The European Tour and Tata Communications, a leading global digital infrastructure provider, has unveiled the top three shortlisted ideas for the European Tour Innovation Hub contest.
The competition, which was launched in September, called on start-ups from across the world to develop new solutions to enrich the experience of watching and attending European Tour events, enabling fans to interact with the game in new ways and to enhance how each European Tour event is broadcast and produced.
The ideas demonstrate the potential to transform the game through more effective creation of multi-lingual content for global audiences, second screen viewing using augmented reality (AR), and enhanced real-time engagement with TV audiences.
The shortlisted ideas are:
Alugha (Germany): This idea would help overcome the complexities of managing multilingual video content for European Tour’s diverse audiences worldwide. Alugha would create an interlocked toolkit for the complete multi-lingualisation process – from transcription over multi-audio-track voiceovers to video hosting and distribution. It is all about breaking through language barriers to enable more effective engagement with a global fan base.
Eyecandylab (USA): With Eyecandylab’s mobile augmented reality (AR) technology, fans could enjoy live games with an interactive AR layer. By pointing their smartphone or tablet towards live action shown on TV, fans would be able to access stats, player profiles and 3D green layouts in an interactive and visually enhancing way. They could also engage with life-size holograms to bring the action from the course into their living room.
Sparx Technology (Canada): The idea is a consumer engagement platform for enhancing broadcast streams. It would allow for real-time audience engagement through on-screen polling, trivia, predictive gaming, sports betting and data collection. The Sparx platform would integrate directly with the live broadcast graphics system to connect viewers to the action happening on screen, creating a two-way communication channel between the broadcaster and viewers.
All three businesses will now work with the European Tour’s business development team, venture capital firms and Tata Communications, looking at ways to turn their solutions from concept into reality. After this, they will go through a Dragon’s Den-style pitch, where the winner will be chosen. Finally, the winner will develop their application with the European Tour for it be tested in action at a leading European Tour events during the 2020 season.
“We are delighted with the response to our Innovation Hub contest, which demonstrates the strong relationship that exists between golf, technology and innovation,” said Michael Cole, Chief Technology Officer at the European Tour. “The three shortlisted ideas caught our imagination because the businesses behind them understand the tremendous potential to enhance the game and the Tour for our increasingly mobile, digitally-savvy audiences worldwide. We look forward to working with these three businesses to develop their ideas further.”
Mehul Kapadia, Global Head of Marketing at Tata Communications, added: “Digital platforms have the power to transform golf for the benefit of the sport’s entire ecosystem, including European Tour’s commercial partners and broadcasters. We look forward to harnessing our expertise in the digital transformation of global sports to explore with the three shortlisted businesses how they could not only take the golf fan experience to the next level, but also identify untapped operational efficiencies or revenue streams for the European Tour ecosystem.”
The panel of judges includes Cole and Kapadia, as well as Rufus Hack, the European Tour’s Chief Content Officer; Tri Pham, Tata Communications’ Chief Strategy Officer; and European Tour player Oliver Wilson.
Tata Communications is the official global connectivity supplier of the European Tour, and this competition builds on previous collaboration between the two organisations to drive innovation in golf.