Meet the Shortlist 2021: Cutting Edge Award

01 Sep 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

The Sport Industry Awards 2021 will see the industry’s biggest night of the year return to Evolution London on Wednesday 8th September, and will also be the 20th anniversary of the event.

Ahead of the night, we’re taking a look at this year’s shortlist, to see who might be returning home with the famous trophies on the night.

Make sure you don’t miss out on attending the in-person return of the Sport Industry Awards - book your place now.

The Cutting Edge Award in association with PT SportSuite is one for the gamechangers - those who’ve gone beyond themselves, broken new boundaries, thought differently or brought in new ideas or tech.

Read on to see the shortlist below... 

The lockdown period and forced absence of fans in stadiums has really shined a light on the at-home fan experience, and the nature of entries show there has been a renewed focus on growing digital fan communities across all levels of sport through some really exciting technology and engagement opportunities for the at-home fan.

There’s no doubt the industry has suffered hardships in the face of the pandemic - but in the face of all these challenges, the innovation on display in this category reassures us that the industry will not only survive - but come back even stronger, with a renewed focus on digital acceleration that powers genuine fan connections and commercialisation opportunities.

In a decade’s time we will look back at this period as the catalyst for a technology boom that closes the gap between the live viewing experience and the remote experience - where 99% of fan bases watch and want to engage - Rich Cheary, CEO, PT SportSuite.

BT Sport - Matchday Experience

BT Sport’s Matchday Experience could not be more relevant to the lockdown moment we found ourselves in during 2020/21. With fans unable to attend stadia, Matchday Experience on the BT Sport App fuses the latest developments in mobile devices and network speeds alongside pioneering uses of AR and synchronised video to get our customers closer to the action than any other provider in the UK.

The launch joined two other landmark UK firsts from BT Sport in 2020. In November, in a world first, BT Sport launches live streamed sport with Dolby Atmos, a world leading audio technology which creates a more immersive sound experience, on the BT Sport App. And in February, BT Sport screened the UK’s first public live 8K sports broadcast, with a screening of the UEFA Europa League match between Arsenal and Olympiacos (round of 32), working with Samsung. 

EFL - iFollow

Since June 2020 the EFL has successfully streamed over 850 matches to over 3.5million people. Without the iFollow platform and with all matches taking place behind closed doors, supporters would have simply been unable to stay connected to their Club and watch their team.

In a short space of time the League has had to upscale its operation, with responsibility for infrastructure, ticketing and marketing resource – in turn protecting an estimated c£32 million of Clubs’ Season Ticket revenue, protecting commercial deals and generating much-needed income at a financially challenging time. 

Joymo - Live Streaming for Grassroots Sport

Joymo is the direct-to-consumer OTT media platform for governing bodies, clubs, teams and athletes at every level of the sporting pyramid. Joymo enables those involved in sport participation to live stream their valuable content and sell access to passionate fans around the globe.

With Joymo, content creators can utilise the camera on their mobile device to stream live or on-demand to a global audience via the Joymo Share app for as little as £35 a year. or integrate their own existing content capture solutions through Joymo Connect.

In the last year, Joymo has doubled-down on its tech innovation by launching its new OTT live streaming platform: Joymo Arena. Joymo has also developed a fully-secure video platform with built-in features to make it easier for the Channel Owners to safeguard their athletes and allow content creators to manage data in a safe, secure and compliant way. 

Joymo’s focus on cutting-edge technology helped them secure the investor funding that has facilitated their launch into the UK market in mid-2020 and the company has since secured exclusive live streaming partnerships with a host of UK sport organisations, including the Sport & Recreation Alliance, Welsh Sports Association, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire County Football Associations.

Nurvv - Nurvv Run 

Nurvv Run is a British tech start up founded by entrepreneurs Jason Roberts and Ulrica Roberts in 2016. The company is dedicated to pioneering and championing the latest advances in technology and biomechanics to help runners run faster, further, safer and to find their true potential.

The company’s first product, a unique piece of cutting-edge wearable technology, that took four years to develop, is already making waves within the global running community. It comprises a high-tech insole that fits within a runner’s existing running shoes and provides a huge amount of accurate, insightful data back to the runner via a dedicated specialist coaching app.

So far Nurvv Run has sold over 2,500 units of its innovative smart insole technology both through its website and a distribution network in the UK and US markets. The company is aiming to change 10 million runners’ lives by 2025.

Super League Triathlon - SLT Arena Games 

Super League Triathlon (SLT) is the world's premier swim-bike-run Series, pitching the very best athletes against each other in quick and exciting race formats in destinations across the globe.

However, with COVID-19 wiping out the vast majority of the 2020 triathlon race calendar, Super League came up with an innovative new concept - the SLT Arena Games - to get athletes back racing again in a COVID secure environment while bringing a new audience to the sport by harnessing technology to produce a unique format.

The event provided a first-ever mix of in real life and virtual racing featuring the world’s top triathletes and delivered a new level of immersive viewing experience. It also added a fresh element to the sport, with live data and 'in-your-face' cameras, and crucially exceeded all targets in terms of viewership, digital metrics and audience engagement - including a four-fold increase on digital views from previous SLT events