Newsletter – April 2020

Newsletter – April 2020

GSIC Newsletter №55
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COVID-19 Startups Catalogue

Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC)  launched a special call for its members with the aim to find out what technological solutions they could offer to help sports entities around the world that are now facing a collective crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this initiative, the GSIC makes visible the great work that its members have been doing by offering a
catalogUE that provides real solutions in a delicate moment without precedent today that requires commitment, creativity, and rapid action by the industry.

After a detailed review of all the solutions presented, the GSIC has created a
catalogUE where 17 innovative solutions that can help in this crisis not only to clubs, federations, and leagues of all sports and sizes but also to the health sector and public institutions were chosen.

Two online sessions have been held to present these solutions directly to the sports entities. The first one to learn about these solutions was The Original Inspiration Center by LaLiga supported by GSIC which organized a session on April 16 to share the information with the first and second division Spanish LaLiga clubs. In the second session that was held on April 22, sports entities from all countries, sizes, and types of sports were able to attend.

Download the catalogue
Upcoming events
Future of sporting events in Asia – May 14, 10:00
VM – Esports Industry Growing in Times of COVID-19 –
May 19, 17:00
Future of sporting events in Latam – May 21, 15:00
R+D at the service of the sports industry in COVID-19 crisis  – May 26, 10:00
Main Article

Past, Present and Future of Tennis: main challenges for moving forward

The current COVID19 sanitary crisis is an important global concern as it implies a completely new and uncertain landscape that directly affects the sports industry as well. While the majority of the world is under lockdown, sports entities are facing important challenges as they have had to suspend the planned events and competitions; and tennis has been no exception.

It is important to note that the implications of the COVID19 pandemic do not only alter the present of tennis but will also condition the future of it. Therefore, one of the main aspects discussed during the conference, was how will the post-crisis impact tennis moving forward.

In particular, sports governing bodies will need to rapidly develop new protocols for running mass tennis events (by working closely with sanitary experts). Actually, competition organizers will face 3 main challenges:

  1. Space: Organizers will need to ensure the sufficient space capacity and mobility plans to comply with the physical distance measures (not only between tennis fans in the sitting areas but also between media personnel, event staff, and the players themselves). This may also require having an isolation room for suspicions of possible infected cases.
  2. Information: Sports entities will need to deal with spectators’ fear of contagion by ensuring their safety through the provision of prevention measures’ information and recommendations before and during the tennis tournaments (i.e. hygienic products and health check devices such as cameras monitoring temperatures, tests…).
  3. Costs: All the required measures to mitigate the COVID19 risks imply both a significant increase of the economic costs to be assumed by the tournament’s organizers (provision of protective sanitary material, devices to keep social distancing in VIP lounges and stands, etc …) and further difficulties in exploiting their monetization models (as social distancing measures impede the commercialization of their whole space available to the crowds).
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GSIC powered by Microsoft is always thinking ahead and providing added value in the field of Sports and Digital Transformation. With over 340 different organizations from 50 countries supported by our association, GSIC is becoming a solid and robust leading the voice of the sector, creating opportunities for our members to grow in terms of knowledge, networking and digital transformation advisory services.

No doubt, the industry is evolving, and so are the characteristics of the talent that is currently working in the industry or those who want to join the sector in the near future. But how sports and digital transformation field will look like from a talent and labor perspective in the coming years?

To bring insights to this pivotal question, GSIC is undertaking a survey among GSIC members as well as other organizations and corporations of the sport and digital transformation sector, including sports organizations, companies, universities, etc.

Thus, it would be highly appreciated if you can take 10 minutes of your time to respond to the following questionnaire before May 31

Go to questionnaire
Asian Sports Tech Report 2020

Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft has partnered with SportsTechX in their first-ever Asian report to share GSIC’s expansion plan in this geographic area.

Our network of contacts has grown to Asia, where together with Sport Singapore we want to create a bridge of knowledge between the Asian sports tech ecosystem, to encourage entrepreneurs to develop innovation projects, to support startups in the process of acceleration and international expansion, and to help large sports companies and entities to connect with the right partners for the digitalization process.

Download ASTR20
GSIC Activities in April

VM – Smart devices fostering teams’ and players’ performance – April 8

Technological advances have made strong wireless connections and smart devices readily available and applicable to several industries. In professional sports, smart arenas and wearable technology have brought exciting new changes to sports management and athletic training. Fans are becoming more engaged and young student-athletes are inspired to train and perform like their favorite pro athletes.

On April 8, during one of our Virtual Meetings, our members NBN23, Empericus, and Realtrack Systems shared their solutions in the area of tracking and smart devices that help professional and amateur athletes to improve their results.

