The Power of “Datatainment”: Richard Ayers on The Ways Digital Will Change Sports



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Few things match the intensity of emotion that arises from a close sport’s match. Sports are powerful enough to have been instrumental in breaking down barriers between people and creating hope in seemingly hopeless situations. Combining forces with sports’ innate power, digital is beginning to transform the ways that we interact with sports and we are only seeing the beginning.

In On! The Future of Now, Richard Ayers of Seven League chronicles some of the ways that sports have changed, beginning with access to data and the ability to get up close and personal with athletes through quantified-self technologies. Richard describes how sports stats can be used to reach new audiences, showing how this “Datatainment” can be entertaining as well as a powerful force in encouraging people to play, attend and follow sports. Richard explains:

“You could know what it’s like to be on the pitch, using augmented reality or some other new kind of display that we haven’t even dreamed up yet. Wouldn’t that be thrilling? Wouldn’t that drive fans to seek that same natural high of excitement and experience?”

Looking at the ways that future events like the World Cup or Olympics might look with new technology, Ayers hypothesizes about what’s next.

*This post is part of a series highlighting personal stories and key themes from our new book, On! The Future of Now. Order your copy of On! The Future of now here. Proceeds to support Charity: Water.


About  Richard Ayers

Founder and CEO of Seven League, Richard Ayers is a hybrid of content and commercial expertise. 7 League is a digital media firm, specializing in sport with clients like Manchester City FC and Major League Soccer. Learn more about Richard and Seven League here.

About On! The Future of Now

Published in partnership with Nokia and curated by Toby Daniels and Craig Hepburn, On! The Future of Now is a collection of essays and personal stories from leading thinkers, including best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin; Cindy Gallop, founder of Make Love Not Porn; Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of BuzzFeed and Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit. On! The Future of Now is available in eBook and paperback. To buy the book and support Charity: Water, click here.

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