It may seem odd to quote Wayne Gretzky, one of the all-time greats of the National Hockey League (NHL), in a presentation to Australian sporting executives but lessons learnt from a sport played on ice far from these shores could not be more apt as we head towards Brisbane 2032.
“I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” Wayne Gretzky famously said.
This metaphor neatly summed up the sentiments of Playbk Sports North American Chief Operating Officer Rick Burton as he delivered the keynote speech as part of the SportX Connect Series – Sport Tech Changing the Game: A Global Perspective, delivered in collaboration with the Queensland Government Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport.
Burton teleported to a future where Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), holograms and 6G technology are common place in sport and challenged the audience to consider their readiness to leverage this reality. Burton mused on the looming shadow that MMAANG (Meta, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) will cast, the disruption these companies are likely to cause in sport and posed the question – are we skating to where the puck is going?
“I think my role at the event was to provide some insights from what I’m seeing globally as it relates to trends in sport technology and wanted to ask the audience to consider their own readiness to embrace these trends,” Burton said.
“Without wanting to be confrontational or present a world where we no longer connect as humans, we all have a responsibility to assess the continual shifts in technological advancements. Like a meteor headed toward a planet, we know a notable impact is coming for the business of sport. I think my call for preparedness resonated with the audience.”
Focusing on three key areas – clutter, technology and opportunities – Burton’s keynote explored Moore’s Law and how this principle (the microchip doubling its processing power every two years) will influence the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics. As the sport sector considers how to develop avid fans (despite the clutter), leverage technologies and invest in human performance, Burton left the audience with plenty to ponder within their own business strategies.
According to Playbk Sports co-founder Jon Shepherd, Australian sport technology companies are rising globally, and the foundation has been built for this success to inspire and motivate the next group of businesses.
“Australian sport tech firms will pave the green and gold runway,” said Shepherd “and provide sport with access to the tools that will not only deliver the best ever Olympics, but also shape the next 50 years of sport participation, high performance and fandom.”Jon Shepherd, Co-founder at Playbk Sports
Burton, who proudly considers himself an adopted Aussie, finished the event with a reference to the classic Australian film The Dish.
“If not for the Australian technology in the sheep paddock at Parkes, no one watches the first steps on the moon. I can’t help but wonder if we shouldn’t use this as inspiration over the next nine years because the whole world will be watching Brisbane emerge as the world’s leading sport technology city,” Burton said.
Playbk Sports is committed to generating scale for sporting properties through digital technology and leveraging the power of human learning to cut through the clutter. With digital products reaching thousands of global fans across a wide array of sports, the team at Playbk Sports are on the green and gold runway and skating to where the puck is going.
For media enquires, images or interview, please contact:
Jon Shepherd, Co-founder of Playbk Sports via our Contact Us page.
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