GSIC members can watch the recording on this session in our private members’ area.
Watch video

How to keep our fans engaged during Coronavirus crisis and what fan engagement will look like after the pandemic

The current COVID-19 crisis has forced the sports industry to adapt during this uncertain climate causing companies to ramp-up its esports and virtual sports content, seeking to provide some form of live market engagement for customers.

Whilst diversifying product lines is a much-needed measure, the coronavirus lockdown will test brand and marketing capacities, introducing new problems such as creating fan engagement opportunities and maintaining a solid customer base.

On April 14 we had invited all the sports tech ecosystem to the webinar with Javier Martínez, Leisure, Sports & Entertainment, Experience Design Expert, who’s also a Senior Advisor at Manchester City FC and GSIC’s Ambassador and Mentor.

Javier talked on how to keep our fans engaged during the Coronavirus crisis and what fan engagement will look like after the pandemic, focusing on the following topics:

  • A broad Xray on how fans are relating to idols, clubs, and favorite brands, despite the lack of live competitions & events.
  • Current trends on collective and individual behaviors, with concrete examples
  • A pragmatic overview of key ENGAGEMENT trends and challenges for post-pandemic times.
GSIC members can watch the recording of this session in our private Members’ Area.
Watch video

VM – Blockchain technology disrupting sports industry – April 23

Innovation is transforming our industry with fast-evolving tech trends and now, with access to the blockchain technology, a new paradigm emerges to once again change the sporting world. Blockchain will change the way of how fans interact with sports, creating new market opportunities, technical efficiencies, and most importantly, a better fan experience.

Blockchain is a powerful, open-source digital platform enabling “smart contracts” which automate the exchange of products, content, and money across a peer to peer networks, all protected by cryptography. This underlying technology has numerous applications for sports, that’s why on April 22, we invite our members to our Virtual Meeting where we learned about solutions of our Blocksport, Globatalent, and IQONIQ that use blockchain technology for Fam Engagement.

GSIC members can watch the recording on this session in our private members’ area.

Watch video

Sports Industry Digital Transformation Online Forum – Session 1 – April 27

The GSIC powered by Microsoft has just launched the “Sports Industry Digital Transformation Online Forum”, which consists in the celebration of different conferences related to several sports, starting with tennis, with the aim to add more value to the global sports industry and bring GSIC members new opportunities to network and facilitate business.

The first session of the “Sports Industry Digital Transformation Online Forum” was focused on tennis “Past, Present and Future of Tennis: main challenges for moving forward”. The online forum, which took place on April 27th, was moderated by Carlos Cantó, CEO of SPSG Consulting, and consisted of a round table of high-profile speakers that shared their experience with the sports industry.

GSIC members can watch the recording of this session in our private Members’ Area.
Watch video
Ecosystem Speaks
Innovation crucial in a time of change

The creative use of technology will be crucial to maximizing the impact of sports events returning to stadia and arenas, according to a sports business expert.

Javier Martínez, currently a fan innovation and senior strategic advisor to English Premier League football club Manchester City; senior strategic advisor to IT and software development company Globant; and ambassador/mentor at the Global Sports Innovation Center by Microsoft; has outlined his thoughts as to how sport can resume amid COVID-19.

He told Spanish news agency EFE: “All those technologies that were previously an addition to broadcasting, such as three-dimensional replays or 360-degree vision, are now going to be important. This will lead to the adaptation of the stadiums.”

The reopening of stadia and arenas, either at full, partial, or zero capacity, will necessitate advances in technology such as contactless or mobile payment, turnstile-free access, and security, Martínez claims. “The good thing is that when resources are lacking, talent and creativity tend to bloom,” he added.

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How to build up a first-mover advantage in the sports industry in times of crisis

By Michael De Wachter,
COO at Spott AI

Stakeholders in the sports industry need to be aware that yes, COVID is a huge threat to the future of sports, but it also an opportunity to adapt and reinvent oneself to come out stronger.

Given that pretty much every sports competition worldwide has been put on hold, sports clubs and -leagues are being challenged to understand how they can keep that relationship with their fans active and at the same time stay interesting for sponsors and media companies.

Needless to state that this offers a huge challenge for the whole industry: sports teams, sponsors, sports leagues, media companies, and other service providers need to work together to redefine the dynamics of how sports economics work.

The first step is to understand what is going on and how the market is possibly going to evolve. It’s about gathering best practices, ideas, and solutions from other industries and adapt these to the sports industry to discover the opportunities every crisis offers. When you are successful in doing so, you will not only drastically improve your survival chances but also give you a competitive advantage being a first mover.

