and implement their solution during a football match that proved to be the perfect occasion to produce high-end exposure and buzz globally. 

Less than two weeks before the big matchday in Israel, HYPE Sports Innovation facilitated tech implementation for an unforgettable “Innovation Game” between FC Koln and AC Milan at the RheinEnergieSTADION that saw hands-on application of several exciting, cutting edge technologies which can revolutionize the viewing experience for sports fans.

The pre-season clash in Germany featured Mindfly’s AI-powered bodycams that offered spectators a brand-new viewing experience from the perspective of the players involved, while automated highlights and exciting data feeds were also made available in real-time.

Similar groundbreaking solutions were on display for the I-Tech Cup on Saturday but what caught the eyes of most attendees, including industry leading VIP guests, was the Startup Innovation Expo that saw participation of some of the most technologically advanced solutions in sports.

HYPE Sports Innovation’s solutions such as NFT Labs, a web 3.0 company exploring big ideas in community, utility, and engagement to push the crypto, NFT and Metaverse space forward, and FanFest, an online platform to host live pre-match and halftime shows featuring club supporters worldwide, were not on display at the Startup Expo but they also implemented their tech to give fans a new matchday experience.

Israel-based Mindfly continued their remarkable journey from Cologne to Haifa as their AI-powered body cams were deployed again for the I-Tech Cup to refine the broadcast experience for the spectators.

Other exhilarating solutions that immersed their tech on the matchday included MyFavorito, a digital, fan-empowered sponsorship and fan engagement platform that turns fans’ love into real money; Filmily, who provided a new highly personalized and targeted suite for fan engagement; and FootAR, the metaverse for live sports to offer second screen that empowers sports fans to enhance smart data, live.

In addition, US-based Tally Technology Group provided free-to-play interactive prediction games and MaisonDAO, a decentralized digital fashion brand and ArtTech Collective, partnered up with The Immersive Kind to create a metaverse watching experience with cutting edge animation.

At the Startup Expo, Blazepod, a reaction training solution that combines cognitive intelligence training with physical exercises, exhibited their product along with Yabi Technologies, which have developed an innovative identity and access management platform; and i-Braintech, a neuroscience-based brain-training video game solution to enhance sports performance.

Furthermore, the Startup Expo also saw involvement from other leading local solutions from Israel such as Interacting Technology, AR-51, EasyCoach.Club, MCTECH and Camhera, all gained invaluable exposure by connecting with some of the biggest names in Israel’s sporting landscape and abroad.

Spectators had access to download mobile applications of all the solutions participating in the I-Tech Cup and kick-start their engagement at one single digital space – via HYPE’s web portal designed specifically for the much-awaited matchday.

The Numbers

Due to the time constraints surrounding the event, the web portal only garnered 350 unique visitors, but these 350 unique visitors turned into 1400 page views with nearly 1000 forms of engagement. These numbers show just relevant new experiences are to fans who are willing to try them out. When given the means to explore, the average fan explored 4-5 different innovative solutions!

The SportsTech and Web 3.0 markets are both on a major surge over the last year or so, with an estimated $9.3B of investment funding going towards SportsTech companies. The top 10 SportsTech companies are valued at an estimated $49B. Meanwhile, the NFT market continues to grow after exploding from a valuation of $100M in 2020 to an estimated $21B in 2021. The Metaverse market is estimated to have a value of $207B today, and experts expect that figure to leap towards $800B by 2024. The question is not whether the money is there, the question is whether or not companies will learn how to utilize the data behind the money!

About HYPE?

HYPE is the Global Sports Tech Arena with over 100 sports brands, clubs, and federations as partners. Our mission is to impact people’s lives through the power of sports and innovation. We’ve been doing that since 2015 with over 40K+ followers, Industry Experts, Investors, and Mentors – all contributing to the great value that we generate across the ecosystem. HYPE is at the center of this shift in the sports landscape, and the recent example of the I-Tech Cup further pushes the notion of the change in ROI.

If you are a brand interested in bringing some of the innovative solutions forward into the SportsTech and/or Web 3.0 revolutions, reach out to our team at mariana@hypesportsinnovation.com

Stay tuned for more.

Amir Raveh HYPE S.I

Research: Daniel Rabinowitz , Ash Thakur


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