The Pittsburgh National Hockey League (NHL) franchise is using 113’s Pi service to analyze large volumes of fan-based data to develop specialized offers and services and to create entertaining game night experiences for fans during their visit to the CONSOL Energy Center.
Pi is based on 113’s proprietary technology platform that uses IBM’s Watson cognitive computing capabilities and natural language APIs to analyze large volumes of consumer data, extract patterns and discover key insights that lead to new, highly adoptable products and services.
“The use of Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities enables us to analyze millions of data elements to identify and connect consumers’ attitudes and values to behavior and engagement at a scale not possible earlier,” said Anupam Singh, president of 113 Industries, in a statement.
Consumers and sports fans have become accustomed to on-demand customized offerings. Major industries such as hospitality, transportation and E-commerce have begun to shift to this model, and sports and entertainment are doing it as well. In an effort to better serve their fans, the Pittsburgh Penguins plan to use the Pi service to customize the experience of attending a game at CONSOL Energy Center — from the time fans purchase their tickets to their time in the arena and their use of concessions, merchandising and pre-game/post-game entertainment.
The Penguins plan to apply the insights gleaned from this technology to tap into the Millennial generation, a growing demographic in the city of Pittsburgh given the rise in technology brands in the city. Creating specific offerings and programs aligned to these “new” Pittsburghers will help grow the fan base and help these Millennials connect and share the experience of enjoying their beloved Penguins with other fans, IBM said.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins have a very passionate fan base, and by using 113 Industries’ Pi service, powered by Watson, we look forward to developing service offerings that would give every fan experiencing a game at the CONSOL Energy Center a one of a kind engaging event,” said James Santilli, vice president of marketing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a statement.
Razi Imam, CEO of 113 Industries, said his company works with several Fortune 500 companies, but the Penguins are the first NHL team to use the company’s Watson-based technology.
Meanwhile, in addition to teaming with 113 amplify the game-day experience for fans, IBM announced partnerships with Triax Technologies, and Spare5 and 113 Industries to develop cognitive applications powered by Watson that will help athletes to train better and to revolutionize golf training.
“Cognitive is a new form of computing that represents a seismic shift in technology,” said Lauri Saft, vice president of IBM Watson Ecosystem, in a statement. “We’ve moved beyond systems that are programmed — the technologies most of us use today — to systems that understand, reason and learn. These latest partnerships exemplify the entrepreneurial nature of our Watson ecosystem. Like so many other industries, the sports industry is awash in data, and cognitive computing allows IBM’s partners like Triax Technologies, 113 Industries and Spare5 to apply deeper insights to all of that information to improve athlete performance and redefine the fan experience.”
IBM Watson Helps Pittsburgh Penguins Advance Fan Experience
Watson’s ability to interact in natural language, analyze large volumes of unstructured data, respond to complex questions with evidence-based answers, and discover new actionable patterns and insights makes it well suited for the domain of sports, an industry that, like so many others, is becoming much more data driven – not only to improve athletic performance and increase bottom lines, but also to improve the health and performance of both amateur and elite athletes.
Sports annually generates nearly $700 billion around the world, according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney, and the market is growing faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in nearly every country — even many times more in some major markets such as the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom, IBM said. At the same time, the demand for artificial intelligence (AI) infused apps is increasing, with IDC predicting that by 2018, half of all consumers will regularly interact with services based on cognitive computing.
Companies in the sports world are tapping into the IBM Watson APIs to provide solutions. Triax Technologies produces the Triax Smart Impact Monitor (SIM), a wearable sensor embedded in headbands or skullcaps that tracks the force and frequency of head impacts during play, empowering parents, coaches and athletic trainers with the tools needed to improve player safety and refine technique in real-time. By utilizing the Watson language service, this device can factor in more diverse data sources to analyze sentiment and infer cognitive and social characteristics to provide a more holistic view of athletic safety and performance. Concussions in sports are a hot topic, and a prevalent injury. The CDC estimates that 3.8M sports-related head injuries occur each year, further highlighting the need for enhanced risk assessment, monitoring of metrics and player evaluation.
Spare5 is creating a cognitive app called “Watson Golf Pro” that uses Watson’s deep learning, natural language, and vision capabilities to act as a personal caddy that amateur players can consult while at the driving range or on the course. The app, based on the corpus of knowledge about mechanics and drills obtained from contracted golf professionals combined with Watson’s ability to “see” a user’s golf swing, provides users with feedback on how to implement better fundamentals.
IBM said it has more than 20 years of experience in applying new technologies, such as Sports Analytics, in a variety of ways to improve the coach, fan and player experience. Today’s sports and wellness partner examples join recently announced efforts by ORRECO in helping to train the world’s best athletes; Brightminded in changing the way personal trainers manage their fitness business; and Edge Up Sports in the competitive world of fantasy football. These organizations are taking advantage of the Watson Developer Cloud, a platform used by more than 77,000 developers globally.