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In The Race shares insights on fan-engagement impact during lockdown 

How does the COVID-19 lockdown impact an elite cyclist’s Strava profile and his digital interaction with fans? In the infographic we can see that when activity was completed and the right elements were incorporated, the results in terms of fan engagement are clear: triple the engagement and 16 times the amount of comments compared to the global average. 
It’s safe to say that COVID-19 regulations have amplified the digital performance trend and have significantly increased people’s consumption of digital content. Athletes that can take advantage of this momentum can reap the benefits and be part of a trend that is unlikely to slow down soon. 
If you thought this was interesting, check In The Race Linkedin page because they will be posting more insights on the “peak interaction window” and other subjects soon.

Interview with Jerónimo Macanás about the uptick in streaming consumption and why converting trial users matters
Jeronimo Macanas,
CEO of JUMP Datadriven Video

Do you think the rise in the consumption of subscriptions will also be reflected in video service companies’ revenues?

Many analyst firms, like Strategy Analytics, are predicting an additional 5% growth in global video-on-demand subscriptions in 2020 compared to pre-pandemic forecasts.

This seems like good news in the short term for streaming businesses, but the global economic crisis that is expected to follow will force people to choose the streaming service that most closely delivers what they want. So the factors that make a streaming provider stand out from its competitors will make the difference when users are prioritizing which paid streaming subscriptions they will keep once the trial period comes to an end.

Additionally, with increasing competition in the OTT space, customer acquisition will become a more challenging and expensive proposition for video services.

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New members
         Get to know new members who joined the GSIC in April 2020
As the industry leader in IP-based security solutions, it’s our aim to minimize the unknown. We build resilient, connected solutions that help businesses protect, understand, and enhance the world around them. Forward-thinking technology can provide a platform that facilitates communication and collaboration to improve public safety and support the advancement of the city and its interests. 
Stargraph is a digital platform to generate positive ROI from sponsorship activation attracting, engaging and converting true fans (not followers)
Stargraph is able to create new Apps, Web-Apps or integrate4 the following high added value services within existing platforms:
  1. Digital Autographs (Stargraph)
  2. StarCards (postcards printed and shipped all over the world on which augmented reality content is activated)
  3. Augmented Reality
  4. Fan Relationship Management

Everyday-live channel which broadcast Esports and interactive content for LatAm audience through digital platforms. 

Videocites AI-driven product suite provides the most sophisticated video tracking, copyright management and digital media reach analysis tools available on the market today.
Members News
TV format for competitions in Corona times with ASB GlassFloor

The current social distancing restrictions are keeping the world of sports on its toes. Creative solutions are needed now more than ever. ASB GlassFloor presents an idea for a true competition by the example of Basketball and thus an unusual presentation platform for players, clubs, fans, media, and sponsors.

Idea: similar to the popular „3-Point Shootout“ competition from the NBA, all enquired Basketball clubs (e.g. all European Cup participants) send one player each to compete against each other in different challenges. Matches take place on the FIBA accredited full LED video floor by ASB GlassFloor. Places 1 to 3 each win prize money for their association fund.

Each player acts alone on the field so that no physical contact with an opponent is possible and hygienic measures are easily adhered to. The classic 3-Point Shootout can be expanded to a 4- or 5-Point Shootout by means of a „wandering line“. Next to that, the full LED video floor offers visually spectacular parkours add-on possibilities.

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Podoactiva puts its technology at the service of healthcare professionals in the fight against coronavirus

The fight against Covid-19 involves us all. Podoactiva is clear and wants to be useful to help put this very complicated situation behind us. That is why, for several weeks, they have decided to reorient their productive capacity and make available all their technology and resources available in a completely altruistic way to add our knowledge and effort with other companies and provide new solutions and material to various health centers throughout Spain.

Podoactiva joined the crowdfunding project promoted by the Concahusa Association, the Huesca Excelente Forum, Huesca Suena, and Young Entrepreneurs of Huesca.
In collaboration with these partnerships and platforms, and together with other professionals and companies, our job is to design and manufacture prototypes of:

  • Facial protection screens in polyamide 11, characterized by being printed in a sterilizable and reusable material.
  • Working together Decathlón, Airbus engineering, Podoactiva engineering and several Madrid hospitals have been designed and manufactured prototypes that allow the adapting of Decathlon diving masks  
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Healthcare Station by Crambo

Crambo launches Healthcare Station, a station for the early detection of COVID-19 thanks to facial recognition measurement of temperature and other clinical parameters, which can immediately identify key symptoms for immediate case detection and give the most appropriate response following the protocols of the health authorities.

