From Hall of Fame athletes to up-and-coming startups to big tech giants, sports will once again be a focus at CES in Las Vegas next week.
The growing intersection of sports and technology will be front-and-center at the annual tech show, where GeekWire will be covering all the action from Vegas.
Last year at CES, we reported on several sports-tech topics. At Intel’s big keynote, the company spent nearly one hour talking about sports, bringing folks like Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander and ESPN president John Skipper on stage in front of thousands of attendees. Major League Baseball also had a presence, hosting a press conference to announce a key streaming deal with China’s Letv.
Perhaps the most fun we had was interviewing Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith — former NBA stars and current analysts on TNT’s Inside the NBA — and hearing their thoughts about technology.
We’ll catch up with Shaq, Chuck, and Kenny again next week, as Turner will return to Las Vegas to air Inside the NBA from CES and host another Sports Business Innovation. There are some big-name speakers lined up for the 2017 event including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver; NCAA President Mark Emmert; Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert; Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana; and Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, who also spoke at our inaugural GeekWire Sports Tech Summit in July.
The event will also devote time to eSports, with a $1 million virtual eRace and an ELEAGUE showcase that will highlight Turner’s growing eSports league.
Another event we’ll be covering is the Sports Tech Conference hosted by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. Seattle native and Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian will speak about how technology has helped his performance in the pool; former Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon will talk about big data; and Wilson Sporting Goods will show off its latest smart connected products. SFIA is also hosting the Sports Tech Marketplace next week.
There are a number of other sports-tech companies with big booths at CES, from Fitbit to Under Armour to Polar and countless smaller startups, including many related to health and wellness. We’ll be walking the show floor and will be on the lookout for the latest and greatest in sports-related wearables, VR, streaming, and more. Perhaps we’ll run into sports legends like Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken Jr. again.
I’m particularly focused on checking out trends in the sports tech industry; where tech giants are investing their time and money for sports; fun innovations from smaller companies; and technologies that may have application outside the sports world. I’m hopeful that next week will provide a nice barometer for the state of the sports tech world, and also show what’s coming in the future.