The start-up industry has seen exponential growth over the past decade, with that development also having an impact on the sports industry. Whether it is technology on the field of play or the thirst for a wide range of content from fans off the pitch or court, a large majority of the most exciting innovations have come from smaller, nimbler organisations.
However, for every success story there are too many who simply cannot get their voices heard at a crowded table. Recent research from CB Insights indicates that 42% of start-ups fail through a lack of demand from the market.
Although sport has been a fertile ground for smaller companies with exciting technology to thrive, we have often witnessed start-ups fail to get a foot in the door. Europe and Asia has been especially difficult due to the conservative approach often taken when it comes to new technologies. As leaders in sports marketing, we are well aware that the USA is more likely to be an early adopter of technological breakthroughs than organisations based in Europe or Asia. We are also well aware of the limitations newcomers to the markets may have due to lack of contacts and a crowded market place.
On the other side are the struggles that many clients face when it comes to pleasing their fans in terms of delivering content or solutions that improve their sport.
Innovation has always been part of Infront’s culture and way of thinking. We are constantly on the look-out for new growth opportunities – both for our own organisation and – more importantly – for our partners.
Last year we organised the first Day of Innovation, which helped employees understand how a selection of start-ups could enhance the service we offer clients.
The results from the day saw a handful of these start-ups introduced to events. The automated video solution offered by WSC was used at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, creating over 5,000 videos, with the best shared across IIHF social platforms combining to reach over 12 million views. WSC was also in action at the Women's EHF EURO 2018 in France, producing 1,500 hours of footage and over 40 hours of content, with the EHF enjoying over 20 million views across their platforms.
DEEP, a platform that allows its users to enhance their stories with fully customisable, mobile-friendly and interactive graphics, was also used at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships, producing 75 pieces of content to enhance and engage fans using the stats from the ice.
Chatbot specialists Tokabot also signed an exclusive agreement with Infront Germany who will now represent them in the country.
The second edition of Infront's Day of Innovation took place on January 22 with a number of new start-ups once again introduced to employees. The process provided us with a unique opportunity to meet multiple start-ups and discuss winning partnerships that could allow us to deliver new offerings to clients.
We are here to provide that foot in the door for start-ups to introduce them to properties and bring added value to everyone.