Healthcare Station is an innovative technological solution to accurately measure the user’s body temperature (wearing a mask or not) that completes the diagnosis with other measurements such as height and weight, as well as blood oxygen saturation and heart rate thanks to the use of a pulse oximeter. The process ends with
disinfection in the cabin for each person prior to accessing the facilities. It has a completely mobile modular design (it has wheels) and is accessible thanks to its ramp and its approved dimensions, allowing its use both inside buildings and outdoors.

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Cinfo helps build respirators to fight COVID-19

Designing, making the prototype, validating and mass-producing Freesterra – I, a respirator to fight COVID-19, are the tasks a consortium of Galician companies, including Cinfo, have undertaken in a race against time.

Given the urgent need for respirators and the scarcity of these machines in the market, a group of Galician companies in the technology industry is working on the development of a respirator that can be produced on a large scale, while meeting the functionality and reliability standards of the healthcare sector.

The project does not aim to produce a one-time use respirator to be used during the transfer of patients to the hospital, but a respirator that can be used for weeks at a time,  uninterruptedly.

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Euroleague Basketball partners with IQONIQ to boost fan engagement 

Euroleague Basketball is very pleased to announce a breakthrough partnership with IQONIQ, a new fan engagement platform made for sports and entertainment fans.

Euroleague Basketball manages and organizes the continent’s two premier men’s basketball competitions, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup, which cover 42 basketball clubs based in 19 countries with a reach of 200 million worldwide fans and crown their seasons with the EuroLeague Final Four and the EuroCup Finals.

Starting immediately, the partnership makes IQONIQ the exclusive and official fan engagement and loyalty platform for the EuroLeague and the EuroCup for the next four years, until the end of the 2023-24 season.

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The IGOID Group and IGOID Sportec publish a novel methodology for football rebound test method

This new work, which has been developed in collaboration with the School of Industrial and Aerospace Engineering of the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the Faculty of Sports Sciences of the European University of Madrid, collects the main results of the design and manufacture of a prototype that will allow updating and optimizing the vertical ball rebound test, used by FIFA, World Rugby, and other international sports federations as a requirement for evaluating the mechanical properties of artificial grass pitches.

The new device, which has been designed to improve and replace the method that is currently in use, considerably reduces the time it takes to carry out tests and improves the precision and reproducibility of the results, thus helping to modernize evaluation tests whose objective is it is to guarantee the safety of athletes and to ensure that they practice sports under equal conditions.

The publication, entitled “Novel Methodology for Football Rebound Test Method”, has been accepted for publication in Sensors magazine, which currently has an impact index of 3,031 and is located in the Q1 quartile of the “Instruments & Instrumentation” category
. This fact represents a new milestone in the contribution of the IGOID Group together with IGOID SPORTEC to the area of new technologies in sport and opens the door to the revision and modernization of other test methods that are currently obsolete.

As a consequence of this investigation, our service offered by IGOID SPORTEC on the Evaluation and Maintenance of Artificial Grass Soccer
Field improves its performance for greater reliability and validity.

More info
 Pj20 tracer: the solution from Vetrya for contact tracing in any kind of organization and venue 

Pj20 tracer is a platform dedicated by Vetrya to all companies and organizations, of any size and type, that allows contact monitoring, both as a protective action during the post-emergency phase of the Covid-19 and for prevention in any future occurrence. 

It monitors in
real-time the distance between people in a workplace or a venue.
How does it work?

It’s a Bluetooth-based device that provides two different versions, which do not require any network infrastructure to operate:

  • Wearable device (Personal Protective Equipment);
  • Mobile application.

If a person has Pj20 tracer turned on, it can detect other devices in proximity. When two or more people approach, the device emits alarm signals (via LED, sound, vibration) that increase with decreased distance, until a continuous alarm is emitted when the estimated distance is less than 1 meter (or any other configurable limit).

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Saviola joins the Globatalent family!

Javier Saviola (former FC Barcelona, A.S. Monaco, S.L. Benfica, Olympiakos, and international football player), has joined the Globatalent project as it’s the newest shareholder. Saviola joins a team of elite international athletes and sports professionals who are already a part of the fastgrowing technology company. As the head of Globatalent’s football division, he will be responsible for bringing on board new talent and also looking after aspects of international relations.

Globatalent, founded by Sunil Bhardwaj, Ferrán Martínez, Gaby Treiband, and Iñaki Cabrera, is a platform that allows fans to benefit from their sports passions by being able to buy and sell sports rights in future stars, as well as the use of a digital ‘sports’ VISA with an incredible discounts and rewards network.

