Technology is a massive part of sport these days, and you’d be hard pressed to find a sport that hasn’t been influenced by tech in some way. Hawk-eye technology is a massive part of Tennis and Cricket on the world scene but has yet to infiltrate the world of football. Football is without doubt the most popular , lucrative and controversial sports on the planet but FIFA has refuted all technology advances to date. The traditionalists argue that technology will ruin the beautiful game , but at some point it is inevitable that an element of technology will be sensitively integrated. This statement can only be confounded by the recent news that Sony as bought the Hawk-eye UK tech company for an undisclosed fee.
The acquisition of such a technology is quite a shrewd move. From a sponsorship perspective this acquisition will open up opportunities for Sony to integrate into live sport without having to fork out millions on advertising. EA recently paid to be the official sports technology partner of the barclays premier league ,citing to complaints that EA logo received undue prominence in-broadcast on SkySports. The EA ownership of the technology maybe slightly different to the Sony deal, but it highlights the type of solution that maybe afoot.
It wasn’t too long ago that Sky got into Hawk-eye issues with regards to a Specsavers sponsorship logo being too prominent in the 2009 Ashes cricket series. Sky responded by saying that the sponsorship of hawk-eye was necessary to pay for the cost of the technology. With Hawk-eye being such an integrated part of major sports it will be fascinating to see how Sony play this newly acquired intellectual property. Could they even be in a postion to hold certain sports to ransom ? If there are not any other tech companies who can provide the same high product quality this is surely quite a realistic scenario.
Referring to Hawk-eye may well be a thing of the past, commentators and millions of viewers around the world will now be looking to Sony to provide the highly emotive sporting decisions. Let’s see how Ofcom handle this one.
Great example of how companies are looking to new ways of investment in delivering positive brand equity.