“I am fully committed to Globatalent’s vision of converting fans into active participants in the sports market. With their contributions, fans can join and be a part of the athletes promising journey and career as well as support a club, in the same way, making them financial beneficiaries of these collaborations as well as exclusive fan-related rewards. For this reason, I decided not only to be an investor but also to get involved as head of the football department”.Javier Saviola, April 2020

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A message from NBN23

April for NBN23 has been a month when our employees have been working at home. This has been a great opportunity for us to work intensively on developing our APP for basketball. Swish has become more complete because you can follow the teams and now on Swish, you can choose your favorite team and know everything about their last results, upcoming games, stats, rankings, and others.

In addition to that, we hosted the first NBN23 hackathon where all our employees and their friends had an opportunity to participate and bring to the table their ideas on how to improve the app in order to bring more value to the users. We had a total of 21 participants, who were divided into 7 teams. We had some great and valuable ideas presented, which are now on our Road Map for the next 6 months. This hackathon had a huge goal to keep everyone connected even though we are going through challenging times and continue working as a team.

For now, we are continuing to stay positive, stay safe,
and continue working from home to continue making the game of basketball a great experience for all the stakeholders.

NBN23 – We are basketball. We
are technology.


At the GSIC powered by Microsoft, we continue to support the sports tech ecosystem with our activities and content.

Today we would like to share with you some of the free training that Microsoft is offering to its partners. You can participate in interactive regional webinars that are designed to prepare your team for Microsoft certifications and to drive your team’s understanding of deep technical scenarios across all Microsoft cloud solutions. Offering chat-based instructors, these training opportunities provide targeted information that can enhance your team experience.

As you might know, GSIC is fully aligned with Microsoft programs that can benefit our members and all the ecosystem that’s why almost all of our members are taking part in the Microsoft Partner Network.

If you are interested in attending these kinds of training but don’t know where to begin to join the MPN, you can see the simple guide we attach for you in this email. The registration will take you only 5 min and it’s completely free of charges.

If you are already registered or going to register, we would appreciate it if you fill in our GSIC Tech Form so we can provide assistance and follow up with your company in the MPN program.

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Sell with Microsoft

When: May 13, 2020 8:00 PM (Europe/Madrid)
Duration: 30 minutes

Did you know that  B2B  startups can work directly with  Microsoft’s sales teams to sell together to customers? Microsoft’s co-sell initiative helps startups reach more customers by leveraging our global brand, sales teams, and the commercial marketplace to sell their solutions. With a $1 billion in pipeline opportunities already created for startups this year, Microsoft’s co-sell program is a unique opportunity to get access to sales and marketing tools, discover new growth opportunities, and accelerate revenue through a global marketplace.

Join this session to learn about:

  • What is co-sell?
  • Benefits for startups
  • Co-sell requirements
  • Next steps & resources
  • Q&A

Discover this opportunity and how you can get involved. Register to secure your spot!

From the comfort of your home or office, join us for a virtual get-together dedicated to the SportsTech scene in Asia. Expect key insights, cool startups, and expert opinions from the region. All in 90 minutes. No extra time.

Dress code: Home office casual

Wednesday, May 20, 2020, starting at 10:00 AM CEST

  • Expert Opinion on the Startups
  • Startup Pitches and Q&A
  • Key Insights: Asian SportsTech
Join our new LinkedIn private group for GSIC Members!

At the GSIC we are continually working on the creation of different opportunities for our members in order to help them grow. This time, after a joint design thinking session held during GSIC Summit on September, we have launched a new private group for GSIC members on LinkedIn to provide a new space where they can share their news, interesting feed for the sports tech ecosystem and reach out to other members for networking. 

If you are a GSIC member, you can join the group on the following link.

Join LinkedIn Group
Members Area is available for all GSIC members
All GSIC Members can already access the private Members Area using their unique credentials. Members Area is an intranet, where all the Center’s members can find now more information about each other, share their content and get exclusive news from GSIC and its members.

If you are a GSIC member you can benefit from using this private area where you will find Virtual Meetings, Members catalog, Content shared by members, Working groups, Photos of activities, Microsoft Training, Important documents, Events.

Members Area
Become a member!
Interested in becoming GSIC Member?
Over 340 entities from 38 countries have already become GSIC members!

Join them and benefit from all our activities: Networking, Virtual Meetings, Working Groups, Business Trips, Innovation Days, Inspiration Days, Co-creation Workshops, participation at startups competitions, attendance to the international events and more.

Fill in the Form on a link below to apply for GSIC Membership.

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